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'Mister Ed' gets a new voice

TV casting news

Mister Ed
The original "Mister Ed": Fox is making a new version with an urban sensibility.

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LOS ANGELES, California (Hollywood Reporter) -- Sherman Hemsley of "The Jeffersons" fame is lending his voice to the title character in Fox's updated version of "Mister Ed."

Hemsley joins David Alan Basche, who was previously tapped to play Wilbur Post, and Sherilyn Fenn, tapped as Wilbur's wife.

"Mister Ed" is a remake of the 1960s talking-horse sitcom. This time around, the equine title character has an urban sensibility.

The original starred Alan Young as Wilbur and Allan "Rocky" Lane as the voice of Mister Ed. The show ran on CBS from 1961 to 1965 after an initial syndicated run in early 1961.

Daly returning to TV?

Meanwhile, Tim Daly is in final negotiations to topline ABC's drama pilot "Eyes," which centers on the workings of high-powered risk management corporation.

Daly, who will play the president of the corporation, will be in theaters on Friday with "Against the Ropes," starring Meg Ryan and Omar Epps.

In other major pilot casting news, Kate Walsh has nabbed the lead in the WB Network comedy "Joint Custody"; Taye Diggs has been cast in the title role of the UPN drama "Kevin Hill"; Chyler Leigh has been cast as the female lead in the Fox comedy "Lucky Us"; Rachel Shelley has been tapped as the female lead in the Fox drama "Oahu"; and newcomer Josh Cooke has been cast as the male lead in an untitled comedy at NBC.

"Joint Custody" centers on an ultrapermissive mom (Walsh) who shares custody of her teen kids with her former husband. Walsh, perhaps best known as Drew Carey's girlfriend on ABC's "The Drew Carey Show," was recently tapped to star opposite Will Ferrell in an untitled soccer movie at Universal.

"Kevin Hill" centers on a young attorney (Diggs) who gives up his playboy lifestyle to raise his niece. Diggs' recent credits include the features "Chicago," "Basic" and "Malibu's Most Wanted."

"Lucky Us" is a romantic comedy about a woman (Leigh) and a man who go on a blind date and wind up having a baby. Leigh's series credits include Fox's "Girls Club" and ABC's "The Practice."

"Oahu" is an "Upstairs, Downstairs" take on the interactions between the staffers at a luxury Hawaiian hotel and the hotel's wealthy guests.

Shelley will play the hotel manager. She joins Kristoffer Polaha, a hotel executive and one-time paramour of the manager. Shelley, who starred in the Oscar-nominated feature "Lagaan: Once Upon a Time in India," next appears in the romantic comedy "Seeing Other People."

In the untitled NBC comedy, Cooke will play half of a couple whose biggest obstacle is themselves.

Copyright 2004 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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