Casting Scoopz! Naevia? VD’s Klaus!

Also the Bones spin-off casts a lading lady and Pilot Season Casting Mayhem!

It looks like season 2 of Starz’s Spartacus will be looking mighty different. A few months ago Liam McIntyre was cast in the leading role after Andy Whitfield left to focus on his recovery. Well Lesley Ann Brandt (right) who plays the role super smokin’ slave girl Naevia has decided to leave the series as well to roll the dice in this years pilot season. Last we saw Neavia, she was beaten, shaved and sold by a jealous Lucretia and a devestated Crixus (Manu Bennett above with Brandt) was promising to find her, well when he does she’ll have changed more than he thought I guess.

All season on the CW’s The Vampire Diaries we’ve been hearing about this Klaus. Blah blah blah Original…Blah blah blah Petrova doppleganger… The till now unseen main antagonist of season 2 who seeks to use Elena (doppleganger), Tyler (werewolf), Caroline (vampire), Bonnie (witch) and the moonstone to break the sun and moon curse has finally been cast and the lucky chap is British actor Joseph Morgan. Morgan’s best known work are the films Alexander and Master and Commander and he stars in the upcoming and anticipated Immortals. Morgan makes his debut on the series on April 21 and will likely be in the last 4 episodes of the season and who knows maybe the next too.

Saffron Burrows has been cast as the leading lady in The Locator, the spin-off of Bones based on the Walter Sherman Locator character from the novels by Richard Greener. She’ll first appear in the 19th episode of this season in May along with recently casted Geoff Stults and Michael Clarke Duncan. Burrows first gained notice for starring in the underrated gem Deep Blue Sea (that’s her on the poster and since has had regular gigs on Boston Legal, My Own Worst Enemy and most recently in 2010’s 9th season on Law and Order: Criminal Intent.

PILOT MADNESS!!!

It’s pilot season and casting is in a frenzy. For years actors like Sarah Michelle Gellar and Claire Danes who cut their teeth in television or Ashley Judd, who’s film career is not what it used to be, have been sought for regular series gigs only to turn them down, until now. Those three among many others are being cast left right and center for 2011 pilots. It’ll be interesting to see what gets picked up. Here are some of the more interesting pilots.

Homeland – Showtime Pilot about a CIA agent (Claire Danes) who suspects a returning hero POW (Band of Brothers and Life’s Damien Lewis) of being a terrorist. Mandy Patinkin (pictured) returns to TV for the first time since leaving Criminal Minds.

REMJason Isaacs (Lucien Malfoy in the Harry Potter series) stars as a cop (played by Isaacs) who wakes up after an accident to find he is living in two different realities.tar) and Howard Gordon (24).

Wonder Woman – NBC and TV legal wiz David E. Kelley bring us a series about the Amazonian warrior princess who knowing Kelley will probably by day be a lawyer. The amazing news? 5″11 Adrianne Palicki, the super hot star of Lonestar and Friday Night Lights.

Prime Suspect – Maria Bello (so amazing in both The History of Violence and Assault on Precinct 13) has been cast as Lt. Jane Tennison in NBC’s remake of the UK classic. Helen Mirren originated the role on Brit TV and it launched her to stardom.

The RingerSarah Michelle Gellar is back baby! In this series about a woman on the run who takes her missing twin sister’s place and lives in her life of luxury until she realized her people are after her sister too. It also stars Mike Colter (The Good Wife’s gangster Lamond Bishop), Ioan Gruffudd (Mr. Fantastic from the Fantastic Four film series) and Nestor Carbonell (Lost’s Richard Alpert). One of the more hyped original series.

MissingAshley Judd stars as a devoted single mom who, after her 18-year-old son disappears in Italy and takes it upon herself to travel to Europe and track him down. She’s a former CIA agent who will stop at nothing to bring her son home alive.

Home GameThis series is based on former NFL player Mark Schlereth, stars Funny or Die staple and Daily Show correspondent Rob Riggle, a retired NFL player and his wife Lisa (Constance Zimmer, brilliant everywhere including Entourage and like Saffron Burrows, Boston Legal) and daughters.

Don’t Trust the Bitch in Apartment 23 – stars Krysten Ritter (Veronica Mars, Breaking Bad) as the titular bitch and Dreama Walker (The Good Wife’s nasty Becca) as the sweet mid-western girl forced to live with her.

House of Lies – Veronica Mars HERSELF, Kristen Bell stars alongside Academy Award nominee Don Cheadle (who hasn’t had a regular TV job since Pickett Fences). The dark comedy from Showtime also stars Ben Lawson (ABC’s The Deep End), Dawn Olivieri (currently reporting Mystic Fall’s news on Vampire Diaries) and In Treatment Emmy winner Glynn Turman.

Exit StrategyEthan Hawke stars in this CIA procedural about a team deployed when missions go awry. Sounds like a long running CBS classic.

Family Album – A single-camera FOX sitcom about a dad who forces his family to bond. Not interested? Mike O’Malley (currently a regular on Glee) and Rachael Harris (Fat Actress, Notes from the Underbelly) are the parents.

Are You There Vodka? It’s Me Chelsea – Laura Prepon (That 70’s Show’s Donna) stars as a late 20’s Chelsea Handler in this series based on her book.

The Doctor – The anticipated return to TV of Christine Lahti (Chicago Hope and Jack & Bobby) as a doctor who reconnects with her adult children, including Eva Amurri (Californication) as her daughter, when she joins their practice. By Rina Mimoun (Everwood, Priviledged)

Playboy Laura Benanti (Eli Stone, Broadway’s recent Gypsy revival), Amber Heard (Zombieland, Pineapple Express and the upcoming Drive Angry 3D, pictured) Naturi Naughton (2010’s Fame remake) and Jenna Dewan-Tatum (as in Mrs. Channing Tatum his Step Up costar). It’s a period drama that takes place at a Chicago Playboy club in 1963.

Dallas – TNT’s Reboot of the long running CBS soap has original stars Patrick Duffy, Larry Hagman, Erin Gray and Pricilla Presley and are locked for the pilot and has cast Jordana Brewster (Mia Toretto from the Fast & Furious series), Julie Gonzalo (Veronica Mars, Eli Stone) and Jesse Metcalfe & Austin Henderson (from seasons 1 and 3 of Desperate Housewives respectively)

Smash – A show about the struggles of putting on a Marilyn Monroe based musical. Stars Debra Messing (Grace, of Will and..), Jack Davenport (Flash Forward) and Katherine McPhee (American Idol’s season 5 runner-up)

17th Precinct – A cop procedural set in the world of MAGIC! From the creator of the new Battlestar Galactica, Ron Moore, starring the West Wing’s Stockard Channing as the top magic cop.

Untitles Shonda Rhimes Project – Rhimes’ project about a professional fixer stars Ray’s Kerry Washington and Lost’s Desmond Hume, Henry Ian Cusick.

So what are you guys most excited for? For me it’s Wonder Woman, Dallas and Homeland.

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