Damon Wayans

Damon Wayans

Damon Wayans will star in a comedy pilot for ABC -- just not the one he was developing earlier this season.

Wayans, who starred in the network's "My Wife and Kids" from 2001-05, has joined a pilot called "Never Better." His signing lifts a cast contingency on the project, and he'll also serve as an executive producer, the showbiz trade papers report.

Also at ABC, Matt Long, Ben Lawson and Norbert Leo Butz have joined David Hemingson's legal drama and Piper Perabo has been cast in "Prince of Motor City." HBO, meanwhile, has added two actresses to its pilot "Suburban Shootout."

"Never Better" is based on a BBC2 series about a recovering alcoholic who tries to be a good father and husband, not always successfully. Wayans will exec produce the pilot with writer Dave Walpert ("Miss Guided," "Sports Night"), Warren Littlefield and John Heyman.

Prior to the writers' strike, Wayans and his "My Wife and Kids" partner Don Reo received a script commitment from ABC for another comedy. That project has apparently gone by the wayside.

The Hemingson drama will star Long ("Jack & Bobby," "Ghost Rider") as a law school graduate who's recruited to join a boutique law firm. Butz (a Tony winner for "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels") will play the man who lures Long's character to the firm, while Lawson will play an associate there.

"Prince of Motor City," meanwhile, has cast Perabo ("The Prestige," "Coyote Ugly") as the ex-girlfriend of the main character, a Harvard professor who moves home to Detroit to help run his family's car company.

Over at HBO, Rachael Harris ("Notes from the Underbelly") and Kerri Kenney ("Reno 911") have joined "Suburban Shootout." They will play residents of a seemingly idyllic suburb that's actually controlled by rival gangs of armed-to-the-teeth housewives.