TV Casting Call: Richard Dreyfuss Smokes WEEDS; Henry Ian Cusick in LAW & ORDER: SVU; Amy Madigan Mothers FRINGE; David Strathairn in ALPHAS

     July 7, 2010

A quartet of TV casting news is coming your way, beginning with a report that Amy Madigan — who recently appeared on Grey’s Anatomy and Law & Order — has been cast in a pivotal role on Fringe.  According to EW, the actress will play Olivia Dunham’s mother in at least four episodes beginning with the third season premiere this fall.  When the role was being cast, Olivia’s mother was described as lovely and completely devoted to her daughter.  The real question is whether she and Olivia will meet in the real world or in the crazy alternate universe.

Hit the jump for more casting additions to Weeds, Law & Order: SVU and SyFy’s action-adventure pilot Alphas.

henry_ian_cusick_01Next up, TV Guide reports that Henry Ian Cusick will follow up his fantastic turn as one of my favorite television characters on Lost with a stint on Law & Order: SVU.  Cusick will play a graphic designer named Erik Weber; while the actor is only being brought on for two episodes to start, it sounds like the role may turn into a potential love interest for Mariska Hargitay’s character Detective Olivia Benson, whose job has prevented her from finding romance since Bill Pullman’s turn on the series back in 2008.  Of course, executive producer Neal Baer only hints at the romance potential, “There might be some flirtation.  Erik meets Olivia when he comes to someone’s aid.  And then we’ll see how it goes.  Olivia is devoted to her job and knows that comes first.”

Showtime announced via press release today that Richard Dreyfuss, who is ever-present in cinematic history in films like Jaws and American Graffiti, will make a return to television after nearly a decade absence by guest starring in at least four episodes of Weeds.  Dreyfuss will play an unexpected character from Nancy Botwin’s (Mary-Louise Parker) past as she and her family are on the run from the Mexican FBI, police and mafia.  Dreyfuss is just one of many guest stars who will pop in this season along with Linda Hamilton, Peter Stomare and returning guest stars like Alanis Morissette and Jennifer Jason Leigh.  Dreyfuss hasn’t had a pivotal role in a TV series since he headlined The Education of Max Bickford on CBS.

Finally, SyFy announced via press release that David Strathairn (Good Night and Good Luck) has signed on to star in Alphas, an action-adventure pilot from writers Zak Penn (X-Men: The Last Stand) and Michael Karnow.  The proposed new series would follow a team of ordinary citizens who possess extraordinary and unusual mental skills.  Using physical feats and uniquely advanced mental abilities, this unlikely team takes the law into their own hands and uncovers what the CIA, FBI and Pentagon have not been able or willing to solve.  These gifted individuals must balance their quirky personalities and disparate backgrounds with their not always visible powers as they work to solve crimes, stop the ticking time bomb and catch the enemy.  Strathairn will play the Alphas team leader Dr.  Leigh Rosen who, despite his unconventional and eccentric behavior, is also cunning, manipulative and willing to bend the rules in pursuit of his objectives and in support of his team.  Sounds like SyFy might finally have some decent tricks up their sleeve.