Exclusive: Kristen Bell Returning to TV in Showtime Pilot House of Lies

OK, 2011 pilot season. You’ve got my attention.

Sources confirm to me exclusively that the supremely talented Kristen Bell is eying a return to the small screen in the buzzy Showtime pilot House of Lies.

The ex-Veronica Mars sleuth joins Don Cheadle (Hotel Rwanda) and Dawn Olivieri (Heroes) in the dark comedy, which revolves around dueling corporate management consulting firms. Bell will play Jeannie, a razor-sharp Brown grad who reluctantly finds herself attracted to her co-worker Marty (Cheadle).

Matthew Carnahan (Dirt) is spearheading the prospective series, an adaptation of Martin Kihn’s best-selling tell-all tome Lies: How Management Consultants Steal Your Watch and Tell You the Time.

As far as pilot castings go, this one is going to be tough to top.

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40 Comments
  1. Suzy Queen says:

    If this is true, I’m going to have to order Showtime! Huge Kristen Bell fan, she’s amazing!

  2. John says:

    Big Bell fan here, too, and happy to see her booking work. Though this is NOT good for my delusions about the return of Veronica Mars. (If she’s doing this, she can’t do it!)

    • meliot says:

      Why can’t she do both? If she does this it’s just 13 episodes, that gives her plenty of time to squeeze in a VM movie.

  3. Michael says:

    Oh, no! Now I’ve got to order Showtime!?

  4. PV says:

    Im glad she’s going to be playing a role with some hutzpah to it, she can’t do watered-down and dull (like When in Rome) its just sad and unbelievable.

    However, I do wish she’d come to a genre show….she’s prime material for that. And with the Whedon connection already established (not to mention her FanBoys movie) she could find a long and prosperous career with the nerd-crowd.

    • amy says:

      Yes, like Charisma Carpenter, Alexis Denisof, James Marsters and other people who haven’t exactly broken out into the mainstream. My point: Kristen Bell is smart enough to aim for the broadest, most successful career she can get, and IMHO she is talented enough to be a major star in TV or film. There’s no point in choosing the genre ghetto. Frankly, it chooses you.

      • rip van winkle says:

        what’s so great about the mainstream? this so called “genre ghetto” is so much better.

        • amy says:

          What’s better? The money, for one. The variety of work, for two. The slightly lower ratio of regular fans to crazy obsessives, for three. But I imagine most actors focus primarily on the money and the quality/variety of work. NOBODY wants to get stereotyped into one kind of part or one kind of market, though some people make the best of it after it happens. But Kristen Bell is right to resist it, and she’d be nuts not to take a top-quality mainstream media job because she’s hoping some new Joss Whedon show will come along for 13 episodes, four of which only appear on the DVD.

      • Sourabh says:

        Kristen Bell was the star of her own show though, so that kinda gave her a leg up over Carpenter, Denisof and Marsters, who didn’t have that much exposure outside of us Buffy/Angel fans.

        These days it’s nice to see Charisma Carpenter occasionally guest on Greek , and James Marsters on Hawaii Five-O.

        • sashay says:

          James has appeared on pretty much every science fiction show out there – Smallville, Caprica, Torchwood – I’m sure there are many others that I’m missing, out of bad memory or because I haven’t seen them. But I can guarantee that he’s played a complex character in every one, and many of them were highly successful.
          Compared to Kristin, who’s only been in one successful movie that I can think of – Forgetting Sarah Marshall.
          I’d argue his career is far more interesting, while she is usually typecast as the sweet young thing. (Except for Sarah Marshall).
          Alexis has guest starred on HIMYM many times (maybe because of his wife), played a recurring character on Dollhouse and does such a great job as a character actor that I may not have noticed him on other shows. Charisma also played recurring roles on Charmed, a lead on a TV movie, and probably took some time out to raise her child. So I wouldn’t consider their careers dead just because of the Joss connection.

  5. TV. Back where she belongs. Welcome back K.Bell, we’ve missed you!

  6. AA says:

    Yea this needs to get picked like NOW! love kristen bell!

  7. HoneyBee says:

    So… what’s gonna happen with Veronica Mars movie?

  8. brynna says:

    as exciting as it will be to see her on tv again…I WANT A VERONICA MARS MOVIE!

