'Downton Abbey' station eyes Jeremy Piven; Julie Benz goes Syfy


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Jeremy Piven is in negotiations to return to TV. ITV, the British television station that airs "Downton Abbey," is putting together a 10-episode drama series "Mr. Selfridge," which chronicles the life of flamboyant American businessman who launched the famous London department store Selfridge's. The show is set in 1909 London, so "Downton" fans should be chomping at the bit to see it. The show would premiere in 2013. [ Deadline]

Scottie Thompson ("NCIS") has been cast in USA's "Graceland," a drama focusing on a group of DEA, FBI and U.S. Customs agents learning to cooperate as they live in an undercover house in Southern California. Thompson will be a DEA agent dealing with a recently-wounded partner. [ TV Line]

"Buffy," "Angel" and "Dexter alum Julie Benz has signed on to star in the Syfy series "Defiance," which is a futuristic drama where humans and aliens live together on war-ravaged Earth. Ben plays Amanda Rosewater, a new mayor of a mining town who wants to keep piece in the city. Grant Bowler, Tony Curran, Jamie Murray and Stephanie Leonidas have also been cast. Syfy has also added Shane McRae to its pilot "Rewind," about time-traveling military operatives and civilian scientists looking to thwart a devastating terrorist attack. [ Deadline]

CBS pilot "Baby Big Shot" has cast Kyle MacLachlan ("Twin Peaks") as a managing partner at the Stark & Cohen law firm in this new legal drama that focuses on a street-smart woman who is up against Ivy League colleagues at her law firm. CBS has also added Matt Cook to the untitled Greg Berlanti comedy pilot about a man who realizes the love of his life is his long-time best friend, who is engaged. [ Deadline]

Showtime's "Ray Donovan" has added Steven Bauer. The show is about a "fixer" for the rich and famous of Los Angeles (played by Liev Schreiber). Bauer will play Avi, the right-hand man to the titular character. Newcomer Devon Bagby has also been cast as Ray's son Connor. [ Deadline]

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