Rainn Wilson to Star in Hart Hanson's 'Backstrom' Adaptation for CBS

Rainn Wilson
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"Saw the 'Battleship' trailer and, inspired, started my screenplay for 'Yahtzee'."

Rainn Wilson is going from playing an annoying paper products salesman to portraying an offensive detective.

After protracted negotiations, The Office star has landed the title role in CBS' adaptation of Backstrom, The Hollywood Reporter has learned. The table read is set for Monday.

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Based on the Swedish book series by criminologist/novelist Leif G.W. Persson, Backstrom centers on an overweight, offensive, irascible detective as he tries, and fails, to change his self-destructive behavior.

Wilson, who this week wrapped his nine-season run as The Office's Dwight Schrute, will star as Detective Everett Backstrom, who has recently been brought back from disgrace to head Portland's newly formed Special Crimes Group, comprised of an elite team of like-minded eccentric detectives. He's described as having no filter who -- like Dwight -- always says what he feels with a clairvoyant hunch. He's a hard-drinking, hard-smoking junk food addict who has been warned to change his unhealthy ways.

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Bones creator Hart Hanson will write and executive produce the pilot alongside Persson and Niclas Salomonsson. Mark Mylod will direct the 20th Century Television entry. Dennis Haysbert (24) and Kristoffer Polaha (Life Unexpected) co-star.

Hanson took to Twitter to celebrate the deal closing. "We got our Backstrom! And wow, he's a corker!" he wrote Sunday afternoon.  

The casting comes after NBC passed on The Farm, a spinoff revolving around Wilson's The Office alter ego Dwight as a beet farmer running a bed and breakfast. The Office episode aired Thursday to lackluster critical reviews.

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Wilson, repped by WME, 3 Arts and Sloane Offer, also counts Super, Peep World and The Rocker among his feature credits. He earned three Emmy nominations for supporting actor in a comedy for his role in The Office, which celebrated completing production with a wrap party Saturday.

He joins fellow Office co stars Angela Kinsey (Fox's The Gabriels), Ellie Kemper (NBC's Brenda Forever), Craig Robinson (NBC's untitled Owen Elickson/Robinson entry) and David Denman (CBS' Beverly Hills Cop) as booking pilots this season. The Office's series finale will air May 16.

Email: Lesley.Goldberg@thr.com; Twitter: @Snoodit