USA has cast former How To Make It In America star Bryan Greenberg and newcomer Stephanie Sigman, the breakout star of acclaimed Mexican movie Miss Bala, as the two leads of its untitled hourlong pilot from Numbers creators Nicolas Falacci & Cheryl Heuton, Universal Cable Prods. and Doug Liman and Dave Bartis’ Hypnotic. Like most USA pilots, the project based on an Elmore Leonard short story was originally picked up as cast-contingent. Greenberg and Sigman are lifting the contingency. Filming on the pilot will likely begin in January in Miami with Kevin Bray (Walking Tall, USA’s Suits) set to direct.
The Falacci/Heuton project, originally developed for NBC last season, is based on a short story from Leonard‘s anthology When The Women Come Out To Dance, which also features the short story Fire In The Hole that FX’s series Justified is based on. It centers on a Miami businessman (Greenberg) who, contemplating a run for political office, tries to increase his chances of being elected by marrying a Colombian woman (Sigman) who is on the run from her troubled past. What starts as a marriage of convenience quickly escalates into much more as his new wife proves to be more resourceful at “fixing” any problem the corrupt South Miami political scene throws at her husband. The show will emphasize the sexual chemistry between the two leads, something USA has explored to some extent on Burn Notice though its brand was built mainly on buddy two-lead shows like White Collar, Suits, Royal Pains and Psych. “We’ve got great pairings on some of our series but not many where the romantic relationship is front and center like on this show,” USA’s EVP Bill McGoldrick said at the time of the project’s cast-contingent pilot pickup.
Falacci, Heuton, Liman and Bartis are exec producing the pilot. Leonard’s granddaughter, Megan Freels, who brought the project to Falacci and Heuton, and her producing partner Melanie Donkers, are consulting producers. This marks the American TV debut for Mexican-born Sigman, who became a hot commodity following the critical success of Miss Bala, Mexico’s foreign-language Oscar entry this year. Greenberg is with Gersh and Ellen Meyer Management.