Jackson turns on TV with deal at CBS Par

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Samuel L. Jackson is venturing into network television with a first-look deal at CBS Paramount Network TV.

Under the two-year pact, he will develop and executive produce series projects for the studio through his Uppity Films.

Jackson is in the process of hiring an executive to shepherd his TV development. Additionally, he is open to the idea of limited appearances on a show he develops in the vein of Salma Hayek's arc on ABC's "Ugly Betty," which she exec produces.

At least one other TV studio was interested in a deal with Jackson, but the actor opted to go with CBS Par after a sit-down with studio president David Staph.

Staph admitted to being "a huge fan" of Jackson, while at the meeting, the actor showed he is a big TV buff.

"Samuel Jackson is not only a fan of television but a really astute historian who knows it well," Staph said. "He knows wherein lies a good story, and he's going to be a fantastic producer who is interested in all the genres on television."

Jackson, who watches TV assiduously, with CBS Par- produced "CSI" among his favorites, said he looks forward "to having as great an influence on other's lives as television has had on mine."

Jackson's only previous stint as TV producer is with Spike TV's animated series "Afro Samurai," which is returning this fall.

The actor, next seen in "The Spirit" and "Soul Men," is repped by ICM, Anonymous and attorney Debbie Klein. (partialdiff)
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