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Actors are eager to star in new TV projects

Actors are eager to star in new TV projects — EW discusses the casting trends in this season’s batch of pilots

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Rather than love, than money, than fame, give me truth,” wrote Henry David Thoreau about something other than the three million formerly successful TV actors and industrious film performers hatchering plans for a Teri-style career boost in a new television pilot. As networks assemble casts for their potential series, it seems everybody wants in. Well, almost everybody. ”Unless you’re Angelina Jolie, it’s much more fluid between movies and television now,” says The WB’s exec VP of casting, Kathleen Letterie. The reason for all the interest? Buzzy hits and a wider variety of parts. ”It’s fairly easy to attract talent if you’ve got good roles,” says Marc Hirschfeld, NBC’s exec VP of casting, who’s signed the likes of Seth Green and Aidan Quinn to fall contenders. As for some of the less obvious casting trends:

Past, Future, and President
Ex-24 prez Dennis Haysbert down-grades to a military Special Forces officer in CBS’ The Unit, while The West Wing‘s doctor/First Lady, Stockard Channing, costars in a CBS comedy about a family of M.D.’s. And Geena Davis takes a second shot at TV for ABC as the nation’s first female POTUS in Commander-in-Chief.

Starstrek
At CBS, they’re passing out Vulcan ears to celebrate the casting of Voyager‘s Jeri Ryan in the dramedy The Commuters and Brent Spiner (The Next Generation) as a scientist who investigates a possible alien threat on Threshold.

Six Degrees of Chris O’Donnell
Fox’s Head Cases stars the boyish charmer, who was in Batman & Robin with Alicia Silverstone (Fox’s Queen Bee), who was in Scooby-Doo 2 with Freddie Prinze Jr. (the center of an untitled ABC family comedy), who was in She’s All That with Jodi Lyn O’Keefe (ABC’s Adopted), who was in Whatever It Takes with Marla Sokoloff (The WB’s The Evolution of Man), who was in Sugar & Spice with Rachel Blanchard (ABC’s 1/4 life).

Class of ’97
Nearly a decade has passed, yet nothing has changed. . .Lois & Clark‘s Superman, Dean Cain, plays a regular guy in The WB’s drama Grown Men. Rob Estes gets in on the mass Melrose Place career revival as Kristin Davis’ husband on ABC’s Soccer Moms. Jenna Elfman, last seen in Dharma & Greg, juggles guys in CBS’ Everything I Know About Men. And Caroline in the City‘s veterinarian Mark Feuerstein plays a brain surgeon in CBS’ 3 LBS. Okay, so maybe things have changed a little.