April 10, 2009 / 1:45 AM / 10 years ago

It's "Lights Out" for actress Melora Hardin

Actress Melora Hardin, one of the stars of the comedy series "The Office" poses at the Universal Media Studios Emmy party celebrating the studio's Emmy nominees in Malibu, California August 2, 2007. REUTERS/Fred Prouser

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Melora Hardin, who plays Michael Scott’s former boss and ex-girlfriend on “The Office,” is moving to cable, landing the female lead opposite Holt McCallany on the FX drama pilot “Lights Out.”

Elias Koteas and Kevin Conway also have been tapped as leads on the pilot.

Penned by Justin Zackham, “Lights Out” centers on Patrick “Lights Out” Leary (McCallany), an aging former heavyweight boxing champion who struggles to find his identity and support his wife (Hardin), a pediatric orthopedic surgeon, and three daughters after his fighting days are over.

That leads him to take a job as a leg-breaker, collecting on unpaid gambling debts. After being diagnosed with pugilistic dementia (a neurological disorder that affects boxers who receive multiple blows to the head), he aims for one more big payday, while he’s still able, to support himself and his family.

Conway will play Lights’ father and former trainer, a widower who still runs a gym. Koteas will play Lights’ boyhood friend who is his manager/business partner.

On “The Office,” Hardin plays Jan Levinson, one-time boss and girlfriend of Steve Carell’s character. She was last seen in the October 16 “Baby Shower” episode, in which she brought her newborn baby to the Dunder Mifflin office, creating tension between her, Michael and his new love, Holly (Amy Ryan).

Hardin won’t appear on the show’s remaining episodes this season, on which she is still formally a regular. She is expected to guest star in one or more episodes next season.

Hardin co-stars in the April theatrical releases “Hannah Montana: The Movie” and “17 Again.” She also has a recurring role as Adrian Monk’s (Tony Shalhoub) deceased wife on “Monk.”

Koteas was recently seen in “The Haunting in Connecticut” and “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.” Conway’s series credits include “The Black Donnellys,” “The Bronx Is Burning” and “Oz.”

Editing by Sheri Linden at Reuters

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