Keri Russell has agreed to star in the FX period drama pilot The Americans. The project comes from Falling Skies’ Joe Weisberg and Justified showrunner Graham Yost and centers on two KGB spies posing as a married American couple in the suburbs of Washington DC in the 1980s. The drama in the show comes not only from the spy aspect, but also from the fact that the couple has two children who are unaware of their parents’ true identities. Their relationship grows into a passionate and genuine relationship, but they’re constantly tested by the escalation of the Cold War and the “intimate, dangerous and darkly funny relationships they must maintain with a network of spies and informants under their control.” Deadline reports that, following prolonged negotiations, Russell has signed on to play the wife.
This is one of the more promising pilots currently in development, and Russell is an interesting choice for the lead. She came to prominence on the WB drama series Felicity, but took a stab at comedy in Mitch Hurtwitz’s Running Wilde. The latter show didn’t last, but I think The Americans is a smart move for the actress. Now producers turn to casting the husband, a crucial role as the character grows an affinity for America’s values and way of life.