Los Angeles Times

Pilots: O'Mara Is ABC's 'Marlowe'

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Jason O'Mara is stepping into the gumshoes of Humphrey Bogart and Dick Powell, taking on the character of Philip Marlowe.

The former "Agency" and "In Justice" star will play Raymond Chandler's detective in a pilot at ABC. The Alphabet has also picked up a couple of new projects, the showbiz trade papers report, while at NBC, Adam Arkin has joined the cast of "Life."

ABC's "Marlowe" pilot is at least the third TV project about the oft-filmed private eye. The Alphabet had a 1959-60 series starring Philip Carey as the cynical Marlowe, and Powers Boothe played Marlowe in an HBO show from the early 1980s. (Universal Pictures is also reportedly developing a feature-film franchise based on the character, with "Children of Men" star Clive Owen attached.)

The current ABC effort, written by Greg Pruss and Carol Wolper, will be set in present-day Los Angeles. The two scribes are executive producing with Sean Bailey ("Matchstick Men," "Project Greenlight"), Dan Blatt and Daniel Pipski.

O'Mara has had a recurring part on "Men in Trees" this season. His credits also include "Band of Brothers" and the forthcoming "Resident Evil: Extinction."

Elsewhere, Arkin ("Chicago Hope") will star opposite Damian Lewis in NBC's "Life," about a cop (Lewis) who rejoins the force after spending time in jail for a wrongful conviction. Arkin will play an inside trader who befriended Lewis' character in prison and now rents a room from him.

On the pickup front, ABC has ordered a comedy called "Nice Girls Don't Get the Corner Office" from Josh Sternin and Jeff Ventimilia ("That '70s Show"). Inspired by a how-to book of the same name, the show will focus on a woman trying to hack her way through the corporate jungle.

ABC has also greenlit a comedy from Gabe Sachs and Jeff Judah ("Freaks and Geeks," "life as we know it") about friends who are competing to make partner at a law firm.

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