Shonda Rhimes' new project at ABC has landed its first cast member, and the creators of "October Road" have recruited a familiar face for their latest project.

Martin Henderson ("The Ring," "Smokin' Aces") will star in Rhimes' pilot about the TV news business, "Inside the Box." The network's "Happy Town," meanwhile, has signed "O-Road" star Geoff Stults to play the sheriff of a mysterious small town.

The network has also given the green light to a comedy pilot called "Funny in Farsi," according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Like Rhimes' other shows, "Grey's Anatomy" and "Private Practice," "Inside the Box" will mix will mix personal and professional stories. The show centers on a female producer in a network's Washington bureau; Henderson will play the lead character's right-hand man.

"Happy Town" comes from the "Life on Mars" and "October Road" team of Josh Appelbaum, Andre Nemec and Scott Rosenberg. The show will chronicle the fallout for the new sheriff (Stults) and others when a small town experiences its first serious crime -- a murder -- in several years. Gary Fleder has signed to direct the pilot.

"Funny in Farsi" is based on a memoir of the same title by Firoozeh Dumas, which chronicles her youth as an immigrant from Iran in the Orange County of the 1970s. Nastaran Dibai and Jeffrey Hodes ("Rita Rocks," "According to Jim") are writing the pilot, which is contingent on a director.