7 Stars For 7 Pilots: Will These Big Names Boost The Greenlight Prospects Of These Shows?

Pilot season is in full swing, and now that we know most of the pilots that have been picked up, casting has begun. Because of the nature of television these days, bigger stars are being attached to pilots, and many of them are from the movie world. Over the last few days, several big names have signed on to pilots, so let’s look at what we’ve got, so far. I’m sure that, after sifting through the casting news, many of you will be asking the same question I am: Where is Andrea Anders, and why hasn’t she been cast yet?

Girlfriend in a Coma — I wrote about this NBC comedy pilot a few weeks ago, and some folks thought it was a joke. It’s about a woman who has been in a coma for 17 years and wakes up to discover that she has a daughter from a pregnancy of which she was unaware. It’s based on a Douglas Coupland novel (I THOUGHT so). I’ve read the Coupland novel, and if it hews closely, that means that the show will probably focus on the girlfriend after she wakes from a coma, and also flashback to the intervening years while her boyfriend — well, the guy who she lost her virginity to at a teenage party — is raising the child. ANYWAY, Christina Ricci has been cast as the girlfriend.

Bloodline — Our boy Jonathan Banks, who plays Mike Ehrmentraut on Breaking Bad — is making the same mistake that Giancarlo Esposito did by making a drama for NBC. In the comic-book stylized thriller, Banks will play “the villainous Leo Killpriest, the patriarch of an ancient line of killers, brigands and mercenaries who’s worried that the last remaining members of his scattered family will be wiped off the face of the earth.” I like that he’s getting more work, but I wish he’d stick with cable. He was also wasted in the weekend’s big comedy hit at the box office, Identity Thief.

Mom — Single-moms are the hip new thing this pilot season (see also), and Nate Corddry has signed on as the male lead in this Chuck Lorre sitcom, which will star Anna Faris as a single and newly sober mom who moves in with her mother, played by Allison Janney. Great cast, but DAMN: Why’s it gotta be Chuck Lorre, and why’s it gotta be on CBS?

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