By Mandi Bierly
Updated February 17, 2009 at 09:47 PM EST
Credit: Stults: Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images; Vartan: Serge Thomann/WireImage
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Was that headline a little too excited? Sorry. Alias‘ Michael Vartan (pictured, right) has been cast opposite Jada Pinkett Smith in TNT’s upcoming drama series Time Heals. Per The Hollywood Reporter, the show, which will premiere later this year, revolves around a “strong but caring director of nursing at a North Carolina hospital” (Pinkett Smith) and the director of medicine (Vartan) who may or may not have feelings for her. Would I have thought to put the two of them together? No. But I’m liking it: Reserved Vartan does well opposite women who could kick his ass. Plus, if we learned anything from Monster-in-Law (besides that it plays better on cable than in theaters), it’s that he wears the medical profession well.

In other news exciting only to me because it means he’d have a reason to follow through on his offer to dance shirtless in my office?, October Road‘s Geoff Stults (pictured, left) has reunited with that show’s creators for the ABC drama pilot Happy Town. According to THR, he’ll play Tommy, a man appointed sheriff so that he can solve the small town’s first crime in seven years — a murder. While the prospect of seeing Stults flash a badge is hot cool, this sounds like a show that, should it actually end up on the air, I will reluctantly get attached to, blog about repeatedly, then see canceled before the mystery is solved. (I still need to know whether Eddie, Stults’ character on October Road, was that kid’s dad. I heard we might get closure on the Season 2 DVD release, expected in May.)

After the jump, more pilot season news, including Shonda Rhimes’ new leading man…

addCredit(“Stults: Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images; Vartan: Serge Thomann/WireImage”)

Another bit of (Mc)dreamy casting news: The Ring‘s Martin Henderson has been tapped for Shonda Rhimes’ ABC pilot Inside the Box. THR says he’ll play the on-again off-again love interest/colleague of a female network news producer. He’ll be “charismatic, with a great sense of humor and great chemistry with her.” Naturally. She has yet to be cast. But I’m already sold. You?

CBS is thinking outside the box (again) with a reality pilot called Thunder Road, exec produced by McG. “Two teams risk demolition whiledriving a course stocked with challenging obstacles. It’s like anauto Wipeout,” THR reports. As a NASCAR fan and someone who generally enjoys people running into things, you’d think this would speak to me, but I could’ve cared less about ABC’s Fast Cars & Superstars. It takes a lot to get people invested in reality shows that star cars.


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