NBC to sign deal with Cheadle's Creshendo

Thesp Idris Elba has been cast on “The Office” as a new rival to Dunder Mifflin regional manager Michael Scott (Steve Carell).

Elba, most recently seen in Guy Ritchie’s “Rocknrolla,” will appear in six episodes later this season. Details are slim on his plot line, other than he’ll play a no-nonsense hire at Dunder Mifflin’s corporate office who will throw Michael Scott into turmoil.

NBC is expected to announce Elba’s casting during the Peacock’s portion of the TV Critics Assn. press tour on Thursday.

Also at the NBC sesh, the Peacock is expected to announce a two-year first look deal with thesp Don Cheadle and his shingle, Creshendo Prods.

Cheadle runs Creshendo with partners Kay Liberman and Lenore Zerman.

Net will also reveal several scheduling tweaks – including the launch of John Wells’ new police drama, now dubbed “Southland.”

“Southland” is expected to take over the Thursday 10 p.m. slot that has been held for 15 seasons by Wells’ “E.R.” That means a move is in order for “Kings,” which had been previously slated for that spot after the “E.R.” series finale in March.

But NBC’s additional three-episode has pushed the “E.R.” finale to the end of March, which means “Southland” – which scored a six-episode order from the Peacock – will bow in April.

The scheduling, of course, is just temporary: Even in success, “Southland” will have to find a new home next fall, as Jay Leno takes over the weeknight 10 p.m. time slot.

“Kings,” meanwhile, is now expected to air on Sundays – which could push the 2-hour “Celebrity Apprentice” to 8 p.m.

Also still waiting for a premiere date: NBC’s new Amy Poehler laffer, and the international drama “The Philanthropist.”

NBC’s press tour will kick off with an executive session featuring new primetime entertainment prexy Angela Bromstad and new alternative topper Paul Telegdy.

That’s ruffled a few feathers with some TV crix, who had expected to see NBC Entertainment/Universal Media Studios co-chairs Ben Silverman and Marc Graboff up on stage.

Bromstad and Telegdy have just assumed their new roles, and may not have much to say in terms of the net’s past woes, its recent executive shakeup and the recent Leno announcement.

As for Elba, the actor’s credits also include “The Unborn,” and will soon star opposite Beyonce in “Obsessed,” and just filmed the feature “Bone Deep.” His TV resume includes “The Wire,” “Girlfriends,” “The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency” and the HBO telepic “Sometimes in April.”

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