Smits inks return to Alphabet beat

Show targeted for fall 2002 launch

HOLLYWOOD — Jimmy Smits knows his ABCs: The ex-“NYPD Blue” star has returned to the Alphabet, landing a 13-episode commitment at the web to exec produce and star in a drama.

No writers are attached to the project just yet, and Smits is still mulling what kind of show he’d like to do. The Smits vehicle would be targeted for a fall 2002 launch.

The seven-figure deal brings Smits back to ABC, where he had previously held an exclusive development deal. More recently, Smits was up for a number of starring roles during last spring’s pilot season, including a spot on NBC’s “UC: Undercover.”

Smits’ reps had been shopping the actor around town in recent weeks before settling on ABC. The actor, who played Detective Bobby Simone on “NYPD Blue,” left the show after his character was killed off in the 1998-99 TV season.

Smits garnered multiple Emmy nominations and a Golden Globe for his role on “NYPD Blue,” which he joined in its second season.

Smits’ credits also include a long-running, Emmy-winning stint on “L.A. Law” as well as films such as “Bless the Child.” He’s slated to star as Bail Organa in next year’s “Star Wars: Episode II — Attack of the Clones.”

Smits is repped by CAA and Brad Grey.

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