Dave Annable attends the Elton John AIDS Foundation's 31st Annual Academy Awards Viewing Party on March 12, 2023 in West Hollywood, California
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Who Plays Neil on 'Special Ops: Lioness'? Here's Why Dave Annable Looks Familiar

He should look familiar to 'Yellowstone' fans.

Fans of the series Yellowstone might recognize Dave Annable as the eldest golden child, Lee Dutton, poised to take over the beloved Dutton ranch. Even though Lee was tragically shot and killed in the first episode, his presence is felt throughout the series. He briefly returned in season 2 and season 4 as part of a limited flashback series. Yellowstone was Annable's first time working with creator Taylor Sheridan, and it almost didn't happen due to a scheduling conflict. Thankfully for the two of them and us — he did make his brief appearance, and the two continue to have a great working relationship. In fact, Annable joined Sheridan's latest Paramount show, Lioness. This time, it seems that his role will be sticking around a bit longer than the premiere — at least we hope so. 

Where have you seen Dave Annable before?

Annable began his acting career in 2002 when he appeared on the TV series Third Watch. His big break came when he was cast as Justin Walker on the show, Brothers & Sisters. Fast forward a few years, and Annable has raked in several credits from 666 Park Avenue, Red Band Society, What/If and Walker. His newest role will portray Neil in the upcoming series Lioness

Dave Annable in Yellowstone

In one of Annable's Instagram posts, he joked that Yellowstone was such a megahit even without his favorite character. According to Outsider, Sheridan personally asked Annable to join his crew of cowboys in Utah to shoot the show. Annable admits he was drawn into the show once he knew Kevin Costner and Luke Grimes were also a part of the project. In a 2018 interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Annable recalled how he almost missed his golden opportunity. When Annable first read the script, he fell in love — but was already scheduled for something else and the timing wouldn't work. Apparently, Sheridan called Annable and said, "What are you an idiot? You need to come out here." Of course, Annable couldn't resist and signed on immediately. 

Even though Annable's character was short-lived, the impact lasted much longer. Annable knew from the start that his character was going to be killed off in the first episode, and he was originally OK with that. However, after training at the cowboy camp in Montana and bonding with the crew, Annable thought, "There is no way I want to die on this show." Sadly, his wish was not granted, but he's thankful for the experience nonetheless. 

Taylor Sheridan's Special Ops: Lioness

Sheridan partnered with Hallmark star Jill Wagner to create Paramount's new series Lioness. According to IMDb, Lioness centers on: "A young Marine is recruited by the CIA to befriend the daughter of a terrorist group in order to bring down the organization from within." Interestingly enough, the Team Lioness initiative was a real CIA program for the U.S. Marines. Due to certain laws and restrictions in Muslim countries, men are not allowed to have any physical contact with women they are not related to. Knowing that military men wouldn't be allowed to search female military members, insurgents would use the women to smuggle in contraband. The entire concept of the show was Wagner's idea, who works as co-creator and stars in the series as well.

The plot loosely follows the Lioness program premise but with a few changes. It veers away in the sense that the women appear to be going undercover inside terrorist groups to gather information in order to destroy them. We're sure that plenty of high-level drama and action will be interwoven throughout the series, since Sheridan is the master of TV magic. In fact, he's proved that he's an expert at military content based on his hit film Sicario.  

The star-studded Lioness cast includes Laysla De Oliveira, Morgan Freeman, Nicole Kidman, Kaitlyn Meade and Zoe Saldaña. Annable will play Neil, Zoe Saldaña's character's husband and father of their two daughters. 

When Does Special Ops: Lioness Premiere?

Special Ops: Lioness will premiere on Paramount+ on July 23. Subsequent episodes will drop weekly.

Read More: 'Lioness' Cast: Meet the Star-Studded Cast of Taylor Sheridan's CIA Thriller