Michael Slezak
July 31, 2006 AT 12:00 PM EDT

And the first nominee for the biggest name in television in 2007 goes to… LL Cool J? Nope, no need to insert the sound of the needle scratching across the record… apparently, it’s true. According to Variety, the rapper who’s loved by the ladies just signed ”one of the richest TV talent deals in recent years” to develop and star in a series for CBS. The Eye Network apparently beat out two other competitors who were jonesin’ for some LL after seeing the rapper-turned-actor’s guest spot on House last season. And while the news makes sense — after all, wasn’t LL a total scene stealer in movies like Deep Blue Sea, Any Given Sunday, and S.W.A.T.? — I say, why not cast him to take over an existing series, rather than risk wasting the dude’s talents on one of those high-profile, low-yield star vehicles the networks are so good at green-lighting? In fact, I’d make LL the new lead on CSI: Miami, a show I’ve removed from my DVR thanks to chronically spec-jankular writing that exists mostly to highlight David Caruso’s rivetingly (remove sunglasses, pause) awful (put on sunglasses, look meaningfully at a child) performance (stare into horizon, grimace, and cut to commercial).

Anyhow, riddle me this: If you ran CBS, what kind of vehicle would you envision for LL Cool J? (Whatever you do, don’t call it a comeback.)

addCredit(“LL Cool J: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images”)

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