Ed O'Neill will star in Dick Wolf's ''Dragnet.'' The ''Married... With Children'' star replaces Danny Huston as Sgt. Joe Friday in the ''Law & Order'' producer's series remake
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Ed O’Neill is going from shoe salesman to flatfoot. Variety reports that the former Al Bundy will play Sgt. Joe Friday in the new series version of ”Dragnet,” the classic detective show being revived by ”Law & Order” producer Dick Wolf. He replaces Danny Huston in the role, whom producers fired after the first episode was taped on Sept. 30, according to Variety. The series will premiere on ABC in January.

O’Neill has played numerous cops, including on his most recent series, CBS’ short-lived 2001 show ”Big Apple,” and the 1986 TV movie ”Popeye Doyle,” another revisiting of a well-known cop role, the detective Gene Hackman played in ”The French Connection.” Said Wolf in a statement, ”I’m delighted that Ed will be playing Joe Friday on ‘Dragnet.’ Ed and I have been trying to find something to do together for several years, and I believe this will be a great meld of actor and material.” Friday was played famously by the deadpan Jack Webb in ”Dragnet”’s two classic series incarnations, from 1952-59 and 1967-70.

When Huston, son of legendary director John Huston and half-brother of Anjelica Huston, was let go last week, he issued a statement, saying, ”Unfortunately, things did not work out with me and the show, and I wish only the best to all those involved with ‘Dragnet.”’ He added that there were ”no hard feelings between anybody” and speculated that producers may have been ”looking for someone who is older to fill the part.” Huston is 40; O’Neill is 56.

Maybe the older O’Neill will make a more credible mentor to 24-year-old Ethan Embry, who plays Friday’s partner, Frank Smith. After all, the two costarred together in ”Dutch,” the 1991 John Hughes comedy about a slobby guy who picks up his girlfriend’s bratty kid from prep school and brings him home for Thanksgiving.

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