LOS ANGELES—Jennifer Esposito, who starred on "Related" this season, has moved into the lead role on the FOX comedy pilot "More, Patience," which probably isn't a good sign for the WB series.
The latest round of pilot casting also finds Sean Astin, fresh off dying on "24," switching gears to join an ABC comedy, former "Desperate Housewives" villain Roger Bart in CBS' "My Ex-Life" and Emmy winner Cloris Leachman in an NBC comedy, the showbiz trade papers report. Lindsay Sloane ("The Stones") has also landed a role, on The CW's pilot "She Said, He Said."
Esposito, who plays Ginnie Sorelli on "Related," replaces Alicia Witt in "More, Patience," a comedy about a therapist who's struggling with her own life. Her commitment to "Related" would come first if that show, which ended its season last month, makes the jump to The CW in the fall. It's very much on the bubble at the moment.
Astin, meanwhile, has signed onto ABC's "The Guys," which would be his first regular role in a TV comedy. He'll play one of five men who become friends after their kids have a playdate at his house. The "Lord of the Rings" star recently wrapped a recurring part on "24" as the tightly wound CTU official Lynn McGill.
Multiple Emmy winner Leachman ("Mary Tyler Moore," "Malcolm in the Middle") has taken a role in NBC's untitled Chris Sheridan comedy. She'll play the mother of two brothers (Craig Bierko, Eddie McClintock) -- one a thief, one a G-man -- who live next door to one another.
At CBS, Bart will star opposite Tom Cavanagh and Gillian Vigman in "My Ex-Life," a comedy about two divorced couples handling their breakups in very different ways. In addition to "Desperate Housewives," Bart's credits include "The Producers" and "The Stepford Wives."
Finally, Sloane will play the "She" in "She Said, He Said," a romantic comedy told from both the woman's (Sloane) and man's (Nick Lachey) point of view. Prior to "The Stones," Sloane starred in The WB's "Grosse Pointe" and the movie "The In-Laws."