CBS has definitely won the sweepstakes for best pilot casting this year.
The network – which has already lured actors like Robin Williams, Anna Faris, Jason Isaacs, Toni Collette and Josh Holloway – has cast Rainn Wilson in the leading role of Backstrom, a drama pilot that’s based on a Swedish detective series of same name about an overweight, offensive irascible cop as he tries and fails to change his self-destructive behavior. Wilson will play Det. Backstrom. Other cast members in the drama pilot from Hart Hanson, Leif G.W. Persson and Niclas Salomonsson include Dennis Haysbert as Det. John Almon and Kristoffer Polaha as Sgt. Peter Niedermayer.
Since NBC passed on Wilson’s spinoff of The Office dubbed The Farm, the funny man was blissfully up for grabs. He became one of a handful of most sought after actors this pilot season — that is, until CBS added him to its high-profile roster of stars for fall. Other actors nabbed by the Eye include Marg Helgenberger, Dylan McDermott, CCH Pounder, Rupert Grint, John Corbett and most interestingly, Brandon T. Jackson and Eddie Murphy – who will star in Shawn Ryan’s Beverly Hills Cop pilot.