For an actor who's in demand, there's probably a benefit to limited series as opposed to a TV pilot in the running to go to series, as the actor can take a major role without having to make a long-term commitment that might limit their availability for other projects. That may have been the draw for Carla Gugino when she signed on for USA's Political Animals, which aired last year, and who is now on board to star in M. Night Shyamalan's limited series Wayward Pines for Fox. The actor, whose recent TV credits includes a recurring role on New Girl, will play the former love interest and Secret Service partner to Matt Dillon's character.
Fox has Wayward Pines on deck for 2014. Based on Blake Crouch's book, Wayward Pines stars Matt Dillon as Ethan Burke, a Secret Service agent who arrives in Wayward Pines, ID determined to find two missing federal agents. Instead of getting answers, he only ends up finding more questions. The investigation pulls Ethan further away from his life as a husband and father as he tries to face the terrifying reality that he might not be getting out of this town alive.
Deadline says Gugino will play the role of Kate Hewson in the limited series. She's Ethan's former love interest and also his former partner at the Secret Service. She's now a resident of bucolic Wayward Pines, ID, which puts him back in Ethan's life when he comes to town. She's described as capable, loyal, fiery, blunt and fearless. And it sounds like there may still be a spark between the two reunited characters, amidst a murder mystery that's putting Ethan's life in danger.
Gugino has spent her career bouncing between film and television, with her earliest credits going back to the 80s (Troop Beverly Hills!) In the 90s, she appeared in Spin City and Chicago Hope. In the last decade or so, her credits include playing Lucille in Sin City and Sally Jupiter/Sil Spectre in Watchmen. She played the role of Vince's beautiful agent Amanda in Entourage and recurred as Abby Rhodes in Californication. As mentioned previously, she starred as Susan Berg in USA's limited series Political Animals, and her most recent TV role was a temporary love interest for Schmidt in New Girl. It'll be interesting to see what kind of chemistry she had with Dillon.
This is one more great piece of female casting for the series, which will also feature the great Melissa Leo, playing Nurse Pam, described as intense and unpredictable. But unlike Gugino's Kate, who sounds like she'll be an ally to Ethan, Leo's Pam will be a "deadly rival" to the character.
Wayward Pines joins 24: Live Another Day among the event series Fox has planned to air sometime in 2014. While the 24 project will have its own audience, I'll be interested to see how Wayward Pines does and wether or not we'll be seeing even more limited (one-season) series on network TV if these end up being successful.