TV casting roundup: Minnie Driver joins ‘About a Boy,’ J.J. Abrams casts ‘Believe’ lead

A brief roundup of today’s pilot deals…

– Minnie Driver has joined David Walton (“Bent”) in NBC’s potential series adaptation of “About a Boy,” the Nick Hornby novel that was turned into a 2002 film starring Hugh Grant. Jason Katims (“Parenthood”) is penning the comedy pilot, which like the book and movie will center on a “man-child” named Will (Walton) who befriends a young boy living next door with his kooky, recently-divorced mother Fiona. Driver will play the Fiona role in the single-camera pilot, which has “Iron Man” director Jon Favreau on board to direct. Unlike the book and film, the prospective series will be set in San Franciso as opposed to London. [Hollywood Reporter]

– Mike O’Malley (“Glee,” “Yes, Dear”) will star in NBC’s single camera comedy pilot “Welcome to the Family” written by Mike Sikowitz (“Rules of Engagement”). O’Malley will play the role of Dan Yoder, a neurotic 40-something orthodonist and father whose 18-year-old daughter becomes pregnant by her Latino boyfriend. The series will play on the chemistry that develops between the two families as they come together in the wake of the pregnancy. [Hollywood Reporter]

– “The Shield” actress CCH Pounder has been cast in “Advocates,” a legal drama pilot for CBS. The prospective series will be written and executive-produced by Bruno Heller (“The Mentalist”) and directed and executive-produced by David Nutter (“Game of Thrones,” “Shameles”). The show will center on lawyer Shannon and ex-con Henry as they team up to become “victim advocates,” going to the “very edge of the law” to right wrongs for those in need. Pounder has signed on to play the dedicated head of the Victim Advocate agency where Shannon works. [Deadline]

– Executive-producer J.J. Abrams and executive-producer/director Alfonso Cuaron have found one of the leads for their NBC drama pilot “Believe,” which centers on the relationship that develops between a young woman possessed of as-yet unrealized great powers and the man who is sprung from prison to protect her from those out to do her harm. “Savages” actor Jake McLaughlin will play the role of the escaped convict in the potential series, which was co-written by Cuaron and Mark Friedman (“The Forgotten”). [Deadline]

– Madeline Carroll (“The Magic of Belle Isle,” “Mr. Popper’s Penguins”) has landed the lead role in the CW’s “Blink,” a “warm, quirky, humorous” drama series project about an angsty teenage girl (Carroll) whose father falls into a semi-coma following a car accident that renders him incapable of speaking or moving but able to hear and see everything. Written by Vera Herbert (“Awkward”) and executive-produced by David Marshall Grant (“Smash”), the series’ voice-over narration will be provided by the bedridden father, whose mind will be tapped into via a series of “wry” fantasy sequences. [Deadline]

– NBC single-camera comedy pilot “The Gates” has upped Stephen Guarino (“Happy Endings”) from guest star to full-fledged series regular. Guarino will play a gay dad named Brett who is very involved in the local PTA. The series, from “‘Til Death” creators Cathy Yuspa and Josh Goldsmith, revolves around parents navigating the “15-minute social minefield” that occurs at the front gates of an elementary school during the dropping-off and picking-up of their children. [Deadline]

– Jake Lacy (“The Office”) has joined Jacki Weaver (“Silver Linings Playbook”) in CBS’ single-camera comedy pilot “The McCarthys,” signing on to play the gay son of a macho Irish-Catholic clan living in Boston who yearns to spend less time with his family. The pilot was written by Brian Gallivan (“Are You There, Chelsea?”) and will be helmed by actor-turned-director Fred Savage. [Deadline]

– The AMC pilot “Turn,” a Revolutionary War drama about a New York farmer who forms a spy ring with several of his friends to aid the American military, has tapped two Aussie newcomers for roles: Meegan Warner and Daniel Henshall. Warner will play Mary Woodhull, a mother terrified at the prospect of her son going off to fight in the war who resists becoming involved in the conflict. Henshall is on board for the role of Caleb Brewster, a courageous former whaler who has become a lieutenant in the Second Continental Artillery. Based on the non-fiction book “Washington’s Spies: The Story of America’s First Spy Ring” by Alexander Rose, the prospective series comes from “Nikita” creator Craig Silverstein and “Bones” executive-producer Barry Josephson. [TVLine]

Thoughts on any of the above projects? Sound off in the comments.