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Caruso back on TV in Showtime ‘Gold’

David Caruso has been cast in a Showtime vidpic, “The Gold Coast,” an adaptation of an Elmore Leonard novel that will mark the actor’s first TV appearance since his exit from ABC’s “NYPD Blue.”

The Paramount Network TV telefilm, to be directed by Peter Weller and co-starring Marg Helgenberger, is skedded to begin production next month in Jacksonville, Fla., for air later in the year on the pay cabler.

In October, Caruso was cleared to star in a drama pilot and perhaps series for CBS in 1997. However, that will lense after “Gold Coast.”

Caruso was forced to seek clearance from his old boss, producer Steven Bochco, before he was allowed to commit to the CBS series, since he had cut a deal with Bochco forbidding him from returning to television until 1998 in exchange for being let out of his five-year “NYPD Blue” pact nearly four years early (Daily Variety, Oct. 1).

The actor had wanted off of the ABC hit to pursue a film career. But after starring in the box office disappointments “Kiss of Death” and “Jade,” Caruso has been inspired to seek a TV comeback that will find him starring in a new CBS hour from Columbia TriStar TV. Author Nick Pileggi (“Goodfellas”) is in place to write the pilot for that untitled series, with John Romano executive producing.

“Gold Coast”concerns a mob widow (Helgenberger) who falls for a man (Caruso) to whom her husband was indebted; however, her husband’s will forbade her to enter into an new relationship after his death, so the pair must then contend with an evil bodyguard who is duty-bound to enforce the will.

Harley Peyton (“Twin Peaks”) is adapting the Leonard novel, with Weller directing and serving as an executive producer along with Richard Maynard and Jana Sue Memel.

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