TV
03/06/2013 03:48 am ET

Ben McKenzie Joins 'The Advocates,' Raises Questions About 'Southland' Future, Plus More Pilot News

"Southland" star Ben McKenzie has scored the lead role in CBS' new legal pilot "The Advocates," but what does that mean for his future on the TNT cop drama?

According to TVLine, McKenzie will play Henry Bird in "The Advocates" pilot. His character is described as a "quietly determined" man who "is freed after being unjustly imprisoned for 16 years." He and a female lawyer will join forces to become "victim advocates," who will often skirt the edges of the law in the interests of representing the legal underdogs of the world.

McKenzie's pilot role is in second position to "Southland," but there's obviously enough interest from "Advocates" production studio Warner Bros. (which also produces "Southland") to raise questions about the TNT show's longevity, since actors with job security rarely audition for other parts. It's also possible that should "Southland" be renewed and "The Advocates" be picked up to series by CBS, McKenzie's character could simply be written out of the cop drama.

In other pilot news ...

"90210" star is staying with The CW. Matt Lanter will co-star in The CW's alien pilot "Oxygen" alongside "Friday Night Lights" star Aimee Teegarden. He'll play Roman, an alien boy who is integrated into a human school and falls in love with Teegarden's character. [The Hollywood Reporter]

Seth Gabel joins "Gothica" for ABC. The "Fringe" star will play Roderick Usher, the heir to the iconic (but fallen) House of Usher and the city's district attorney. The genre show centering around modern-day versions of literary horror icons also stars Janet Montgomery as Grace Van Helsing and Chris Egan as Dorian Gray. [Deadline]

"30 Rock" alum takes a trip to "Westside." Dean Winters will play Robbie Carver, "a local legend who runs the Carver family surf shop in Venice and is the brother-in-law of Lisa Carver (Jennifer Beals)." He'll reportedly also wage a personal war against Bruce Greenwood's Gordy Nance, the patriarch of a rival family in the "Romeo and Juliet"-esque NBC drama, formerly called "Venice." [THR]

Two more stars get "Reckless." Another "Fringe" alum, Georgina Haig, and "In Living Color" star Kim Wayans have joined the CBS legal drama starring Cam Gigandet. Haig will play Lee Ann, a local police officer in Charleston, while Wayans will play a paralegal. [Deadline]

2013 Renewal Index: Canceled, Renewed & On The Bubble Shows

RELATED ON HUFFPOST:

CONVERSATIONS