We still miss Caprica for its explorations of artificial intelligence and grief, in the context of a very different society. So it could be excellent news that Syfy's sister network, NBC, is apparently serious about making a new show that explores some of the same ideas. We heard a while ago that NBC was pursuing a show called Beautiful People, about a society that depends on the labor of mistreated androids. But now NBC's actually started casting the show's lead roles, which means a pilot will be filmed soon.

According to Deadline, Beautiful People takes place in the future, when people share the world with androids who look just like us but "are treated like second-class citizens." We follow the super-rich Lydia, whose late husband founded the company that makes these Mechanicals. The newly cast James Murray (Primeval) will play Lydia's son, a rich attorney who makes waves by suggesting that Mechanicals deserve civil rights — a notion that's widely mocked.

Meanwhile, Patrick Heusinger (Royal Pains) will play a Mechanical, a "family man" who's a servant in Lydia's home. One of Heusinger's daughters gets killed in a car accident, and then he starts experiencing grief, a human emotion. Which means he's "defective." And now I'm wondering just how an android has daughters. Is this a "Lal" thing? More to the point, will anybody at any point utter the phrase "Rude Mechanicals"?

Anyway, it sounds kind of promising — let's hope NBC doesn't give this show the 17th Precinct treatment. [Deadline]