Pilot News: Sense8 Vet Heads to L.A., Taye Diggs Coaches Football and More

Brian J. Smith L.A. Confidential

Sense8 alum Brian J. Smith is following in Guy Pearce’s footsteps.

Smith will star opposite Justified vet Walton Goggins in CBS’ L.A. Confidential adaptation, our sister site Deadline reports.

The potential series, which is based on James Ellroy’s classic noir novel, follows three homicide detectives, a female reporter and a Hollywood actress whose paths intersect during the pursuit of a sadistic serial killer in 1950s Los Angeles. Smith will play Ed Exley — Pearce’s role in the 1997 movie of the same name — who is described as an ambitious cop determined to make detective.

In other pilot casting news:

* Taye Diggs (Private Practice) will co-star in The CW’s untitled football drama as coach to a teen from South Central L.A. who is recruited to play for good ol’ Beverly Hills High, per The Hollywood Reporter.

* Lea Thompson (Switched at Birthwill play a mid-western mom in Fox’s culture-clash comedy Our People.

* Warren Christie (Chicago Fire) and Grace Van Dien (Greenhouse Academy) have been cast in NBC’s ensemble drama The Village, about the residents of a Manhattan apartment building whose lives are intertwined. Christie will portray an ex-special forces operative who lost his leg, while Van Dien’s character, burgeoning artist and activist Katie, is the independent child of a single mother.

* Nishi Munshi (The Originals) has landed a role in CBS’ Pandas in New York, a comedy about a family of Indian doctors who embark on a project to arrange their youngest son’s life. Munshi’s orthopedic surgeon is like a second parent to her siblings.

* Josh Randall (Ten Days in the Valley) and Vannessa Vasquez (East Los High) have joined the ABC cop drama Safe Harbor. Randall will play partner to Lynn Collin’s rookie, while Vasquez will portray an officer whose brother is running with a dangerous gang.

* Amirah Vann (Underground) will star in ABC’s untitled drama as one of five African-American sisters, all of whom are officers in the NYPD.