Brit James Purefoy is in negotiations to play the lead in NBC's midseason drama series Philanthropist.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Philanthropist centers on a renegade billionaire (Purefoy) who uses his wealth, connections and power to help people in need no matter the risks or costs.

The casting of the lead comes nearly a year after NBC gave the project a 13-episode series order and three months after the network put it on its 2008-09 schedule.

It also follows the recent change at the helm of Philanthropist, with David Eick taking over following the departure of original writer/executive producer Tom Fontana and exec producer Barry Levinson.

Peter Horton is set to direct the pilot for the series, which is slated to premiere in the Monday 10 p.m. slot in midseason.