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Drama pilots getting more diverse

16 February 2010 4:00 AM, PST | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

The decades-old taboo that drama series with minority leads cannot work finally might be broken.

Halfway through the castings of broadcast drama pilots this season, the top-billed actors on four pilots are non-Caucasian.

What's more, the four projects are among the highest-profile drama pilots this year.

The spy couple at the center of J.J. Abrams' "Undercovers" for NBC is played by Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Boris Kodjoe. "Undercovers," co-written by Abrams, marks his first pilot directing effort since "Lost" six years ago.

Forest Whitaker is the lead on CBS' "Criminal Minds" spinoff; Laz Alonso tops the Fox action-drama "Breakout Kings," directed and exec produced by Gavin Hood; and Freddy Rodriguez headlines CBS' CIA drama "Chaos," directed and executive produced by Brett Ratner.

Last year's crop of broadcast pilots included only one fronted by a minority actor, the LL Cool J starrer "NCIS: Los Angeles." The season before that, there were no pilots led by minorities. »

- By Nellie Andreeva

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