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Bob Balaban is stepping up to the plate for Fox.
The veteran actor has boarded the network’s baseball drama pilot Pitch, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.
The project hails from prolific producer Fogelman (Grandfathered, Galavant) and centers on Ginny, a young female pitcher who defies the odds when she becomes the first woman to play in the major leagues. Kylie Bunbury (Under the Dome, Tut) stars as Ginny.
Balaban, who will be credited as a recurring guest star should Pitch move to series, will play Frank Reid, the charming baseball club owner who is wealthy both in finance and wisdom. He understands that bringing Ginny up to the pros is a risk but sees the greater good in what he’s doing.
Balaban joins a cast that also includes Mark Consuelos as the team’s GM; Mark-Paul Gosselaar as Mike Lawson, the team’s future Hall of Fame catcher; Elisabeth Shue as Ginny’s personal guru and protector; Mo McRae (Wild) as Blip, an All-Star outfielder and Ginny’s lone pre-existing friend; Meagan Holder (Born Again Virgin) as Evelyne, Blip’s wife; and Tim Jo (The Neighbors) as Eliot, Ginny’s social-media manager.
Fogelman and Rick Singer (Younger, American Dad!) will pen the script and executive produce the 20th Century Fox Television entry. Tony Bill and Helen Bartlett are also attached to exec produce.
The drama comes as Fox continues to be the home for postseason Major League Baseball, including the All-Star Game, one League Championship Series and two Division Series games, as well as the crown jewel, the World Series. It’s unclear if MLB will have a role in Pitch, though the scripted entry would be a natural extension of the partnership.
Pitch becomes Balaban’s latest small-screen role. Repped by Paradigm, his credits include Show Me a Hero, Girls, Broad City, Nurse Jackie and The Good Wife. On the feature side, he has had roles in Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Moonrise Kingdom, Gosford Park and The Grand Budapest Hotel.
Keep up with all the latest pickups, castings and eventual series orders with THR‘s handy guide to pilot season.
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