Thesp in as lead on Milch drama for HBO

Actor Timothy Olyphant (“Go”) is setting up shop in “Deadwood.”

Thesp has been tapped to portray Seth Bullock, the lead character in the HBO drama pilot that David Milch (“NYPD Blue,” “Hill Street Blues”) is writing and exec producing (Daily Variety, Aug. 12).

Deal marks Olyphant’s first lead role in a TV series. Other parts in the oater are in the process of being cast.

Olyphant’s Bullock is a marshal-turned-traveling merchant who sets up shop in the Western prospecting town of Deadwood, where in real life the storied six-shooter James Butler “Wild Bill” Hickok took a life-ending bullet to the head while playing poker.

The pilot’s storyline is set two weeks after the Battle of Little Big Horn.

Walter Hill (“48 Hours”), who wrote and directed the 1995 MGM/UA theatrical release “Wild Bill,” is helming the project.

Upcoming roles for Olyphant, who is repped by William Morris Agency and Original Management, include Victor Nunez’s “Coastlines,” the Lawrence Kasdan-directed adaptation of Steven King’s “Dreamcatcher” and New Line’s untitled Vin Diesel project.

Among Olyphant’s previous film credits are “Rock Star” and “The Broken Hearts Club.”

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