Rhames Goes Undercover

NBC's fall police drama UC: Undercover is sounding more and more like this year's Miami Vice. Like that '80s pop culture phenomenon, the new series features two ethnically diverse hotties in the lead: Oded Fehr of The Mummy Returns and Jon Seda of Homicide: Life on the Street. Add a badass villain or two, cool theme music, and presto: instant hit

Or so apparently hopes producer Shane Salerno, who announced the high-profile casting of booming-voiced actor Ving Rhames of Pulp Fiction fame, in what's hoped to be the first of several big-name guest stars.

Rhames, currently on-screen in John Singleton's Baby Boy, will join the show as larger-than-life drug lord Quito Real. One or two of his episodes are expected to air during the November sweeps, Variety reports. Salerno, who worked with Rhames on the upcoming Sonny Liston biopic Night Train, says it's a "radically cool honor" to have Rhames sign on for the guest stint. "This guy's cool with a capital K," he says.

Salerno says he hopes that the Golden Globe-winning actor's appearance will "make it cool to play a villain" on the new show. Future guest stars already include Steven Bauer, who played the suburban drug lord in Traffic, and Angie Everhart, who played a killer vamp in Bordello of Blood. While we don't know if any of the characters will have a pet crocodile or sport pastel suits, Miami Vice seems apt as Salerno tells Variety that UC is a "very music-driven series" that will feature musicians and other pop culture personages as guest stars. Beside a weekly soundtrack of hip-hop and trip-hop tunes that "reflect what people are listening to," Salerno says, he will release a remixed version of UC's theme music to radio stations.

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