Radha Mitchell to star in A&E pilot

Jennifer Salt wrote the drama 'Quickening'

In her first U.S. series role, Radha Mitchell has signed to topline A&E's drama pilot "The Quickening."

The project, from Fox TV Studios, centers on Maggie Bird (Mitchell), a homicide detective assigned to a desk job after it is discovered that she suffers from a bipolar disorder.

"Her illness makes her brilliant as a detective but makes her personal life hell," A&E senior vp drama programming Tana Nugent Jamieson said. "So she is teetering on and off her medications."

Filming on the pilot, written by Jennifer Salt ("Nip/Tuck"), will start next month in Los Angeles.

While she began her career on TV series in her native Australia, including a stint on the hit "Neighbours," Mitchell has been firmly planted in features since moving to Hollywood. She has appeared in only one U.S. TV project, NBC's 2001 miniseries "Uprising."

The actress, who is onscreen in "Surrogates," is repped by CAA and Gold Coast Management.

After a six-year hiatus, A&E re-entered the scripted-series arena with recent dramas "The Cleaner" and "The Beast." "Cleaner" lasted two seasons, "Beast" one.