strong>EXCLUSIVE: Australian actor Ben Lawson has been cast opposite Katherine Heigl in Netflix's Firefly Lane, a drama series from Maggie Friedman No Tomorrow based on the bestselling novel by Kristin Hannah.
Written and executive produced by Friedman, who also serves as showrunner, Firefly Lane follows the story of Tully Heigl and Kate, two unlikely best friends who meet as young girls and become inseparable for nearly 30 years, until a tragedy breaks them apart. Lawson will play Kate's ex-husband Ryan, who also has a long history working with Tully.
Friedman executive produces with Stephanie Germain and Lee Rose. Hannah is co-executive producer. Peter O'Fallon will direct and executive produce the first episode.
Lawson recently starred on the second season of Netflix's hit drama series 13 Reasons Why and on ABC's action dram a Designated Survivor. He also recurred on NBC’s critically acclaimed comedy seriesThe Good Place. On the film side, he’ll next star as Lachlan Murdoch in the upcoming Untitled Roger Ailes biopic from Charles Randolph and Jay Roach. Lawson is repped by ICM, United Management, Untitled and Derek Kroeger.
strong>EXCLUSIVE: Lethal Weapon alumna Keesha Sharp is set for a recurring role on the upcoming sixth season of Fox's hit musical family drama Empire.
Sharp will play Dr Paula Wick, a smart, inciteful woman who offers endless compassion, but doesn't take sh*t from anyone.
em>Empire, created by Lee Daniels and Danny Strong and starring Terrence Howard and Taraji P. Henson, hails from Imagine Television and 20th Century Fox TV. Daniels, Strong, Brian Grazer, Francie Calfo, Sanaa Hamri, Dennis Hammer, Matt Pyken and Diane Ademu-John executive produce. Brett Mahoney is executive producer and showrunner.
Sharp most recently was a series regular on Fox series Lethal Weapon, which wrapped its third and final season in February, and currently recurs on CBS All Access' The Good Fight. She previously recurred on FX's American Crime Story.
Sharp is repped by Abrams Artists Agency, LINK Entertainment, and Hansen, Jacobson.
em>Empire returns Wednesday, September 26 at 8 PM on Fox.
Talitha Bateman Love Simon, Annabelle: Creation, Ato Essandoh Altered Carbon, Blue Bloods, Mark Ivanir Homeland, Barry, Ray Panthaki Gangs of London, Marcella, Colette and Vivian Wu Cathy Yan’s Dead Pigs, Rúyì Zhuàn round out the cast of Netflix’s space drama series Away, starring Hilary Swank and Josh Charles.
Written by playwright Andrew Hinderaker, the series, loosely inspired by Chris Jones' Esquire article of the same name, hails from Jason Katims' True Jack Prods., Matt Reeves' 6th & Idaho and Universal Television.
Away centers on Emma Green Swank, an American astronaut who must leave her husband Matt Charles and teenage daughter Bateman behind to command an international space crew embarking upon a treacherous mission. It is a series about hope, humanity and how we need one another if we are to achieve impossible things.
Bateman is Alexis Logan, Emma and Matt’s teenage daughter who must now come of age with her father facing life-changing health challenges and her mother in space.
Essandoh plays Kwesi, a British-Ghanaian botanist and the mission’s only rookie astronaut.
Ivanir portrays Misha, a veteran Russian cosmonaut and the ship’s engineer.
Panthaki is Ram, an Indian astronaut and the crew’s medic, co-pilot and second-in-command.
Wu plays Yu, a Chinese taikonaut and the crew’s geologist and chemist.
Jessica Goldberg, creator/executive producer on True Jack/Uni TV's Hulu series The Path, serves showrunner, writer and executive producer. Hinderaker wrote the first episode and serves as an executive producer. Katims writes and executive produces. Also exec producing are Reeves, Adam Kassan, former True Jack executive Michelle Lee episode 101 only and current True Jack exec Jeni Mulein episodes 102-110. Ed Zwick will direct the first episode and serve as an executive producer.
