Pilot Watch: Kyle Chandler, Sarah Michelle Gellar, And Krysten Ritter Land New TV Gigs

The casting news keeps rolling in, adding three more veteran television stars to potential new homes. The biggest, and most exciting cast announcement, involves Kyle Chandler, who hasn’t done television since Friday Night Lights left the air. He presumably got tired of playing the bureaucratic nobodies in Oscar-nominated films. The project, chosen by Chandler after passing up several pilots over the last two years, is Showtime’s Vatican, which comes from Ridley Scott and Paul Attanasio. The show has already cast Matthew Goode in the drama said to evoke The Sopranos and Upstairs, Downstairs. Vatican is described as a provocative contemporary genre thriller about spirituality, power and politics set against the modern-day political machinations within the Catholic church, i.e., all that good stuff Showtime loves about Rome and The Borgias set in the present day. According to Deadline, Chandler will play Cardinal Thomas Duffy, “the charismatic yet enigmatic Archbishop of New York, whose progressive leanings (he has ordained a woman) excite some and alarm others within the hierarchy of the Catholic Church.” I wonder if he turns out to be gay? I bet he does. That would be weird if Coach Taylor were gay.

Meanwhile, Krysten Ritter is the first alum of the recently canceled Don’t Trust the B—- in Apt. 23 to land a role this pilot season. According to THR, she’s set as the lead in NBC’s adaptation of Leslye Headland’s play Assistance. The comedy is centered on “an assistant who attempts to find balance in her life while juggling the demands of a larger-than-life boss.” (Please let her “larger than life boss” be James Van Der Beek. Please. Please. PLEASE.) Among those things she’ll be balancing is her work husband and her at-home fiance. Here’s the line of interest: She’ll play hyperactive workaholic with a sex appeal directly proportional to her anxiety level.

It’s good to know that sex appeal is part of the make-up of Assistance.

Finally, THR also notes that Sarah Michelle Gellar has landed a role in a CBS pilot. In fact, one of CBS’s two highest profile pilots (the other being Chuck Lorre’s Mom). She’ll play the daughter of Robin Williams’ character in the David E. Kelley produced Crazy Ones, about a father and daughter working at an advertising agency. The interesting note here, actually, is that it’s a single-camera comedy. I didn’t realize that CBS did those, nor did I realize that Gellar could do comedy. She does do a mean ugly cry. I’ll give her that.