Kristin Chenoweth is going from merely inspiring a character on television to actually playing one again.
The Tony Award winner and former "West Wing" actress has joined the cast of ABC's pilot "Pushing Daisies," the showbiz trade papers report. ABC has also signed Charles S. Dutton ("Threshold"), Eddie Cibrian ("Invasion") and Natalie Zea ("Eyes"), while Amanda Walsh has joined the NBC comedy "The Mastersons of Manhattan."
Chenoweth played White House and Santos campaign staffer Annabeth Schott on the final two seasons of "The West Wing." Her relationship with that show's creator, Aaron Sorkin, is also widely thought to have inspired (at least in part) Sarah Paulson's character on Sorkin's current show, "Studio 60." Her TV credits also include the short-lived NBC sitcom "Kristin" and ABC's "The Music Man."
Also at ABC, Dutton is joining Michael Ealy in the crime drama "Suspect," where he'll play a veteran cop. Dutton is a three-time Emmy winner, earning honors for guest rules on "The Practice" in 2002 and "Without a Trace" in 2003; he also has a directing Emmy for HBO's miniseries "The Corner." He recently directed Ealy in an episode of Showtime's "Sleeper Cell."
Cibrian, who appeared on FOX's "Vanished" earlier this season, will appear in ABC's "Football Wives." He'll play a quarterback who's married to Lucy Lawless' scheming character. Zea, meanwhile, will co-star in "Dirty Sexy Money" as a member of the rich New York family tended to by lawyer Peter Krause.
Over at NBC, Walsh ("Sons & Daughters," the upcoming "Disturbia") will co-star in "The Mastersons of Manhattan," playing the younger sister of Molly Shannon and Natasha Richardson. NBC has also added Cornell Womack ("Rescue Me") to its cop drama "Ft. Pit."