Today in (non-Oscar) show business news: Everyone's favorite fake FBI agent might soon be back on American TV, Michael Jackson's son continues his professional development, and Maya Rudolph wants to do a variety show.
Brace yourself, nerds: Your beloved Agent Scully may be returning to American series television. Yes, Gillian Anderson, who fled to England after The X-Files ended and has only returned to our shores for the odd installment Masterpiece Theater or indie movie, has signed on to costar in an NBC pilot. Funnily enough, the show is about an FBI agent, but alas, Anderson isn't playing her. Rachael Taylor, late of 666 Park Avenue, will be playing that role, while Anderson is her estranged sister, the CEO of a huge conglomerate. The two reunite when Anderson's daughter is kidnapped along with the president's son, all of which brings in a Secret Service agent who's having one hell of a first day on the job. So it's a busy, complicated Washington action thriller that's also "emotionally charged." Which is good, because it would be weird if people were running around trying to find their daughter/niece and the president's son and were just like "Eh." The situation should be charged with emotions. Anyway, welcome back to TV, Gillian Anderson! Guess houses in the Cotswolds don't pay for themselves. [Deadline]
Speaking of TV gigs, Christine Lahti has just booked a role on the, uh, Beverly Hills Cop pilot on, um, CBS. Yeah. She'll be playing Judge Reinhold. No, no, I kid. She'll be playing the police captain who works with Axel Foley, who is being played by Tropic Thunder's Brandon T. Jackson. This is actually something of a drama, seeing as it's from Shawn Ryan, who created The Shield. So... good for Christine Lahti. Good to be working, working to be good. [Entertainment Weekly]
Maya Rudolph will likely soon be freed from the ever-unfolding disaster that is the Up All Night retooling, leaving her to pursue other projects. She's already turned down a bunch of pilots, five by Deadline's count, and is now looking to do some kind of variety show. You know, with sketches and singing and all that business. Which could be wonderful! Lots of Maya Rudolph doing lots of different things sounds great. But, uh, would a variety show really work that well, here in the late 1990s? I mean, it's almost the year 2000, I'm just not sure a variety show is where it's at these days. But it seems a few networks are interested, so maybe they know something we don't. The important thing is that people want to employ Maya Rudolph. That's all that really matters here. [Deadline]
Ooh, this is intriguing. Jamie Bell, one-time Billy Elliot who has now grown up to be a dapper gentleman, has been cast on the AMC pilot Turn. That's the Revolutionary War-set one about "a band of young soldiers and civilians who come together to form America's first top-secret spy ring and help turn the tide against the British." Bell, a Brit, will play a cabbage farmer from Long Island. Seriously! He's a cabbage farmer named Abraham who lives on Long Island with his wife and young son. He gets caught smuggling cabbage — that sounds like a euphemism for some sort of sex act, doesn't it? "Those two are totally smuggling cabbage" — and is forced to spy for the Colonials. This could be good! I mean, probably not the cabbage part, let's hope they don't focus too much on the cabbage, but everything else sounds in intriguing. And yes, we wouldn't mind smuggling Jamie Bell's cabbage, but that's neither here nor there. The point is, Jamie Bell might soon be on American series television, and that can't be a bad thing, can it? [The Hollywood Reporter]