Ellie Kemper and Dave Annable land leads in NBC comedy pilots

ellie-kemper-dave-annable-pilots-gi.jpgA pair of NBC comedy pilots have cast lead actors, one of them from an existing NBC show.

Ellie Kemper of "The Office" will star in "Brenda Forever," closing a deal after a week of heavy speculation that she'd take the part. Dave Annable ("666 Park Avenue") will play one of the title roles in "Joe, Joe and Jane."

"Brenda Forever" intertwines stories from the title character's life as an awkward 13-year-old and the present day, when she's a quirky grown-up played by Kemper. Andrew Leeds and David Lampson wrote the pilot and are executive producing with Peter Tolan ("Rescue Me"), Matt Tarses ("Scrubs") and Michael Wimer.

"Joe, Joe and Jane" centers on a children's book author who's caught in the middle of his needy best friend and co-author, also named Joe (Annable), and his equally demanding wife ( Sally Pressman of "Army Wives"). It's loosely based on the lives of writers-EPs Joe Port and Joe Wiseman ("New Girl").

More pilot casting:

- Oscar nominee Jacki Weaver ("Silver Linings Playbook") and "Rescue Me" alum Jack McGee have joined the cast of CBS' comedy "The McCarthys," about a boisterous Boston family. McGee will play the patriarch of the family a high-school basketball coach, and Weaver will play his wife.

- CBS' "Beverly Hills Cop" has added David Denman ("The Office") to its cast. He'll play Beverly Hills PD Detective Brad Fullmer, the analogue to Judge Reinhold's character in the movies.

- Veteran actor Keith David (late of "The Cape") has signed on to FOX's comedy "Enlisted," from "Cougar Town" co-creator Kevin Biegel. He'll play a sergeant major on an Florida army base where three brothers are stationed.

- Mercedes Masohn ("The Finder," "Chuck") is one of three people cast in ABC's comedy "Mixology," about the ups and downs of people at a bar. The others are Blake Lee ("Parks and Recreation") and Andrew Santino.

- Stephanie Beatriz, who played Sofia Vergara's sister on a recent "Modern Family" episode, has joined Andy Samberg and Terry Crews in their FOX comedy pilot from "Parks and Rec" writers Mike Schur and Dan Goor. [ Hollywood Reporter]
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