Hopper salutes ‘E-Ring’

Rapper-thesp takes 'Bow'

Dennis Hopper is adding some star-power to NBC’s already-glittering Jerry Bruckheimer/Taylor Hackford drama “E-Ring.”

Other thesps landing pilots Monday include Brooke Burns, Joely Fisher, Thomas Gibson, Rob Estes and Matt Letscher. In addition, the WB said “wow” to a new comedy pilot from rapper-thesp Bow, while Fox has found its two leads for “Briar & Graves”: Elisabeth Rohm and Charles Mesure.

Bow — nee Bow Wow, nee Lil’ Bow Wow — will play himself in the Frog laffer, i.e., a rap singer who’s coming of age and taking control of his business. “One on One” vets Erica Montolfo, Dan Cross and David Hoge will write and exec produce, with Teresa Caldwell and Michael Maudlin also aboard as exec producers.

Touchstone Television is producing the pilot, dubbed, appropriately, “Bow.”

As for the casting front:

  • In “E-Ring,” Hopper will play Col. McNulty, a former special ops officer. Pilot already won the year’s casting lottery when it landed Benjamin Bratt for the lead (Daily Variety, Feb. 2). Hackford is directing the WBTV/Bruckheimer TV drama, about the politics of the Pentagon.

Deal for Hopper to join “E-Ring” comes a few months after thesp agreed to star in a WBTV sitcom project for NBC. That project has been rolled to next season.

Hopper has made high-profile guest turns on NBC’s “Las Vegas” and Fox’s “24” in the past few years.

  • Rohm, who recently ankled “Law & Order” after four seasons, will team up with Mesure (“Boogeyman”) in “Briar & Graves,” Fox’s religious take on “The X-Files.” Pilot’s from 20th Century Fox TV and Adelstein/Parouse.

  • Burns and Rider Strong (“Boy Meets World”) are set to star opposite Rebecca Romijn in the WB’s “Pepper Dennis.” Thesp most recently starred in Fox’s “North Shore.”

The Associated Press reported on Friday that “North Shore” is officially dead, though a Fox spokesman refused to confirm that Monday. Given that “North Shore” and “Pepper” are both from 20th Century Fox TV, it seems unlikely Burns will be back in “North Shore” even if the show survives.

Strong recently appeared in an L.A. production of “The Graduate” and the horror pic “Cabin Fever.”

  • Fisher (“Wild Card”) and Letscher (“Joey”) are set to star in “Born and Bread,” the Sean Jablonski/Jason Katims infertility project from 20th and Imagine that’s in the works at Fox.

  • Gibson (“Dharma & Greg”) has been added to the team of criminal profilers in CBS’ Touchstone/Paramount-produced “Quantico.” Thesp was most recently seen in the Eye mini “Category Six: Day of Destruction.”

  • Estes (“Silk Stalkings”) has joined the cast of ABC’s Touchstone-produced hour “Soccer Moms.”
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