Rust Belt News: Rich Sommer, Jayma Mays, Angel Laketa Moore Among 6 Cast In CBS Pilot

EXCLUSIVE: Rich Sommer (The Dropout), Lauren Lindsay Donzis (Punky Brewster), Jayma Mays (United States of Al), Bentley Green (Snowfall), Angel Laketa Moore (Atypical) and Bailey Gavulic (Fear The Walking Dead) are set as series regulars in CBS comedy pilot Rust Belt News. Additionally, Jeff Blitz (American Auto) has been tapped to direct and executive produce the single-camera comedy pilot from The Simpsons writer and The Mindy Project exec producer Matt Warburton.

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Written by Warburton, the project is set in a small Ohio town where the local newspaper goes out of business, leaving the ambitious, angsty reporters of the high school newspaper as the only people left to report on scandals, dig up corruption, and generally polish the rust off this rust-belt community.

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Sommer will play Caleb, a jaded former journalist whose love of writing is reignited when he is recruited by Mack to help start an underground newspaper.

Donzis will portray Mack, an ambitious high school journalist who dreams of leaving small town Ohio to be a big-time reporter in New York. But when her school mysteriously burns down, Mack decides to start a new, underground newspaper, with help from her school friends and a jaded ex-newspaper reporter.

Mays is Rachel, a Mennonite mom, loving farm wife, city councilwoman and aspiring mayor, with a side job as Butterchurn Bae, the successful Instagram influencer.

Green will play Lucas, an artistic genius and high school Sophomore, who’s forced to move from Manhattan to semi-rural Ohio when his mom decides to move home and run for mayor.

Moore will portray Wendy. After circumstances force her to move with her rebellious teenage son from Manhattan back to Ohio, Wendy becomes the unlikely first black mayor of a rust belt town.

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Gavulic is Kelsey, Rachel’s (Mays) sarcastic teenage daughter who does her best to be the perfect Christian farm daughter at home, while sneaking out at night to meet boys, and hides a streak of purple hair under her bonnet.

Warburton executive produces with Alloy Entertainment’s Leslie Morgenstein and Gina Girolamo. Warner Bros. Television is the studio.

Sommer is maybe best known for his seven seasons as Harry Crane on AMC’s award-winning Mad Men. He currently appears in Hulu’s The Dropout and HBO Max’s Minx, and will next be seen in HBO’s upcoming limited series White House Plumbers. He’s repped by Davis Spylios Mgmt and Innovative Artists.

Donzis has been seen in starring roles in Peacock’s Punky Brewster and Netflix’s multi-cam sitcom No Good Nick. She was a series regular in Disney Channel’s Liv and Maddie: Cali Style and has guest starred in several shows including Just Beyond, Austin & Ally, Ghosted and The Young and the Restless. She is repped by A3 Artists Agency, Untitled Entertainment, and attorney Jackoway Austen Tyerman.

Mays is currently shooting a six-episode arc on United States of Al for CBS. She also stars opposite Amy Adams and Maya Rudolph in Disney’s Disenchanted, the sequel to Enchanted, due out at Christmas. Mays is repped by Framework and UTA.

Green’s credits include recurring roles on FX’s Snowfall, Netflix’s Sweet Magnolias and Mr. Iglesias and ABC’s The Doctor, among others. He’s repped by A3 Artists Agency and Stagecoach Entertainment.

Moore most recently appeared on shows such as Netflix’s Atypical, AJ & The Queen, Disney’s Sydney to The Max, and CBS’ United States of Al & B Positive. She currently is the host of three weekly podcasts Here’s The Thing, Is This Going To Cause An Argument, and The Bald and The Beautiful. She is repped by Framework Entertainment and Realm Talent.

Gavulic is best known for her recurring role of Annie on Fear the Walking Dead. She’s repped by The Osbrink Agency, Stagecoach Entertainment and attorney Goodman, Genow, Schenkman, Smelkinson & Christopher.

Blitz directed the pilot and multiple episodes of NBC comedy American Auto. His additional episodic directing/exec producer credits include Upload, Superstore, Space Force, Perfect Harmony and Trial & Error, among others.

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