Fall pilots nab a bevy of stars


If there were a race to cast the most exciting actors for fall drama and comedy pilots, CBS would certainly be on track to finish first. Having already lured Robin Williams to make his series-TV return on the workplace comedy Crazy Ones, with Sarah Michelle Gellar playing his daughter, the most watched network has just persuaded The Office‘s Rainn Wilson to sign on as an irascible overweight detective on Backstrom, a drama pilot based on a Swedish series. Wilson joins Anna Faris, Rupert Grint, Toni Collette, Marg Helgenberger, Will Arnett, Dylan McDermott, and Eddie Murphy at CBS, which has the kinds of high-profile projects in development that attract talent (Mom, a new Chuck Lorre comedy starring Faris; Anatomy of Violence, a drama from the Homeland producers; and a reboot of Beverly Hills Cop featuring Murphy as exec producer and a recurring player). But the other networks aren’t exactly hurting: Fox nabbed Greg Kinnear (legal drama Rake) and Emma Roberts (the futuristic Delirium) for dramas, and Andy Samberg (an as-yet-untitled cop show) and Christopher Meloni (an adaptation of the book I Suck at Girls) for comedies. Meanwhile, NBC has Gillian Anderson headlining a kidnapping thriller and Blair Underwood starring on an Ironside reboot, and ABC secured Rebel Wilson for the ensemble comedy Super Fun Night, Malin Akerman for the relationship sitcom Trophy Wife, and Rob Corddry for the father-son comedy Spy. That’s a lot of talent for one fall TV season, right, network execs? Don’t disappoint us.