Pilot Scoop: No Ordinary Family's Julie Benz Joins CBS' Untitled Supernatural-Tinged Drama

Julie Benz has joined her No Ordinary Family co-star Michael Chiklis in booking a fall pilot.

Benz has joined CBS’ untitled Susannah Grant supernatural medical drama which, like NOF, has high-concept elements. Jonathan Demme is directing the hourlong project, which centers on Michael (Patrick Wilson), an ultra-competitive surgeon whose life is changed forever when his ex-wife (Jennifer Ehle), a doctor running a free clinic, dies and begins teaching him what life is all about from the hereafter. Benz will play Michael’s sister, an unfocused and overwhelmed single mother with a huge heart.

Benz co-starred on Showtime’s Dexter and recurred on ABC’s Desperate Housewives before she was cast as the female lead in NOF last year. The show’s star, Chiklis, last week signed on to topline another CBS pilot, the comedy Vince Uncensored. Both are in second position to the ABC superhero drama, which has struggled in the ratings and is unlikely to see a second season.

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  1. Ben Guest says:

    Jennifer Ehle AND Julie Benz, this better get picked up.

  2. AlistairCrane says:

    I hope this show gets picked up. It’s a shame that her new show NOF appears to be getting cancelled a year and a half after being fired from Dexter. I wish Julie success!

    • John Berggren says:

      She wasn’t fired. She left to advance the story.

      • AlistairCrane says:

        Benz didn’t choose to leave. She was fired.

      • Flip says:

        Doesn’t matter if it was to “advance the story”. Bottom line is, Julie was let go.

      • Scott says:

        Each season of Dexter is based on a different book about Dexter. Her character dies in the book. So even if she wasn’t “fired”, she would have had no screen time. She was dead.

        • AlistairCrane says:

          Do you even read the books? Rita Morgan is alive and well in all of them.

          • Scott says:

            LOL Ok, I apologize. The latest book is seriously back logged in my “to read” and I was extremely misled about it’s nature. A fellow Dexter fan of mine watches the seasons and then reads the book. After putting the screws to him, he admitted he just “assumed” that the book was the same. He is usually pretty reliable. Oops, oh well.

    • luvprue1 says:

      I like the show “No ordinary family”,and I thought it was a very good and interesting show. ABC do not really give shows a chance to find their target audience, with all the switching times slots, breaks and reruns,as well as airing other shows (football, basketball,award shows) in it’s place. People going to lose interest.

  3. AlistairCrane says:

    P.S. I like that Julie’s playing a character who seems somewhat similar to Rita. It’s easier to buy her as a stressed single mom than a brilliant scientist with teenage children and a husband who looks like Michael Chiklis.

    • Master_K says:

      …I would buy her as a vampire!

    • Shania says:

      That was my thought, the character seems just too much like Rita. I liked Rita, but I’d prefer her to do something different. She was awesome as Darla on Buffy & Angel. I’d like to see her play a complex evil kind of character, not go back to the weak confused woman. Too many of those types on TV already!

  4. Lisa says:

    How did I miss that Patrick Wilson was shooting a pilot?! And now JB is in it? Pick up, please.

  5. Steve says:


  6. Rick says:

    To bad she could not stick it out on Desperate Housewives. She was so hot on that show. None of the housewives came even close to looking as good.

    • Shania says:

      Stick it out? Like most roles on that show, the part was badly underwritten and beneath her skills. Hope this one challenges her more.

  7. Molly says:

    Disappointing to hear about NOF; I really liked the show.

  8. Bob says:

    Her and Chiklis getting other shows. This isn’t boding well for the renewal of NOF. Bummer. That was my favorite new show this season.

