Mary MacCormack, Dennis Haysbert Cast in Network Pilots

Dennis Haysbert and Mary MacCormack (Photos: Getty Images)

Pilot season continues in Hollywood with more stars lined up for key roles in prospective shows.

The latest names to come out of the pilot process: “In Plain Sight’s” Mary MacCormack and Dennis Haysbert, former “24” president, star of “The Unit” and voice of Allstate insurance.

According to various stories on the show biz Web sites this weekend, MacCormack will take a stab at comedy with a starring role in a prospective NBC sitcom called “Welcome to the Family,” co-starring comedian Mike O’Malley.

MacCormack will play O’Malley’s wife in this sitcom about “a white family and a Latino family [who] are bonded together by their children who fall in love followed quickly by an unplanned pregnancy,” reports here.

The Deadline story notes that MacCormack — formerly the star of the USA Network drama series about the federal witness-protection program, “In Plain Sight” — starred in a comedy pilot a year ago that went nowhere. Evidently, she wants to do comedy.

Meanwhile, Haysbert’s been cast in the lead role of a prospective new detective drama for CBS. In the show — titled “Backstrom” and created by “Bones” producer Hart Hanson — Haysbert’s character, Everett Backstrom, is described in this Hollywood Reporter story as “overweight, offensive, irascible” and “self-destructive” — flaws that he is trying to rectify. We happen to think this sounds like a great idea for a show.

But, as always with these prospective pilots, many are produced but few are chosen. We won’t know if either of these two shows — or any of the many others we have been reporting on lately — will get picked up until all the network’s unveil their fall lineups in May.

The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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