Idris Elba and Tracee Ellis Ross Land Leads in TV Projects

Ross joins Bad Girls while Elba eyed for Ascension.

Posted: 03/15/2012 10:16 PM EDT

Idris Elba and Tracee Ellis Ross have been cast in upcoming TV projects. One will play the role of a powerful woman gone wrong while the other will possibly be portraying an Egyptian renaissance man.

 

Elba is considering a potential double-starring in the adventure miniseries Ascension, which focuses on the history and future of astronomy and mankind’s impulse for the stars. The shows creators, British producer Vivek J. Tiwary and writer Warren Ellis, are eyeing The Wire alum to star as both the Egyptian polymath Imhotep in 3000 B.C. as well as an extraordinary astronomer in the near future.

 

Elba, who recently starred in Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, will next be in the upcoming sci-fi film Prometheus.

 

Ross has landed one of the leads in NBC’s drama pilot Bad Girls, adapted from the long-running UK series. In the show, which follows the ins and outs of a group of unlikely women in a federal prison, Ross will play Rachel, a high-powered business woman who is serving time for selling phony mortgages. Having delayed motherhood because of her career, Rachel is now desperate to get pregnant, a task made difficult by being in the pen.

 

If there’s any wonder how Bad Girls may affect Ross’s part on Reed Between the Lines (which she also co-produces), she can conceivably do both as actors are allowed to star in network and cable shows simultaneously.

 

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(Photo: Jeff Schear/Getty Images)

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