  9. @rolfenorman says:

    Would this be an appropriate time to campaign for a Veronica Mars movie? Anyway I’m happy for Kristen! I hope it gets picked up!

  10. sara says:

    SO excited!

  11. Summer says:

    I have to get Showtime now, which sucks, but that’s okay, because KBell is SO. WORTH. IT.

  12. Bee says:

    OMG. nearly fell off my chair. kristen bell? on my TV weekly again? getting good material (an assumption i’m making since it’s showtime)? i really hope this isn’t too good to be true cus it sounds awesome. i’ll watch kristen bell in anything. loveeee her always.

  13. eza says:

    Both Kristen Bell and Don Cheadle are excellent. But a show about ‘dueling corporate management consulting firms’? That does NOT sound interesting.

  14. JT says:

    So it seems she’s apparently not attached to that awful-sounding Munsters revamp by Bryan Fuller. THANK GOD!

  15. shanemd says:

    Too bad. love Ms. Bell, but hate the generic crap on Showtime.

  16. Sheldon says:

    This is welcome news.

    I have no idea why Bell has been doing all those low-quality comedies that requrie her to be consistently humiliated, when she’s so good at playing smarter, tougher [but no less feminine] characters.

    It’s like she became famous for Veronica Mars so she decided never to play such a juicy role again – or casting directors decided to only offer her the crap she’s done since [I don't know how much was her and how much was casting, but either way, it's a shame].

    If this manages to go to series, I’ll be watching.

    • George Moore says:

      I agree with you 100 percent. Like you I’d like to see her in her Veronica Mars role.
      She’s very good in action roles.

  17. Jo says:

    I think I just died of happiness.

  18. Elle says:

    Eh. Not a KB fan at all. Her voice is annoying and she seems to be only good at playing small, whiny, yappy characters.

  19. Michael says:

    Pumped to see KBell back on TV but dissapointed this means no Veronica Mars projects or Munster’s which would have been terrific I think!

  20. yay says:

    Veronica Mars ain’t coming back people!!!! Get over it, I painfully did. Anyway I hear Kristen Bell, ‘lies’ and Showtime in the same sentence and that makes me deliriously happy. Welcome back KB! Your witty and adorable little self has been missed!

  21. Anita says:

    I love the idea of KBell in a dark comedy that also stars Don Cheadle and other talented people. The only downside is now I freaking have to order SHOWTIME now. I’ll do it for Kristen though, only I’m waiting for this pilot to be picked up first!

  22. Lou says:

    I’m in the minority here but I can’t stand Kristen, I usually enjoy Showtime shows but I will pass on this one.

  23. Kacey says:

    Love Kristin Bell and Don Cheadle is such an excellent actor. They’ve got the talent. If the scripts are good, it could be a really good show.

  24. Saracen Riggins says:

    I love Don Cheadle and ESPECIALLY Kristen Bell. But I’m probably in the minority of people who aren’t thrilled about Showtime shows. I’d rather see her on network TV or at least a non-premium cable channel.

  25. AlistairCrane says:

    Meh. It’s not Veronica Mars so I don’t care.

  26. Doug-H says:

    Good choice to be on Showtime which continues to have quality stuff… Episodes is the latest great new show on that network… Hey Joey!!! The thing is that he’s pretty good… VM’s dad is now back in Canada on his show (Flashpoint) which is the #1 show up there and does well in this country… only bummer is that it’s eventually moving to ION which for some reason is not on Time Warner where I am.. Maybe by the time it moves to ION, it’ll be here…

  27. Ben Phelps says:

    She’s been wasted in all of her movies (except Forgetting Sarah Marshall), and it would be great to see her in a weekly starring role. Hope this works out!

  28. Bob says:

    Those pay channel b******s! Not only will I have to order Starz this summer for Torchwood, now I might have to order Showtime, too. I already have HBO for Boardwalk Empire. Hey, wait a minute…it’s all really the fault of the “free” network executives! They can’t seem to get behind quality shows, so they end up on pay channels.

  29. erin says:

    I love both actors but he is in his 40’s and she is in her 20’s,I don’t see it working.

  30. Jessica says:

    I am happy to see Kristen on TV again, loved all of her movies but Pulse with Ian Somerhalder was my favorite. Dark and Scary and she was amazing in it. Can’t wait to see this show.

  31. Paula says:

    Thought this was going to be called Doll House?

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