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08.24.2006

JAMES WOODS, JERI RYAN, SAM PAGE, SOPHINA BROWN, ALEXIS CRUZ, SARAH CARTER AND DANIELLE PANABAKER STAR IN "SHARK," A NEW DRAMA ABOUT AN ACE DEFENSE ATTORNEY WHO BRINGS HIS SUPREME SELF-CONFIDENCE AND CUTTHROAT TACTICS TO THE PROSECUTOR'S OFFICE, PREMIERING THURSDAY, SEPT. 21 ON THE CBS TELEVISION NETWORK

Emmy Award Winner and Golden Globe Award Nominee Lynn Whitfield ("The Josephine Baker Story") And Melissa Leo ("Homicide: Life on the Street") Guest Star Pilot -- James Woods, Jeri Ryan, Sam Page, Sophina Brown, Alexis Cruz, Sarah Carter and Danielle Panabaker star in the new drama series SHARK, premiering Thursday, Sept. 21 (10:00-11:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. SHARK follows the professional and personal life of Sebastian Stark, a charismatic, supremely self-confident defense attorney who, after a shocking outcome in one of his cases and a personal epiphany, brings his cutthroat tactics to the prosecutor's office. Spike Lee directed the episode written by Ian Biederman, creator of the series and one of the executive producers. Emmy Award winner and Golden Globe Award nominee Lynn Whitfield ("The Josephine Baker Story") and Melissa Leo ("Homicide: Life on the Street") guest star. As the head of the Los Angeles District Attorney's High Profile Crime Unit, Sebastian Stark (James Woods) is forced to work for his former nemesis, Jessica Devlin (Jeri Ryan), the ambitious and accomplished D.A. who despises his ruthless strategies. Devlin teams him with a group of young prosecutors who are about to have the learning experience of a lifetime because, though Stark is seeking to redeem himself, he has no intention of changing his underhanded approach to cases just because he's now working for the "good guys." His young team includes Casey Woodland (Sam Page), a privileged hunk who is arrogant about his abilities as a young attorney; Raina Troy (Sophina Brown), a smart, tough new addition to the office; Martin Allende (Alexis Cruz), an intellectual from South Central L.A.; and the high-powered Madeleine Poe (Sarah Carter), who joins the team in order to learn from the best. It's an eye-opening experience for this rookie group of lawyers who begin to use Stark's infamous brass knuckle tactics in their cases. With his 16-year-old daughter, Julie (Danielle Panabaker), rooting for him at home, this legal shark must now prove that he can play, and win, on the other side of the law. (More) CBS Television...2 In the premiere episode, while Stark is reeling from getting a not-guilty verdict for a client who then committed the same crime again -- but now with fatal consequences -- Stark accepts the mayor's proposal to head up the Los Angeles District Attorney's High Profile Crime Unit. With the exception of aspiring defense attorney Madeleine Poe, the young lawyers assigned to Stark's team are less than eager to work with him, and he's anything but impressed with their past performances. However, he's given only 48 hours to prepare to prosecute the case of a pop star accused of murdering a young man she claims she killed in self-defense, so Stark is forced to rely on his rookie team for help as he simultaneously guides them with tips from his legal "cutthroat manifesto." Whitfield plays the pop star's defense attorney, and Leo plays the mother of the young man who was killed by the pop star. James Woods earned Academy Award nominations for Best Actor in a Leading Role in "Salvador" and Best Actor in a Supporting Role in "Ghosts of Mississippi." He earned an Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Mini-Series or Special for "Promise," for which he also won a Golden Globe Award, and he also won an Emmy Award in the same Lead Actor category for "My Name is Bill W." Woods' breakout film performance came in 1979 in "The Onion Field." His additional film credits include "Once Upon A Time in America," "Against All Odds," "Videodrome," "Casino," "True Believer," "The Virgin Suicides," "Scary Movie 2," "Northfork" and, most recently, "Pretty Persuasion." Among his additional television credits are the movies "Rudy: The Rudy Giuliani Story," "Citizen Cohn" and "Indictment: The McMartin Trial," all of which earned him Emmy Award nominations, as well as the mini-series "Holocaust," and recent guest-starring roles in "ER," which earned him an Emmy nomination, and "Entourage." Jeri Ryan's breakout role was the sexy lead character Seven-of-Nine on the popular television series "Star Trek: Voyager." Her additional television credits include lead roles in the series "Boston Public" and "Dark Skies" and recurring roles on "Two and a Half Men," on the Network, "The O.C." and "Melrose Place." Among Ryan's