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24's Dennis Haysbert Joins Hart Hanson's CBS Pilot Backstrom

Dennis Haysbert may be making a return to a starring role in a television series in the near future, should things go well for the CBS drama in which he's recently been cast. The actor, who may be associated best by some as the Allstate guy, and to others, as the President of the United States in 24 and Jonas Blane in The Unit, has been cast to co-star in CBS' drama pilot Backstrom.

The project comes from Bones creator Hart Hanson and is based on a Swedish book series, which follows Everett Backstrom, "an overweight, offensive, irascible detective as he tries, and fails, to change his self-destructive behavior." Sounds like a character with a lot of potential for entertainment. Who will play him? There's no mention of that just yet, but Haysbert will play one of the detectives working with the lead.

In addition to 24 and The Unit, Haysbert's distinctly deep voice has earned him a number of voice roles, including a part in Wreck-It Ralph. Haysbert's career in features goes back much further than that, with the role as the intimidating Pedro Cerrano in Major League, and the charming but indecisive Kenneth Dawkins in Waiting to Exhale among his film credits. And in more recent years, after playing President Palmer in 24, he went on to tell us about Allstate's stand and star in The Unit. He also has a number of feature projects coming up, including Sin City: A Dame to Kill For and BattleDogs. But if things go well for Backstrom, it'll be great to see him back on television again.

Kelly West
Kelly West

Kelly joined CinemaBlend as a freelance TV news writer in 2006 and went on to serve as the site’s TV Editor before moving over to other roles on the site. At present, she’s an Assistant Managing Editor who spends much of her time brainstorming and editing feature content on the site.