  9. bhm1304 says:

    “No Ordinary Family” was destroyed because its leads had ZERO chemistry and the young cast was miserably awful. If this show had Autumn Reeser and Romany Malco as the leads – (and given Romany Malco back some of the swagger he had so long ago on “Weeds” and which has been pounded out of him in most roles he has been given since) and no kids, this show might have worked. The episode with Lucy Lawless and Tricia Helfer (the best episode of the series), both much stronger actresses than Benz, made it pretty crystal clear that Benz just wasn’t capable of carrying the female lead on this show. When every single actress on the show, be it Lawless, Helfer, Reeser, or Rebecca Mader, or Amy Acker is better than the lead, you probably cast the wrong female lead. Chiklis and Helfer showed more chemistry in one episode than Chiklis and Benz did in the entire series. Stephen Collins was another great part of this show but he was pushed so far back in the corner of most episodes because of the stupid kids. Chiklis just never seemed to care, he was just picking up a check.

    • Shania says:

      Doesn’t mean she was a bad actress, just that her part was badly written and the guest stars (whom I’m fans of by the way), had more of a challenge. She’s been in scenes with Amy before on Angel, and trust me, both equally held their own.
      As for chemistry with Chiklis, well, sometimes you have it with another actor and sometimes you don’t. He’s a good actor but far from sexy, and they don’t mesh well together as the leads. Julie had fantastic chemistry with David Boreanaz, and I think he described her as the best kisser on Buffy. Think that’s one reason why An Ordinary Family never clicked for me – there was no magic between the actors.

  10. pauline says:

    No Ordinary Family and The Cape are cancelled, even if it’s not official. Bad season for super hero shows!

    I hope Summer Glau will find soon a new show that will last more than one or two seasons.

    • jonathan says:

      Summer’s problem is simply she has been typecast as a “sci-fi genre goddess”, so she gets offered sci-fi shows. And she likes sci-fi so she takes them. But sci-fi on BROADCAST networks rarely work. She should do sci-fi only on CABLE networks where they have a better chance to survive. She should also switch out from sci-fi to an action show or drama for her next choice. Something like the role Gabrielle Anwar has on Burn Notice would be perfect.

      What would be the best role/genre for Summer? See what others say and give your opinion on http://summerglauwiki.com/forum/24-103-1

      • Shania says:

        Mmmmgood point. I love sci-fi so I’m happy seeing her on those types of shows. Maybe part of the problem is that you don’t see many women doing action outside of that genre. I was thinking that Burn Notice is one of the few shows I’ve seen where a petite woman could logically hold her own without possessing supernatural powers – because she’s an expert in ammunitions and explosives.
        I really love Gabrielle in BN but Summer would have been incredible as well.

  11. Paul says:

    The character of Rita does not die in the Dexter books at least not yet. Only the first season of Dexter follows a vague outline of the first book. The seasons after that have no real relation to the series at all. The writing of the series called for Rita to die, so yes Julie lost her job to serve the show. She wasn’t fired.

    • AlistairCrane says:

      She was absolutely fired! That’s what it’s called when your bosses call you in and tell you you’re out of a job. FIRED.

      • Shania says:

        No, it’s more like being laid-off. You haven’t done anything wrong, you’re just not needed anymore.

        • AlistairCrane says:

          Her employment was terminated. That’s what being fired is. God, why is it so hard for some people to wrap their heads around this?!

  12. jenny says:

    I agree. I gave NOF a chance and it was just bad. Michael and Julie had NO CHEMISTRY whatsoever. Kids were unappealing. THe whole family dynamic didn’t work. The show had potential, just really bad casting. I find it amazing how Julie finds work so quickly. I hope she finds some well deserved success.

  13. Angel says:

    Great!!! Now that i found i show i liked ABC is canceling it!! to think i just spent 3 hours catching up w it online!!! Lol bummer! This is sad!!

  14. William Cole says:

    It’s disappointing to see good shows–shows I like–cancelled season after season. NOF was one show that I watched as well as many of my friends.

    Do they take into account into account the online viewership?? I don’t have a TV and made for television thing I watch is hulu.com, crackle.com or veetle.com. I got rid of my TV when they did the digital changeover.