Leslie Nielsen Has 'World' in His Hands

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Leslie Nielsen hasn't had a regular role on American TV since "Police Squad!" in 1982, but that could change in the next year or so.

The "Airplane!" and "Naked Gun" star has joined an NBC comedy pilot called "Lipshitz Saves the World." He would play a mentor to the title character, a teenage nerd who discovers he might be the person to rescue the planet from destruction.

"I'm a lifelong fan and wrote the part specifically for him, never having met him, and with no knowledge of whether or not he'd take to it," "Lipshitz" writer Dan Fogelman tells The Hollywood Reporter. "But he could not have been more gracious and responsive once he read the script."

Fogelman co-wrote this summer's Pixar movie "Cars" and created the WB sitcom "Like Family" a few seasons back. He also wrote and executive produced the FOX pilot "The 12th Man" this past development season.

Nielsen, who also starred in the third and fourth installments of the "Scary Movie" franchise, has a TV career that stretches back to the days of "Studio One" and "Bonanza," both of which are among his dozens of small-screen credits. More recently, he's starred in such films as "Spy Hard" and "Wrongfully Accused" and guested on shows ranging from "The Golden Girls" to "Due South." He also was a contestant on CBS' "Game Show Marathon" earlier this summer.

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