EXCLUSIVE: Kristoffer Polaha is staying in the CBS family. Polaha, who stars on the critically praised CW/CBS Studios drama Life Unexpected, has signed a rich talent holding deal with CBS and CBS Studios to topline a new project eyed for next fall. I hear Polaha was offered the deal the day CW decided not to give Life Unexpected a back order, effectively sealing the fate of the sophomore drama. There are four unaired episodes of LUX left and, barring any last-minute ratings surge, the series will be done in January, allowing Polaha to take on pilot duty for CBS.

Actors signed in talent deals by CBS have gone on to headline some of its biggest series, including William Petersen on CSI, Melina Kanakaredes on CSI: NY, LL Cool J on NCIS: LA and Alex O’Loughlin on Hawaii Five-0. Polaha, repped by WME and Mosaic, is the only drama actor on CBS’ talent roster for this pilot season. On the comedy side, the network has deals with Leah Remini and Rob Riggle. Polaha’s breakthrough came in 2003 when he was cast in the title role of the telefilm America’s Prince: The John F. Kennedy Jr. Story. He went on to star on several series, including Fox’s North Shore and ABC’s Miss Guided, and also recurred on AMC’s Mad Men.