Don Cheadle inks first-look deal at UMS

Actor-producer to develop series projects

Oscar-nominated actor-producer Don Cheadle and his Crescendo Prods. are making a big push in television with a two-year, first-look deal at Universal Media Studios.

Under the pact, expected to be announced today during NBC's portion of the winter Television Critics Assn. press tour, Crescendo will develop series projects for the studio.

"Don Cheadle is such a smart and dynamic presence both on the screen and behind the scenes," said Angela Bromstad, president of primetime entertainment for NBC and UMS. "We are already at work discussing ideas that will bring Don's strong and creative voice to our primetime schedule."

Founded in 2005, Crescendo is run by Cheadle and producing partners Kay Liberman and Lenore Zerman. The company, which recently signed a two-year, first-look deal with Overture Films on the feature side, has produced such films as "Traitor" and the documentary "Darfur Now."

Cheadle also was a producer of the Oscar-winning "Crash." He made his foray into TV producing as an exec producer of the Starz/Lionsgate series "Crash," which is based on the film.

Cheadle and Crescendo are repped by UTA.