Visibly more than his fellow Canadian collaborators, Jay Baruchel has retained his hometown adoration by selecting gigs set or filmed north of the border—“Cosmopolis”, “Goon”, and “Good Neighbors” to name a few—and now he’s set for a dual repeat with two projects in the works. Deadline reports Baruchel is locked as the lead in FX’s new comedy pilot “Man Seeking Woman," a hopeful new series based on writer Simon Rich’s book “The Last Girlfriend on Earth." The “This Is The End” actor will play a hopeless romantic who enters the brutal dating scene again following a break-up; production is set to begin in Toronto this spring with Jonathan Krisel directing a script from Rich.
Following that shoot, Baruchel is slated to return in June to his hometown of Montreal for a film adaptation of Stephen King’s short story “The Ten O’Clock People," which he will also produce. “Fright Night” and “Child’s Play” director Tom Holland wrote the script and will direct the tale of a smoker struggling to quit whose relapse triggers a new “They Live”-esque reality of monsters in authority positions. [THR]
If there was ever a screen presence to wholly dive into the role of “unhinged family black sheep," it’s Ben Mendelsohn, and now the “Animal Kingdom” actor has two new relations to play off in a new TV drama from Netflix. Sissy Spacek and Linda Cardellini have joined the untitled, 13-episode show as the mother and daughter, respectively, of a close-knit clan whose lives are uprooted by the return of Mendelsohn’s character. Kyle Chandler also stars. The series comes from the creators of FX’s “Damages," Todd A. Kessler, Daniel Zelman and Glenn Kessler, and should go before cameras soon as the rest of the cast fills up. [Deadline/THR]
The award-winning 2007 novel “The Book of Negroes” by Lawrence Hill is coming to the small screen via BET, and now the six-episode miniseries has added the pair of Lou Gossett Jr. and Cuba Gooding Jr. to the mix. Following the arduous journey towards freedom of Aminata Diallo, a woman kidnapped in South Africa and enslaved in North Carolina, the six-hour event also stars Jane Alexander, Aunjanue Ellis, and Lyriq Bent, and plans to film this week in South Africa and later in Nova Scotia. [Variety]
Cinemax is currently enjoying a dose of pulpy crime thriller fun with “Banshee," and their new pilot, “Blanco” starring Shiloh Fernandez, hopes to hit audiences just as well. The Juan Carlos Fresnadillo-directed show will also star the new cast members Franka Potente (“Run Lola Run”), Amaury Nolasco (“Prison Break”), and Elizabeth Rodriguez in the tale of Ruben (Fernandez), an informant who plays both sides of the law to his advantage. [Deadline]
Speaking of which, “Lost” actor Dominic Monaghan and Michael Nyqvist are set to play partners in the upcoming show “100 Code," created by Bobby Moresco of “Crash” fame and based on author Ken Bruens’ novel “Merrick”. It centers around Monaghan’s NYPD detective Tommy Conley, who then travels to Stockholm to team up with Nyqvist’s character to investigate a series of bizarre murders. So, “True Detective” in the Land of the Midnight Sun? We’ll see soon enough, as filming starts this May in Sweden. [Deadline]
Nick Cannon will reprise his role as Devon Miles in the (long awaited?) "Drumline" sequel "Drumline: A New Beat." VH1 is backing the production that "will focus on a new set of characters at a fictional New Orleans university. The new story will follow Dani Bolton, an upper-class Brooklyn girl who defies her parents in order to attend a college in Louisiana so she can join—and revitalize—their once-prominent drumline. Dani’s quest to become the first female section leader of the drumline in the school’s history will be hampered by upperclassmen (including her cousin, Tyree), her feelings for fellow band mate Jayven and the school’s crosstown rivals." No word yet on when production begin or who will take on the lead role in the female centered followup. [THR]
Lastly, all-around excellent thesp David Strathairn will continue his TV run after Syfy’s cancelled “Alphas.” He’ll play a co-lead in ABC’s drama pilot “Clementine,” which follows the titular female criminal who pursues her origins after she’s target by a group of zealots convinced she’s evil incarnate. Her role has yet to be cast, but Strathairn will play Henry, her father, and most likely (and thankfully) ground the supernatural narrative to the best of his considerable abilities. [Deadline]