Players

Michael Rispoli (“The Sopranos”) will topline the CBS/Big Ticket pilot tentatively titled “The Beat.” The hourlong centers on a police officer trying to keep the peace in a multicultural urban neighborhood and comes from Emmy-winning “Soprano” scribe Frank Renzulli.

Rispoli’s feature credits include Spike Lee’s “Summer of Sam” and Miramax’s “Rounders.” He will also make an appearance in Agnieszka Holland’s “The Third Miracle.”

Rispoli is repped by the Gersh Agency’s Larry Taube and LMRK’s Estelle Lasher and Marcia McManus.

* * *

New Line Television has tapped Robert Bogue (HBO’s “Oz”) to topline the new action series created by filmmaker Richard Donner (the “Lethal Weapon” franchise).

Tentatively titled “Matthew Blackheart: Monster Smasher,” skein is described as a cross between “Men in Black,” “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” and “Austin Powers,” focusing on a man created by the government during WWII to help fight evil. Cryogenically frozen after a near fatal encounter with evil forces, he is thawed five decades later, at the dawn of the new millennium. Donner will serve as exec producer.

In addition to his recurring role on “Oz,” Bogue has appeared in a number of daytime sudsers including “As the World Turns,” “Guiding Light,” “Loving and “Another World.”

* * *

Andre Blake has nabbed a role in Red Bear Films’ “Devious Beings,” playing a drug dealer who sells his soul to save his mother.

Directed by tyro helmer Chris Mazzei, “Devious” will star Patrick Van Horn (“Swingers”).

Blake was last seen in the pics “Just the Ticket,” starring Andy Garcia, and “Stepmom,” with Susan Sarandon. He’s repped by Kerin-Goldberg’s Ellie Goldberg and managed by Barry Katz Entertainment’s Vincent Nastri.

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