HOLLYWOOD — Ed O’Neill (“Married . . . With Children”) has been cast as Joe Friday in Dick Wolf’s “Dragnet” revival for ABC.
O’Neill, whose last starring TV role was in the short-lived CBS police drama “Big Apple,” replaces the recently ankled Danny Huston (Daily Variety, Oct. 2).
Production on the first episode had just wrapped Sept. 30 when producers opted to recast the lead role. Production will resume Friday.
“I’m delighted that Ed will be playing Joe Friday on ‘Dragnet,’ ” Wolf said in a statement. “Ed and I have been trying to find something to do together for several years, and I believe this will be a great meld of actor and material.”
Wolf exec produces “Dragnet,” from Universal Television and his Wolf Films, with Peter Jankowski and Walon Green. Series is scheduled to debut on the Alphabet in January.
“Ed is a weighty actor with gravitas, and in the feature work he’s done, he’s shown himself to be a strong, centered presence,” said ABC Entertainment’s senior VP of drama programming Thom Sherman.
“With Ethan Embry (as Det. Friday’s partner Det. Frank Smith), he will be able to create a mentor-mentee relationship between the two characters,” Sherman added. “These two guys are going to be a really interesting pair in the show going forward.”
Coincidentally, O’Neill and Embry were paired up before, in the 1991 feature “Dutch.”
O’Neill, who is repped by ICM and managed by Brillstein-Grey, starred in the John Hughes-penned pic as Dutch, a salt-of-the-earth guy who’s volunteered to pick up his girlfriend’s snotty kid (Embry) at an elite boarding school and bring him home for Thanksgiving.