Sam Neill Stranded with 'Crusoe'

EntertainmentTelevisionSam NeillSean BeanHellboy II: The Golden Army (movie)Merlin (tv program)

Sam Neill, who recently starred in Showtime's "The Tudors," will take on another period piece in his next TV gig.

Neill, along with Sean Bean ("The Lord of the Rings") and Joss Ackland ("White Mischief"), have joined the cast of NBC's drama "Crusoe," a retelling of Daniel Defoe's classic novel "Robinson Crusoe."

The international production is set to begin shooting soon in the U.K., South Africa and the Seychelles. It's slated to air on Friday nights on NBC in the fall.

While the show will focus on Crusoe's (Philip Winchester, "Thunderbirds") adventures while stranded on a desert island with companion Friday (who has yet to be cast), it will also flash back to the life he knew before he was shipwrecked. Bean, whose credits also include "National Treasure" and "Flightplan," will play the young Robinson's widower father, and Neill will play family friend Jeremiah Blackthorn, who encourages Crusoe's business aspirations.

Ackland, whose credits include "Surviving Picasso" and "Lethal Weapon 2," will play a judge. The show will also feature Anna Walton ("Hellboy II") as Crusoe's love.

Neill played Cardinal Thomas Wolsey in the first season of "The Tudors." The "Jurassic Park" star earned an Emmy nomination for his role in NBC's telefilm "Merlin" 10 years ago; his credits also include "Sirens," "The Dish" and Sci Fi's miniseries "The Triangle."

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