feature film credits are "Down with Love," "The Kid," "Dracula 2000" and the independent films "Men Cry Bullets" and "The Last Man." Sam Page's television series credits include lead roles in "Point Pleasant" and the daytime drama "All My Children," recurring roles in "American Dreams," "7th Heaven," "Popular," "Undressed" and the Saturday morning series "Hang Time," and a guest-starring appearance in the CBS series "CSI: Miami." Among his feature film credits is the lead role in "Wish You Were Here." Sophina Brown's television credits include a recurring role in "Chappelle's Show" and guest-starring roles in the CBS series "Numb3rs," "Without a Trace," "Hack," "The Education of Max Bickford" and the daytime drama "As the World Turns." She has also guest-starred in "Law & Order," "Law & Order: SVU," "Strangers with Candy" and "Twins." Among Brown's theater credits are the role of Nala in the Broadway production of "The Lion King" and the role of Carmen in the national tour of "Fame -- The Musical." Her feature film credits include the upcoming "Because I Said So" with Diane Keaton and Mandy Moore. (More) CBS Television...3 Alexis Cruz starred as Skaara in the feature film "Stargate" and reprised the role as a recurring character in the film's cable series spin-off, "Stargate SG-1." Cruz's additional television series credits include a regular role in the children's program "Sesame Street," recurring roles in the CBS series "Touched By an Angel" and "The District," and recurring roles in "American Family" and "Dangerous Minds." He also starred in the CBS mini-series "Larry McMurtry's Streets of Laredo" and the television movies "The Old Man and the Sea," "Power: The Eddie Matos Story," in which he played the title role, "Detention: The Siege at Johnson High," for which he was nominated for an ALMA Award for Best Actor, and the upcoming cable action/horror production "Slayer." Among his additional feature film credits are "Why Do Fools Fall in Love?," "Bug," "The Brave," "The Pick-Up Artist," "Rooftops," the upcoming film "The Last Time" and the upcoming independent feature "Tortilla Heaven." Sarah Carter's television series credits include a lead role in "Black Sash," recurring roles on "Smallville" and "Numb3rs," and guest-starring appearances on "Entourage," "Boston Legal," "Undeclared," "Dark Angel," "Wolf Lake" and "The Twilight Zone." Her first audition in 2001 landed her a role in the film "Mindstorm." Her additional film credits include "Final Destination II" and the upcoming films "DOA: Dead or Alive" and "Skinwalkers" and the independent films "Haven," with Orlando Bloom, "Barstool Words" and "Berkeley." Danielle Panabaker's feature film credits include "Yours, Mine and Ours" and "Sky High." Her upcoming films include a role as Kevin Costner's daughter in "Mr. Brooks" and a role alongside Haley Joel Osment in "Home of the Giants." Panabaker recently starred in the mini-series "Empire Falls." Her additional television credits include lead roles in the movies "Searching for David's Heart," for which she won the 2005 Young Artist Award for Best Performance for a TV Movie Leading Young Actress, "Mom at Sixteen," "Sex and the Single Mom" and "Stuck in the Suburbs." She has had guest-starring roles in the CBS series "The Guardian," for which she won the 2004 Young Artist Award for Best Performance in a TV Series -- Guest Starring Young Actress, and "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation," as well as on "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit," "Malcolm in the Middle" and "Summerland," on which she worked with her sister, Kay, who was a regular cast member. She and Kay both star in the upcoming cable movie "Read It and Weep." SHARK is produced by Imagine Television, in association with Twentieth Century Fox Television. Brian Grazer, David Nevins, Ian Biederman, Ed Redlich and Rod Holcomb are executive producers. SERIES REGULARS Sebastian Stark James Woods Jessica Devlin Jeri Ryan Casey Woodland Sam Page Raina Troy Sophina Brown Martin Allende Alexis Cruz Madeleine Poe Sarah Carter Julie Stark Danielle Panabaker RECURRING Mayor Manuel Delgado Carlos Gomez (More) CBS Television...4 GUEST CAST Billie Willis Kristen Wilson Margaret Pool Romy Rosemont Claire Stark Lindsay Frost Anita Astin Lynn Whitfield Jenny Dennison Mimi Michaels Elizabeth Rourke Melissa Leo Terrence Rourke Todd Christian Hunter Judge Jim Jansen Jared Bryant Johnson Family Court Judge Pat Lentz Gordie Brock Tony Daly Deena Brock Sally Pressman CSI Shay Roundtree Reporter Kent Shockneck Detective #1 Emilio Rivera Detective #2 Sean W. Ryal Devlin's Receptionist Annette Siedlitz RATING: To Be Announced DRAMA, LAW, MYSTERY Photos now available at www.cbspressexpress.com