TVLine Items: 'Unabomber' Scoop, Katie Couric Back at CBS and More

Michael Nouri as Bob Guccione

Michael Nouri is turning the page in his career.

The Damages alum is set to play Penthouse founder Bob Guccione Sr. in Discovery Channel’s forthcoming ‘Unabomber’ series Manifesto, TVLine has learned exclusively. Guccione famously offered to publish the manifesto written by Ted “Unabomber” Kaczynski (played by Paul Bettany).

Additionally, Ben Weber (Secret Life of the American Teenager) has joined the cast of the Greg Yaitanes-helmed project as Andy Genelli, the former head of the Unabomomber Task Force. 

Ready for more of today’s newsy nuggets? Well…

* Former CBS Evening News anchor Katie Couric is returning to the network as an exec producer on an hour-long drama pilot about an elite team of hate crime investigators. The potential series — which is in consideration for the 2016-17 TV season — is from writer Jenny Lumet (Rachel Getting Married) and fellow EPs  David Marshall Grant, Alex Kurtzman and Heather Kadin.

* AT&T Audience Network’s Mr. Mercedes has added Ann Cusack (Private Practice), Scott Lawrence (Rectify) and Robert Stanton to David E. Kelley’s adaptation of the Stephen King detective novel, playing Olivia Trelawney, Detective Peter Dixon and Anthony “Robi” Frobisher, respectively.

* Outlander has cast Gary Young (The Shannara Chronicles) and Charlie Hiett in the Starz series’ upcoming third season. Young will play Mr. Willoughby, a Chinese exile who becomes Jamie’s companion in Edinburgh. Hiett will play Capt. Thomas Leonard, who finds himself in charge of a British ship after illness ravages the vessel.

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