'Gilmore' Regular Joins ABC Pilot

EntertainmentTelevisionABCBBCLauren GrahamArrested Development (tv program)

"Gilmore Girls" actress Melissa McCarthy may be on her way out of Stars Hollow.

McCarthy, who plays excitable chef Sookie St. James on The CW's dramedy, has taken a role in ABC's comedy pilot "Sam I Am." ABC has also added Michael McKean to "The Thick of It," and Ricki Lake will star in a comedy called "The Middle," according to The Hollywood Reporter.

"Sam I Am" stars Christina Applegate as a woman with amnesia; McCarthy will play a former friend who reappears in her life.

McCarthy is the first "Gilmore" regular to seek other work this pilot season. There's been speculation as to whether this season, the show's seventh, would be its last; the contracts for stars Lauren Graham -- who started receiving a producer credit earlier this season -- and Alexis Bledel expire after this year.

Also at ABC, McKean ("This Is Spinal Tap," "A Mighty Wind") has joined Oliver Platt and Rhea Seehorn in "The Thick of It," the adaptation of a BBC series set in the world of politics. He'll will play a former campaign operative who's now the chief of staff for a low-wattage member of Congress.

McKean's "Spinal Tap" co-star and frequent collaborator Christopher Guest is directing the pilot, which "Arrested Development's" Mitch Hurwitz and Richard Day are writing.

"The Middle" focuses on an extended family living in the Midwest. Lake, who hosted CBS' "Gameshow Marathon" last summer, will star in and narrate the show as an overextended mother.

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