Essandoh is repped by Abrams Artists Agency, Sinclair Management, and Jackoway Tyerman Wertheimer Austen Mandelbaum Morris & Klein. Ivanir is repped by Abrams Artists Agency and Thruline Entertainment. Wu is repped by McKeon/Myones Entertainment and Stankevich Law.
strong>EXCLUSIVE: There is a change at the helm of Fox’s upcoming police drama Deputy starring Stephen Dorff.
Your Complete Guide to Pilots and Straight-to-Series orders
Kim Harrison, an executive producer on the midseason series, from Entertainment One and Fox Entertainment, has been named new showrunner. On the series, created by Will Beall, she succeeds Barry Schindel. Additionally, joining Deputy as an executive producer is Yellowstone co-executive producer John Coveny.
Beall and Schindel remain executive producers on Deputy but are not expected to have day-to-day involvement on the show.
Written by Beall and directed by David Ayer, Deputy is a modern cop drama that blends the spirit of a classic Western with a modern-day attitude and gritty authenticity. When the Los Angeles County's Sheriff dies, an arcane rule forged back in the Wild West thrusts the most unlikely man into the job: a fifth-generation lawman Dorff, more comfortable taking down bad guys than navigating a sea of politics. He leads a skilled team of ambitious and complicated human beings who won't rest until justice is served.
Yara Martinez, Brian Van Holt, Siena Goines, Bex Taylor-Klaus, Shane Paul McGhie and Mark Moses co-star.
Harrison previously served as co-executive producer on the Fox drama series Star.
strong>EXCLUSIVE: Netflix has given a 10-episode order to Tiny Pretty Things, an hourlong drama series based on the book by Sona Charaipotra and Dhonielle Clayton, from writer Michael MacLennan Bomb Girls,The Bletchley Circle: San Francisco, Insurrection Media, Mojo Films and Peacock Alley. The Internet TV network also has announced the series regular cast with shooting currently underway in Toronto for a 2020 premiere.
Your Complete Guide to Pilots and Straight-to-Series orders
Cast includes Lauren Holly Designated Survivor, Dumb and Dumber, Kylie Jefferson Davido's Fall, SchoolboyQ's Chopstix, Casimere Jollette Code Black, Dirty John, Daniela Norman Cats, Brennan Clost The Next Step, Creeped Out, Michael Hsu Rosen Jessica Jones, Broadway’s Torch Song, Damon J. Gillespie Rise, The Society, Bayardo De Murguia Shooter, Hombre, Barton Cowperthwaite Center Stage: On Pointe, Fosse/Verdon, Tory Trowbridge Broadway's The Cher Show, American in Paris and Jess Salgueiro The Boys, Letterkenny.
Written by MacLennan based on the book, Tiny Pretty Things is set in the world of an elite ballet academy and charts the rise and fall of young adults who live far from their homes, each standing on the verge of greatness or ruin. As Chicago's only elite dance school, the Archer School of Ballet serves as the company school for the city's renowned professional company: City Works Ballet. The Archer School is an oasis for an array of dancers: rich and poor, from north and south, and a range of backgrounds. Yet they all share a rare talent and passion for dance, a loyal sense of community... and when it comes to their dreams, no Plan B.
MacLennan also serves as showrunner and executive produces with Kiliaen Van Rensselaer, Jordanna Fraiberg, and Deborah Henderson of Insurrection Media, Gary Fleder, who directs the first episode, and Gabrielle Neimand of Mojo Films, and Carrie Mudd of Peacock Alley.
Top Row L-R: Michael Hsu Rosen, Damon J. Gillespie, Bayardo De Murguia; Bottom row L-R: Barton Cowperthwaite, Tory Trowbridge, Jess Salgueiro Netflix
Insurrection had optioned the book through its strategic relationship with the publisher HarperCollins and spent a year developing the project before taking it to Netflix. Insurrection put together the creative team, including showrunner MacLennan and Fleder.
Holly portrays Monique, a former dancer turned The Archer School director. Driven by ambition and a true belief in ASB's value, Monique holds unique power over the school, using her dark capacities not only to defend her institution, but also to bring about the best in her students regardless of her means.
Jefferson plays Neveah, the rebel with raw talent and fierce determination who looks to rise above her roots and find a future in the world of ballet laurent without losing her unique and fiery approach to dance. Neveah is staring down the greatest opportunity of her life — a chance to be a student of the Archer School of Ballet as a last-minute replacement.
