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Bakula beaming onto ‘Enterprise’

Thesp boards as captain of new Star Trek franchise

The Enterprise has a new captain: After weeks of negotiations, Scott Bakula is officially on board the next “Star Trek” series.

Paramount Network Television starts shooting “Star Trek: Enterprise,” the fifth installment in the long-running franchise, on Monday. Although UPN is still the shoo-in to pick up the series, the netlet and its sibling studio still haven’t struck a deal.

Nonetheless, UPN is expected to announce “Enterprise” by the time it unveils its fall schedule on Thursday.

Bakula will play Captain Jonathan Archer in the new series; thesp has also signed a new, extended deal with Par. Under the first-look development pact, Bakula and partner Tom Spiroff will develop series, telepics and specials.

“Scott personifies the charm and intelligence that the role calls for,” said “Enterprise” co-creator and exec producer Rick Berman.

Bakula, best known for his five-year stint on the NBC drama “Quantum Leap,” also recently shot the ATG comedy pilot “Late Boomers” for CBS.

Thesp only agreed to appear in that project’s pilot; now that he’s signed on with “Star Trek,” he’s not obligated to appear in “Boomers” should that comedy go forward.

Bakula also appeared in the film “American Beauty.”

Other cast members include Jolene Blalock, John Billingsley, Linda Park, Anthony Montgomery, Dominic Keating and Connor Trinneer.

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