HOLLYWOOD — John Leguizamo will be buggin’ once more, as the actor-comedian has sealed a seven-figure pact with CBS to take another shot at the small screen.
Leguizamo will help create and will star in an action hour at the Eye for fall 2002 consideration. Thesp’s deal makes him one of network TV’s highest-paid Latino stars.
CBS Television topper Leslie Moonves “has been after me for over 10 years,” Leguizamo said. “I know he’s legit and for real… He coughed up the money.”
Leguizamo said he hopes to create a comedic action thriller along the lines of the “Lethal Weapon” features. That may include teaming him with a sidekick on the project. “Police have a sense of humor,” he said. “I want to reinvent that kind of action show.”
The actor didn’t have much interest in going the sitcom route, however. “The sitcom is sort of like vaudeville,” he said. “It’s come and gone, it’s had its time. When you do these mixed dramedies, I think you create something more exciting, more original.”
Leguizamo and his reps at 3 Arts Entertainment and the William Morris Agency plan to interview potential producers and scribes in the coming months to partner with him on the project.
Leguizamo, most recently seen in Baz Luhrmann’s “Moulin Rouge,” has developed a thriving feature career since he starred in Fox’s short-lived 1995 sketch skein “House of Buggin’.”
The actor said he decided to return to TV in order to stay in one location and spend more time with his children. It’s still unclear where the Leguizamo project would be shot.
“Touring around is killing me,” said Leguizamo, who’s currently doing standup around the country. “I need to stay in one place for a long time. I’ve got kids.”
The actor’s other credits include the films “What’s the Worst That Could Happen?” “Summer of Sam,” “The Pest,” “Romeo + Juliet” and “To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar.”
Other TV credits include the miniseries “Arabian Nights.”