Former ‘The Walking Dead’ Star Sarah Wayne Callies Joins NBC Pilot in a Lead Role

Former The Walking Dead star Sarah Wayne Callies, who played Lori Grimes between the zombie drama’s first and third seasons, is among four cast in NBC pilot Council of Dads, Variety reports.

Callies boards the drama in a lead role as pregnant OB/GYN Robin Perry, the mother/stepmother to four children between the ages of 7 and 21. Per Variety:

Based on Bruce Feiler’s memoir of the same name, the show follows Scott Perry and his family, whose lives are thrown into upheaval when he gets a potentially terminal diagnosis. Facing his mortality, he and his wife, Robin, assemble a unique group of carefully chosen friends to support his family and guide them through the ups and downs of life’s many challenges.

Callies is joined by Blue Chapman, Michele Weaver (Love Is_), and J. August Richards (Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.) in series regular roles.

Tony Phelan (Grey’s Anatomy) and Joan Rater (Madam Secretary) will write and produce under their Midwest Livestock Productions banner for Universal Television.

Also on board as executive producers are Jerry Bruckheimer (CSI: Crime Scene Investigation), Jonathan Littman (Lucifer), and KristieAnne Reed (CSI: Cyber) for Jerry Bruckheimer Television.

Aside from Lori Grimes — late wife of Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) and mother to Carl (Chandler Riggs) and Judith Grimes (Cailey Fleming) — Callies is best known for her role as Sara Tancredi in Prison Break. She most recently headlined CBC miniseries Unspeakable and starred in USA Network’s Colony across its three seasons.

Riggs similarly is headed back to television, having landed a two-episode appearance on ABC drama A Million Little Things. That role marks Riggs’ first TV gig since Carl was killed off midway through The Walking Dead Season Eight a year ago.

Lori died giving birth to Judith early on in the series’ third season in 2012. Callies last returned to The Walking Dead in Season Nine by way of a voice cameo in November’s ‘What Comes After,’ Lincoln’s final episode of the series.

“We’re just really thrilled to have Cailey Fleming playing Judith because she’s such a ray of sunshine for the cast and the crew. They just absolutely love her,” showrunner Angela Kang previously told EW of the now 10-year-old raised by Rick and Michonne (Danai Gurira).

“People teared up when they saw her step on the set. She looked so much like Sarah Wayne Callies. There’s a resemblance to Chandler, who played Carl. That’s really been a bright spot for us in making this season.”

Council of Dads does not yet have a premiere date. The Walking Dead Season Nine airs Sundays on AMC.

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