Jesse L. Martin Fills 'Philanthropist' Bill

Former "Law & Order" star Jesse L. Martin is returning to the NBC fold, eyeing a role in the network's midseason drama "The Philanthropist."

Martin left "L&O" toward the end of last season, which was his ninth with the show as Detective Ed Green. He's now in negotiations to star opposite James Purefoy in "The Philanthropist," according to The Hollywood Reporter.

The show centers on Teddy Rist (Purefoy), a billionaire who uses his wealth to help people in need, often going outside official channels to do so. Martin will play Rist's long-time friend and business partner.

NBC announced earlier this week that production of "The Philanthropist" will be based in London. Production is scheduled to begin in the relatively near future, with filming also taking place in South Africa and the Czech Republic.

With the securing of its lead actors and a timetable to start production, the series appears to be on track for its midseason slot; NBC has it scheduled for Monday nights. However, the show's behind-the-scenes turmoil -- " Battlestar Galactica's" David Eick took over as executive producer after original EP Tom Fontana split over creative differences -- and long search for a star means the show probably won't debut until spring.

Because of that, the HR says, the show's original 13-episode order will be trimmed by a few episodes.