Jollette is Bette, a ruthlessly perfect, supremely confident, ambitious “music box ballerina.” She's rich but not entitled, works harder than anyone else —due in part to spending her life playing second fiddle to her older sister Delia.
Norman plays June, a sweet and petite dancer raised by a strict businesswoman mother. The Archer School of Ballet is the only place she feels like she belongs. After what feels like a lifetime playing back-up, she is ready to earn her time in the spotlight, proving to her mother that ballet is where she belongs.
Clost portrays Shane, stacked and fiery, from a small town, he grew up tormented for loving dance, and has become a hot-headed scrapper — and his family's greatest hope.
Rosen is Nabil, a man with the swagger of Baryshnikov and the cold eyes of a potential killer. This new recruit is worldly, strange, and has a wicked technique. Born in Malaysia before moving to Paris, Nabil comes with intimidating levels of power and potential.
Gillespie plays Caleb, a lean and handsome dancer who uses his ready humor and undeniable talent, in order to mask his struggles with a profound loss — and a secret that could unravel the institution.
De Murguia portrays Ramon, a lean god with a deep baritone, Ramon is a former bad-boy dancer turned visionary choreographer. He's not big on criticism, especially from students, which produces friction within the Archer School of Ballet and with his girlfriend and muse of the moment, Delia.
Cowperthwaite plays Oren, a strapping prince of a man, wealth and good looks gave him great roles, Bette as a girlfriend, and primed him for success, but beneath this veneer lies crippling anxiety, a dysfunctional obsession with his body, and a need for physical perfection.
Trowbridge is Delia, Bette's older sister, and dancer of supreme caliber and beauty, Delia is the Whitlaw Family's first prodigy, returning to Chicago after two years dancing abroad. With her newfound success, Delia relishes her new role as a diva, triumphantly returning to the school that scorned her when she was a student.
Salgueiro plays Isabel, a cop with a dancer's ram-rod discipline from two tours of duty in Afghanistan before she traded in one uniform for another. With her ambition and keen moral compass, she's uniquely qualified to search for the truth of what happened during a mysterious accident at the Academy.
De Murguia is repped by Luber Roklin Entertainment and GVA Talent. Gillespie is repped by Gray Talent Group. Salgueiro is repped by Echo Lake Entertainment and GGA. Cowperthwaite is repped by Lakey Wolff & Company and Peikoff Mahan. Trowbridge is repped by Bernard F. Bunye of Forte Artist Management.
strong>EXCLUSIVE: Thomas Sadoski is staying at CBS. Less than three months after the network canceled praised family comedy series Life in Pieces after four seasons, one of its stars, Thomas Sadoski, has been tapped for a series-regular role opposite Edie Falco in the network’s upcoming midseason drama series Tommy in a recasting.
Sadoski will play the charming, seductive and morally complex second-term mayor of Los Angeles, who appoints Tommy Falco as the first female police chief in the city’s history, only to wonder what he’s gotten himself into. He takes over the role played by David Fierro in the pilot.
em>Tommy, from the Bull team of co-creator Paul Attanasio and producer Amblin TV, stars Falco as Abigail “Tommy” Thomas, a former high-ranking NYPD officer who becomes the first female Chief of Police for Los Angeles. She uses her unflinching honesty and hardball tactics to navigate the social, political and national-security issues that converge with enforcing the law.
The series-regular cast also includes Michael Chernus, Adelaide Clemens, Russell G. Jones, Olivia Lucy Phillip, and Joseph Lyle Taylor.
Attanasio executive produces with Darryl Frank and Justin Falvey of Amblin TV.
This marks a return to drama for Sadoski, who most recently starred as Matt Short on Life in Pieces. He previously was a series regular on HBO’s The Newsroom and NBC’s The Slap and has appeared on Broadway in Neil LaBute's reasons to be pretty, Other Desert Cities, The House of Blue Leaves and Reckless.
Sadoski, who was just cast in Broadway’s upcoming Grand Horizons alongside Michael Urie, Ashley Park, Maulik Pancholy and Priscilla Lopez, is repped by UTA and Industry Entertainment.