‘Alone’ star at home

NBC to cast Culkin in a fall 2004 laffer

HOLLYWOOD — Macaulay Culkin has a new home: NBC.

Peacock has signed a talent holding/development deal with the former child thesp, who earlier this year starred as club kid Michael Alig in indie pic “Party Monster.” Pact calls for NBC to develop several projects with Culkin, with an eye to casting the actor in a fall 2004 comedy project.

Culkin has already met with “Late Night” host Conan O’Brien about the possibility of working together on a project, according to NBC development prexy Kevin Reilly. Nothing has been formalized, but Reilly said O’Brien’s non-mainstream approach to comedy could mesh well with NBC’s goals for Culkin.


“We’re going to use him in an unconventional way,” Reilly said. “I don’t think you’ll see Macaulay as a straight-down-the-middle romantic lead. I think you’ll see him in something surprising, a little offbeat.”

Reilly said Culkin’s “always had uncanny instincts” as an actor, going all the way back to his cheek-grabbing “Home Alone” days. A guest stint last season on NBC’s “Will & Grace” reinforced that point, he said.

“He came out and just did a great turn on that show,” Reilly said. “He reminded everyone here that he possesses genuine talent. There are certain child stars who figure out how to translate that talent to adulthood, and I think Macaulay’s been waiting for the right time to come back and re-emerge as a star.”

As for a possible connection with O’Brien’s NBC-based Conaco Prods., Reilly said the two men “like each other personally, and I think Macaulay has a high degree of confidence in Conan’s ability to steer him” toward the right project.

On the feature front, Endeavor- repped Culkin will appear in United Artists’ upcoming “Saved” opposite Jena Malone and Mandy Moore. He appeared onstage in Richard Nelson’s “Madame Melville,” starring with Irene Jacob in London and Joely Richardson on Broadway.