The untitled drama from Todd A. Kessler, Glenn Kessler and Daniel Zelman brings Close back to the cable network on which she recently appeared in the cop drama "The Shield." Sony TV (which also has a hand in "The Shield") is attached to the new pilot.
Bryne will play the central character Ellen Parsons, "a beautiful, self-possessed attorney fresh out of law school who lands her dream job working for Patty Hughes (Close), America's foremost high-stakes litigator," the trade mag describes.
Set in New York, the drama will also feature Donovan as "Hughes' senior legal associate and most trusted adviser," and Ivanek as "a Southern legal war horse, Hughes' opposing attorney in a major case that would play out during the show's first season."
Byrne starred on stage in La Dispute and The Three Sisters at her hometown Sydney Theatre Company before reaching the U.S. in such films as "Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones," "Troy," "Wicker Park," "Casanova" and "Marie Antoinette."
Close won three Tony Awards for her performances in Sunset Boulevard, Death and the Maiden and The Real Thing. The actress, known for such movies as "Fatal Attraction," "Dangerous Liaisons" and the Mel Gibson "Hamlet," also appeared onstage in The Play What I Wrote, Benefactors, The Crucifer of Blood, Rex and Barnum — for which she earned her first Tony nomination. She starred in TV versions of South Pacific (opposite Harry Connick, Jr. in 2001) and The Lion in Winter (with Patrick Stewart in 2003). Donovan last appeared on the stage in the Los Angeles Geffen Playhouse run of Rabbit Hole and trod the Broadway boards previously in Amy's View, Picnic and Off-Broadway's Lobby Hero. He is known to TV audiences for his turn on "The O.C."
Ivanek is a three-time Tony Award nominee — most recently for his turn in The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial. The actor, seen on TV in "24" and "Oz," also played on Broadway in The Pillowman, The Glass Menagerie, Two Shakespearean Actors, Loot, Brighton Beach Memoirs, The Survivor and Off-Broadway in Blue/Orange, A Map of the World and Cloud 9.
Allen Coulter will direct the pilot that plans to begin production in February.