NBC Keeps Lowe in 'Den'
Tue Jan 28, 2:29 AM ET
By Melissa Grego and Michael Fleming
HOLLYWOOD (Variety) - With his "West Wing" days over, Rob Lowe is finalizing a rich deal to star in and produce "Lyon's Den," a new NBC drama pilot under consideration for next fall.
The new project is described as an ensemble legal drama set in a mid-sized, century-old law firm. Lowe would play an idealistic attorney trying to make his mark on the world while struggling to escape the shadow of his powerful father, a state senator.
As part of the deal, Lowe has secured a hefty penalty in case NBC does not pick up the project.
The exit of Lowe's "West Wing" character, Sam Seaborn, followed the actor's well-known disagreement with the show's producers over salary and his role on the show.
The pact represents a significant win for NBC programming chief Jeff Zucker, who was heavily involved in the deal, because it means keeping a popular NBC star in the network fold, even after a contentious exit.
The actor earned about $75,000 per episode for his work on the "West Wing," and is expected to earn significantly more -- low six figures -- for "Lyon's Den," should the project go to series.