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Pilot Casting: Alyson Hannigan Joins CBS Comedy, Octavia Spencer Lands Role in FOX Soap

February 15, 2014, 2:29 am GMT

The 'How I Met Your Mother' star will stay on the Eye with Ben Affleck and Matt Damon-produced 'More Time With Family', while the 'Help' actress is cast in 'Red Band Society'.



Alyson Hannigan has nabbed her first starring gig following her nine-season run on "How I Met Your Mother". The Lily depicter on the long-running sitcom is cast in a female lead role for comedy pilot "More Time With Family", which is executive produced by Ben Affleck and Matt Damon.

Hannigan joins Tom Papa in the multi-cam comedy. She will play Cindy Rizzo, the wife of Papa's character, who is a husband and father that makes a career change in order to spend more time with his family. Cindy is described as an amazing mother who runs the house like a drill sergeant and has endless energy. She's tasked with trying to teach Tom how to handle the family.

The casting news came on the same day "HIMYM" had its final table-read. "Today we are having our last ever HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER table read," Hannigan tweeted on Friday, February 14. "Carter [Bays] & Craig [Thomas] are trying to rip my heart out on Valentine's Day."

In other pilot development, Octavia Spencer lands a starring role in FOX's soap "Red Band Society". It's a dark dramedy based on acclaimed Spanish series about a group of teenagers who meet as patients in the children's wing of a hospital and become unlikely allies and friends.

The Academy Award-winning actress will star as Nurse Jackson, a "tough customer who's an excellent, intuitive nurse and doesn't put up with any crap from anyone. Nurse Jackson refuses to reveal any emotions on the job, believing that anything she feels is nothing compared to the real pain and trauma her young patients are going through. But despite her formidable behavior, Nurse Jackson is profoundly sympathetic to the kids on her ward, and can be unexpectedly nice to them."

Margaret Nagle ("Boardwalk Empire") will write the script and executive produce the project along with Steven Spielberg, Justin Falvey, Darryl Frank and Sergio Aguero. The gig will be Spencer's series TV debut after NBC decided not to move forward with "Murder, She Wrote" reboot, in which she was attached to star.

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