Mary Steenburgen tapped as 'Southern' mom


Mary Steenburgen is set to star in ABC's comedy pilot "Southern Discomfort."

Carly Pope and David Ramsey are set to co-star opposite Jimmy Smits in NBC's untitled John Eisendrath drama pilot, Ian Reed Kessler has landed a lead on the NBC comedy pilot "Friends with Benefits" and Lindsey Broad has landed a lead on ABC's comedy pilot "Who Gets the Parents."

Elsewhere, "Reno 911" co-star Kerri Kenney has joined Fox's comedy pilot "Tax Man," Xander Berkeley has been added to the CW's drama pilot "Nikita," and Odette Yustman is set as the female lead on Fox's untitled Adam Goldberg comedy pilot.

"Discomfort" centers on a father whose life is turned upside down when his grown kids move back in with him. Steenburgen, repped by Gersh and Management 360, will play the mother of the family. She was recently seen in "The Proposal."

The Eisendrath's project centers on a by-the-book Supreme Court Justice (Smits) who excuses himself from the bench to go into private practice and fight constitutional injustices.

Ramsey ("Dexter") will play his best friend since childhood, a brilliant defense attorney. He is with APA and Elements. Pope, repped by Gersh and Kritzer Levine Wilkins Griffin, will play a private investigator.

"Benefits" explores romance through the eyes of five friends, each looking for "the one" but in the meantime settling for "friends with benefits."

Kessler ("Sons of Tucson") will play one of them, an oversexed, sometimes crass womanizer. He is repped by Main Title and Abrams.

"Parents" revolves around a couple (Jane Kaczmarek, Adam Arkin) who are divorcing after 30 years and take more active roles in the lives of their three adult children (Andrew West, Derek Richardson, Broad). Broad is with ICM.

On "Tax Man," set at an IRS office in Fresno, Calif., Kenney, repped by Gersh and Principato Young, will play a human resources rep.

On "Nikita," an update of the film/TV franchise centered on a new assassin-in-training (Maggie Q), Berkeley ("Kick-Ass") will play her Machiavellian leader. The actor, who is filming CBS Films' "Faster," is repped by Domain and Mosaic.

The untitled Goldberg single-camera comedy, directed by Seth Gordon, revolves around twentysomething geniuses who crack security systems. Yustman ("October Road") will play a star member of the team, an expert in safe cracking and demolition.