Actors check in to ‘Hope’

Academy Award winner E.G. Marshall, Mandy Patinkin, Adam Arkin and Hector Elizondo are among the headliners in David E. Kelley’s new CBS pilot, the tentatively titled “Chicago Hope,” sources at Twentieth TV said.

Just as Kelley was credited with breathing new life into the family drama when he created the Emmy Award-winning “Picket Fences” in 1991, “Chicago Hope” is being billed as an attempt to reinvent the medical show — a genre mostly absent from network skeds since “St. Elsewhere” closed its doors in 1988.

The pilot marks the second installment in a two-series pact with CBS for Kelley, the former “L.A. Law” exec producer.

Marshall will play the hospital’s paterfamilias, similar to the way Richard Dysart anchors NBC’s “L.A. Law.” The actor and frequent “National Geographic” narrator is no stranger to small-screen operating rooms, having starred in 1969 ‘s “The New Doctors.”

Patinkin is better known for his work in Broadway musicals like “Evita” than for television. He did star in the 1988 feature “Alien Nation,” opposite James Caan, which spawned a Fox Broadcasting series.

Arkin is regularly seen in CBS’s “Northern Exposure,” while veteran character actor Elizondo has starred in several series and appeared in features including “Pretty Woman” and “Frankie & Johnny.”

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