Jimmy Smits in production deal with ABC

Aug. 30, 2004 at 3:27 PM

LOS ANGELES, Aug. 30 (UPI) -- Jimmy Smits has agreed to a deal to develop and star in a Touchstone Television series on ABC, Daily Variety said Monday.

The deal calls for Smits to deliver the show after he finishes his commitment -- announced last week -- as a cast member on NBC's "The West Wing." Smits will play a Texas politician who runs for president on the Emmy-winning White House drama.

The ABC deal reunites Smits with the network where he starred from 1994-98 as Detective Bobby Simone on "NYPD Blue."

Smits is free to begin producing shows immediately at Touchstone, but his commitment to "The West Wing" runs through the upcoming TV season -- so he will not be able to star in a series for ABC at least until then.

Variety said Smits was likely to remain on "The West Wing" beyond the 2004-05 season -- if the show returns for another season and his character's storyline has any life left in it.

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