Eric Roberts joins cast of 'Crash'

Starz drama has begun production on Season 2

Eric Roberts is joining the cast of Starz's series "Crash."

On the second season of the Lionsgate TV-produced drama, Roberts is joined by five other new cast members: Dana Ashbrook, Linda Park, Jake McLaughlin, Tess Harper and Julie Warner.

Dennis Hopper is back, along with fellow returning cast members Ross McCall, Jocko Sims, Moran Atias.

Starz's first original drama series, from the producers of the best picture Oscar winner, has begun production on its 13-episode second season in Albuquerque.

Andrew Bernstein is directing the season's first episode, slated to debut on Friday, Sept. 18.

Set in Los Angeles, the second season of "Crash" will continue to revolve around the intersecting lives of Angelenos from different social strata.

Roberts will play Seth, a billionaire entrepreneur, who plans to give Los Angeles a long-desired new professional football team. Ashbrook ("Twin Peaks") will play Jimmy, a charismatic gambler who plays fast and loose with the law. Park ("Jurassic Park III") will play Maggie, a children's book author who writes of a joyful life but has trouble living it.

McLaughlin ("In the Valley of Elah") will play Bo, a former high school pitching ace and shoo-in for the big league, but derailed by career-ending injury. Harper ("No Country for Old Men") will play his mother, Wendy, a middle-class San Fernando Valley shop owner forever reliving Bo's glory days; and Warner ("Doc Hollywood") will play Andrea, an ambitious and manipulative right-hand woman to Seth.

"Eric Roberts is always unpredictable and exciting to watch and Tess Harper is a terrific and highly acclaimed actress," said Stephan Shelanski, executive vp programming Starz Entertainment.

Added Kevin Beggs, Lionsgate's president of television programming and production: "The exciting additions to our cast and writing-producing team have opened up the series to a wealth of new dramatic possibilities."

Hopper reprises his role as legendary record producer Ben Cendars, just out of rehab and searching for clues surrounding a personal mysterious death. McCall is former LAPD cop Kenny Battaglia, now a lowly strip mall security guard.

Sims' Anthony was Ben's former driver and protegee, whom Ben turns to for help in his search. Atias is Inez, who's forsaken stripping and is making serious cash working as a hostess at an exclusive men's club.

The series production team is led by new showrunner Ira Steven Behr who executive produces alongside Paul Haggis and Bob Yari. Bobby Moresco, Ted Nunan, Don Cheadle, Mark Harris, Jorg Westercamp, and Thomas Becker, all involved in the Oscar-winning movie, co-exec produce, with Glen Mazzara serving as consulting producer.

Also new behind the camera this season are executive producer James DeMonaco (Staten Island, "The Kill Point"), supervising producers Todd Harthan ("The Kill Point") and Elizabeth Benjamin ("Bones"), consulting producer Devon Shepard ("Weeds"), and executive story editor Jennifer Schuur ("Big Love").