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NBC sees Purefoy as "Philanthropist"

British actor James Purefoy looks on during a media brief in Snagov (30km north Bucharest) December 16, 2003. REUTERS/Bogdan Cristel

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - British actor James Purefoy is in negotiations to play the lead in “The Philanthropist,” a midseason NBC drama series.

“Philanthropist” centers on a renegade billionaire who uses his wealth, connections and power to help people in need no matter the risks or costs.

NBC brass had courted Purefoy for some time, including flying the “Rome” star from the United Kingdom to Los Angeles for a meeting.

The casting of the lead comes nearly a year after NBC gave the project a 13-episode series order and three months after the network put it on its 2008-09 schedule.

It also follows the recent change at the helm of “Philanthropist,” with David Eick taking over after the departure of original writer/executive producer Tom Fontana and executive producer Barry Levinson.

The series is slated to premiere in the Monday 10 p.m. slot in midseason.

Reuters/Hollywood Reporter