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USA Network has found its young lead for buzzy sci-fi drama pilot Horizon.
Ruth Bradley (Big Thunder) has been tapped to topline the World War II-set sci-fi drama from The Walking Dead executive producer Gale Anne Hurd, The Hollywood Reporter has learned exclusively.
Additionally, Boardwalk Empire alum Meg Steedle has joined the cast of the pilot.
Set during the height of World War II, Horizon centers on a secretary at the FBI who discovers that her husband might have been killed in a battle with a spaceship in the South Pacific. Obsessed with learning the truth, she becomes the only person standing between Earth and an alien invasion.
Irish actress Bradley, whose credits include the Titanic miniseries, Love/Hate, Primeval and ABC’s failed pilot Big Thunder, will star as Lauren Howl, a young FBI secretary whose translucent charm is equal parts quick wit and loving heart — mixed liberally with the stubbornness of a boulder. Howl is about to stumble onto a secret that could change the world as she knows it — or destroy it.
Steedle, meanwhile, will play Ellen Olsen, Lauren’s best friend and a refined debutant turned upper-level FBI secretary. If there is a secret in Washington that she doesn’t know, just give her a few days and she’ll uncover it.
Hurd will executive produce the drama alongside Burn Notice‘s Bridget Tyler, who will pen the script for Horizon, which is part of The Walking Dead executive producer’s recent pod deal for her Valhalla Entertainment banner with Universal Cable Productions. Yves Simoneau (V) will direct.
The entry marks the network’s continued push to move away from its Blue Skies brand, its first genre piece since The 4400 and the first period drama to land at USA, which poised to mark its seventh consecutive year as the No. 1 cable network. Sci-fi drama The 4400 ran from 2004 to 2007 and revolved around a group of missing people who returned to Earth via a comet.
USA ordered Horizon to pilot in December.
Bradley (The Sea, In Her Skin) is repped by Hamilton Hodell, Macfarlane Chard and Anonymous Content. The role reunites the actress with Simoneau, with whom she worked on ABC’s failed Beauty and the Beast pilot. Steedle (Body of Proof, Don’t Trust the B) is with ICM Partners and Principal Entertainment LA.
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