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Anna Torv is returning to the small screen with a starring role in Ryan Murphy‘s HBO pilot.
Following a five-season run on Fox’s Fringe, the actress has nabbed the starring role in the prolific showrunner’s HBO drama pilot Open, The Hollywood Reporter has learned. Additionally, Jennifer Jason Leigh has boarded the high-profile pilot as an onscreen love interest for Torv.
Open is described as a multi-character exploration of the complex, ever-evolving landscape of sexuality, monogamy and intimacy in relationships. Murphy and Lauren Gussis (Dexter) penned the pilot and will executive produce.
Torv will play Windsor, a yoga instructor in a long-term relationship with Holly (Leigh), but upon meeting Grace feels an instant connection. Leigh’s Holly is described as an actress intensely committed to her career.
The duo join Last Resort‘s Scott Speedman, who will play a sports agent named Jonathan, who is married to Grace, a gynecologist who is confused about her sexuality after a tryst with Windsor (Torv). Casting is under way to find an actress to play Grace.
The cast also includes Hunger Games alum Wes Bentley, who plays Evan, a handsome blowhard who loves espousing his theories on human sexuality.
Glee and American Horror Story‘s Dante Di Loreto will executive produce for Ryan Murphy Television and 20th Television’s cable arm Fox 21. (Murphy is under an overall deal at 20th TV.)
For Torv, the gig marks her first TV role after Fringe ended its 100-episode run in January. The actress next voices a role in the animated feature Heavenly Sword. She’s repped by WME and United Management in Australia.
Leigh’s most recent small-screen credits include ABC’s Revenge and Showtime’s Weeds. Her film work includes Greenberg, Margot at the Wedding and Dolores Claiborne. She’s a Golden Globe nominee for Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle. Leigh is repped by CAA, Untitled and Sloane Offer.
HBO ordered the drama to pilot in April. Should it move forward, it would mark Murphy’s third series on the air and join Glee and FX’s American Horror Story.
Open marks Murphy’s second project with HBO, joining his adaptation of Larry Kramer‘s Tony-winning play The Normal Heart. Production on Normal Heart, which Murphy will executive produce and direct, will begin this year with a premiere eyed for 2014. Jason Blum, Dede Gardner and Di Loreto also will executive produce.
Email: Lesley.Goldberg@THR.com; Twitter: @Snoodit
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