Deals (TV Edition): 'Deadwood,' 'ER'
– Can Deadwood handle two veteran, scenery-chewing thespians from the British Isles? Ian McShane will have to make room, for several episodes at least, for Brian Cox. The Scottish actor (best known for his X2 villain, but whom I like to remember as the original Hannibal Lecter in Manhunter — rent it now) will play a theatrical impresario who hopes to bring some culture to the frontier town. Yeah, good luck with that.
– Ralph Macchio, last seen causing trouble at the Playboy mansion on Entourage, has signed a development deal with Nickelodeon’s teen-oriented The N. Which is apt, since the 43-year-old actor still looks like he’s in high school. One show he’s developing for the nighttime channel is described as a teenage Thelma & Louise. Kids, don’t try driving off a cliff at home.
– ER, looking to fill the Noah Wyle vacuum, couldn’t pry John Stamos loose from Jake in Progress, so they went with John Leguizamo instead. We snickered last week at the idea of replacing Bijou Phillips with Taryn Manning, but this one’s really a stretch. Look for Leguizamo’s shift at County General to last at least 12 episodes.