Dennis Haysbert Joins CBS’ ‘Backstrom’, Jim Gaffigan Comedy Pilot Adds Priest

Dennis Haysbert, star of the CBS military drama The Unit, is reuniting with the network and The Unit producer 20th Century Fox TV with a co-starring role in the CBS/20th TV drama pilot Backstrom. Written by Hart Hanson based on the Swedish book series, the project centers on Everett Backstrom, an overweight, offensive, irascible detective as he tries, and fails, to change his self-destructive behavior. Gersh-repped Haysbert plays John Almond, one of the detectives working with Backstrom.

Here is a tongue twister: Tongayi Chirisa (NBC’s Crusoe) has been cast as Father Nicholas Ngungumbane in CBS’ Jim Gaffigan comedy pilot. Written by Gaffigan and Peter Tolan, the project centers on Jim (Gaffigan) a guy who lives with his wife Jeannie (Mira Sorvino) and five kids in a 2-bedroom New York apartment. Father Ngungumbane is Catholic priest from Zimbabwe, recently relocated to New York and thrilled to be living in the United States, who tries to convince Jim to come to church more often. Chirisa is with Domain and New Wave.

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