‘Sopranos’ thesp sings a new tune

'Dragnet's' O'Neill spells out ABC pilot plans

Vincent Pastore, best known for his role as mob figure-turned-FBI informant on HBO’s “The Sopranos,” has signed on to star in three episodes of ABC’s “The Practice.”

Pastore joins the David E. Kelley/20th Century Fox TV series as Lenny Pescatore, a bully of a lawyer who faces off against Jimmy Berluti (Michael Badalucco).

Kelley maintains an option to bring Pastore back to appear in the production company’s upcoming don’t-call-it-a-spinoff evolutionary “Practice” drama.

Pastore has been busy since Big Pussy was whacked on “The Sopranos,” appearing in episodes of “Less Than Perfect,” “Ed” and “Grounded for Life.” Credits also include features such as “Serving Sara,” “Made” and “The Hurricane.”

Meanwhile, Ed O’Neill, most recently seen in ABC’s “Dragnet” redux, will stick with the Alphabet web, signing on to star in the net’s untitled Jennifer Love Hewitt laffer.

Touchstone sitcom pilot stars Hewitt as a sports reporter and single mother. O’Neill will play Buzz, executive producer of the sports show for which Hewitt works. Gabe Sachs and Jeff Judah exec produce.

O’Neill is still best known for his lengthy portrayal of Al Bundy on Fox’s “Married … With Children.” He also starred in CBS’ “Big Apple” and in the features “Lucky Numbers” and “The Bone Collector.”

Also at ABC, “Saturday Night Live” alum Victoria Jackson has been cast as Gina in the Touchstone/DDJ Prods. laffer “I Married Sofia.”

Project stars Latin American sensation Sofia Vergara as a single Latina mom from Colombia who, in order to stay in the U.S., finds an American businessman and pays him to marry her.

Jackson will play Vergara’s best friend in the pilot, which comes from Don Reo, Damon Wayans and Jeff Sagansky.

Jackson’s recent credits include serving as a judge last season on NBC’s “Last Comic Standing”; she also appeared in the feature “I Love You to Death.”

Newcomer Stephanie Childers has been booked as Kate, the female lead and love interest in ABC’s untitled Lewis Black starrer.

Paramount sitcom, from Victor Fresco, stars Black as a high school principal. Childers will play Black’s ex-girlfriend, an opinionated biology teacher at the school.

Childers comes from Chicago’s theater community; she recently starred on Broadway opposite Gary Sinise in the Steppenwolf Theater Co.’s production of “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.”

In other casting news, “Spin City” alum Connie Britton has joined the NBC sitcom pilot “My 11:30” in the role of Emily.

Project, from NBC Studios and Nuance, stars Jeff Goldblum as a playboy businessman. Paul Reiser, Steven Sater and Keith Addis exec produce.

Britton more recently starred in ABC’s short-lived “Lost at Home” and NBC’s “The Fighting Fitzgeralds.” She also appeared in the feature “The Next Big Thing.”

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