‘Friday Night Lights’ Zach Gilford, ‘Desperate Housewives’ Jonathan Cake Join USA’s ‘Stanistan’

They join “Dexter” alum Jennifer Carpenter on the project

The plot thickens for Jennifer Carpenter‘s character on USA Network’s “Stanistan” pilot with two new castings.

Zach Gilford and Jonathan Cake have been cast in the drama pilot, which follows the staff at the American compound in the fictional country of Stanistan, USAID, where State Department workers, covert CIA officers and journalists strike a delicate balance of danger and levity. Carpenter plays public affairs officer Marcie Post.

Gilford will play Phillip Guthrey, an Infrastructure Manager for USAID. Phillip is Marcie’s (Carpenter) closest friend in the country, and though he’d like for their friendship to become something more, his unrequited love is not his only secret.

Also read: ‘Dexter’ Alum Jennifer Carpenter to Star in USA’s ‘Stanistan’ Pilot

Best known for his role on “Friday Night Lights,” Gilford has also starred on the short-lived series “Off the Map” and “The Mob Doctor.” He’s represented by WME.

Cake will take on the role of Greg Weir, a suave and fearless on-air foreign correspondent who is entangled in a complicated affair with Marcie, but his quest to uncover the real story in war torn Stanistan will put him and his relationship in danger.

He starred on the eighth and final season of ABC’s “Desperate Housewives.” He has also recurred on “Law & Order,” “Chuck and “Empire.” Paradigm, Independent Talent Group and Principal Entertainment LA represent Cake.

Also read: USA Slate Includes Projects From Jodie Foster, Jessica Biel and Carlton Cuse

The pilot, from Universal Cable Productions, is being written by Andy Parker, who’ll also serve as supervising producer. Richard Scarth, Mary Louise Vitelli and Maureen Ryan (“Project Nim”) are co-executive producing, with Steve Scheffer executive producing.

“Stanistan” is among three recently announced pilots for USA, along with the Carlton Cuse project “Colony” and “Mr. Robot,” which hails from Anonymous Content (“True Detective”).