O'Mara investigates ABC role


Jason O'Mara is in final negotiations to play Philip Marlowe in ABC's drama pilot about the famous detective.

In other pilot news, Adam Arkin is set to co-star opposite Damian Lewis in NBC's drama pilot "Life," while Emmy winner Ted Danson has been tapped to co-star opposite Glenn Close in FX's untitled drama pilot from Todd A. Kessler, Glenn Kessler and Daniel Zelman.

"Marlowe," from Touchstone TV, is a procedural crime drama set in present-day Los Angeles that will star O'Mara as Raymond Chandler's noir private eye. He also is expected to serve as producer on the show, executive produced by Greg Pruss, Carol Wolper, Sean Bailey, Dan Platt and Phil Clymer.

The casting stems from O'Mara's rich talent holding deal with ABC and Touchstone TV.

O'Mara's series credits include ABC's "In Justice" and CBS' "The Agency." He is doing a multiepisode arc on ABC's freshman series "Men in Trees" and co-stars in the upcoming feature "Resident Evil: Extinction."

O'Mara is repped by ICM and attorney Jamie Mandelbaum.

• "Life," from NBC Universal TV Studio, is an offbeat drama about Billy Crews (Lewis), an ex-cop who rejoins the force after being wrongly imprisoned for years. Arkin will play a former chief financial officer who befriended Crews in prison while he served time for insider trading and who now lives in a room over Crews' garage and handles his settlement money.

Arkin's recent credits include an arc on ABC's "Boston Legal" and the Lifetime movie "Murder on Pleasant Drive."

• FX's untitled character-driven legal thriller, from Sony Pictures TV and FX Prods., centers on Ellen Parsons (Rose Byrne), a beautiful, self-possessed attorney fresh out of law school who lands her dream job working for Patty Hewes (Close), America's foremost high-stakes litigator.

Danson will play a corporate giant embattled in a class-action lawsuit brought by Hewes. The pilot marks a reunion for Close and Danson, who starred together in the 1984 ABC movie "Something About Amelia." Danson, two-time Emmy winner for his roles on NBC's "Cheers," starred on this season's ABC comedy "Help Me Help You."

• In other pilot casting news, Stana Katic has been cast in Fox's drama "NSA Innocent." The project, from 20th Century Fox TV and Realtime Prods., centers on a family man who winds up recruited by the NSA as a spy. Katic will play the sexy and tough NSA agent who recruits him. Katic's credits include an arc on Fox's "24" and the 2006 Fox pilot "Faceless."

Kimberly Nordyke contributed to this report.