Chris Egan of the short-lived NBC drama Kings will play Edgar Allan in Poe, a one-hour mystery for ABC. Tabrett Bethell, who made a splash on another ABC project, Legend of the Seeker, will play the female lead.
Poe is a period piece/mystery project following the titular character’s adventures around Boston in the 1840s. Egan and Bethell join Kevin McNally (Captain Jack’s first mate Mr. Gibbs in the Pirates of the Caribbean movies) as the only cast members announced thus far. Poe is shaping up to be a 19th-century version of ABC’s other crime-fighting novelist series, Castle, which also teams up a prolific writer with police to track down murderers.
Egan played Captain David Shepard in Kings, a high-concept political thriller transposing the biblical story of King David to modern times. (No points for guessing who Egan’s character is supposed to represent.) The show was well-received by critics, but failed to find an audience when it aired on NBC in 2009; the network ultimately canceled it in the middle of its summer run. Egan also had small roles in Eragon and Resident Evil: Extinction, as well as last year’s romance Letters to Juliet.
Bethell is an actress to watch. She turned heads as the warrior maiden Cara in Legend of the Seekers, and has worked on a few other small Australian projects. Her role is an investigative journalist named Sarah.
If the writers are trying to set up any sort of love interest they’ll have to bend history a bit – Edgar Allan Poe famously wed his own cousin when he was 26 and she was 13. Of course, Poe was considered notably unattractive and they cast a type-A hunk to play him, so why not go for broke?
More ABC TV Casting News
In other pilot news, Bruce Greenwood (Star Trek‘s Captain Pike) will play the lead in The River, an ABC thriller about a Bear Grills-esque TV explorer.
Finally, soap opera starlet Sherri Saum and Mad Men regular Abigail Spencer have been cast in Grace, an ABC drama set in the world of professional dance, written by Krista Vernoff of Grey’s Anatomy.
Poe still doesn’t have a time frame locked down, but expect to hear a series order for the fall if ABC executives like the pilot when they see it this summer.
Source: TV Line