Billy Baldwin rushes to Eye

Thesp to play smooth, slick, sexy detective

Feature thesp Billy Baldwin (“Backdraft”) is set to make his TV series debut in “R.U.S./H.,” Oscar-nominated helmer Paul Attanasio’s Studios USA-produced cop drama for CBS.

Baldwin has snagged a leading role in the ensemble pilot, which revolves around a special unit of the LAPD based in South Central. He’ll play a detective described as a smooth, slick and sexy salesman of a cop with an eye for expensive clothes.

Deal for Baldwin was still being finalized late Tuesday but is expected to close shortly.

Addition of Baldwin rounds out an already impressive cast for “R.U.S./H.”: Colm Meaney (“The Snapper”) and Mary Stuart Masterson (“Benny & Joon”) had already been set in lead roles. Attanasio (“Quiz Show”) wrote the pilot and is exec producing with Katie Jacobs for Studios USA via their Heel & Toe Prods. banner.

Baldwin, who’s repped by Paradigm and Armstrong Hirsch, most recently starred opposite Armand Assante in the indie feature “One-Eyed King” and will be seen in the upcoming HBO pic “Say Nothing.”

In addition to “Backdraft,” thesp’s other feature credits include “Sliver” and “Flatliners,” as well as “Three of Hearts” and “Internal Affairs.”

He isn’t the only member of the Baldwin clan of thesps who could be headed to the small screen next fall. Daniel Baldwin is set to star in the WB drama “Aces.” There’s also been buzz this pilot season that Alec Baldwin might do a TV series, though so far he hasn’t committed to any projects.

This also isn’t the first time Attanasio has cast a Baldwin for one of his series. Daniel Baldwin was a regular on Attanasio’s critically worshipped NBC drama “Homicide: Life on the Street.”

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