The Emmy winner is heading back to work on NBC's pilot "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip," "West Wing" creator Aaron Sorkin's latest project and a strong contender to make the fall schedule. Fellow "Wing" veteran Timothy Busfield and Sarah Paulson ("Deadwood," "Leap of Faith") have also joined the show.
Elsewhere, James Woods has signed on to star in the CBS pilot "Shark," which Spike Lee will direct; William Baldwin ("The Squid and the Whale") has joined the Eye's "Waterfront"; and Madeleine Stowe ("The Last of the Mohicans") will star in "Southern Comfort" for FOX.
"Studio 60" follows the lives of cast and crew on a fictional, "Saturday Night Live"-style comedy show. Whitford is set to play Danny, a former producer who returns to the show along with his creative partner, Matt (Matthew Perry), the showbiz trade papers report. Paulson will play a cast member who's also a devout Christian and Matt's ex, and Busfield will play the show's control-room director.
Busfield has also been added to the producing team and will direct some episodes.
Woods, a two-time Oscar nominee ("Salvador," "Ghosts of Mississippi") who recently did a guest turn on "ER," is taking his first starring role in a TV series with "Shark," about a celebrity lawyer turned prosecutor. It will also be the first pilot for Lee, whose film "Inside Man" hits theaters in March.
Also at CBS, Baldwin will play the district attorney in Providence, R.I., opposite Joe Pantoliano's mayor in "Waterfront," and Julia Ormond (Lifetime's "Beach Girls") will star in "The Way," about a powerful family that uses witchcraft to keep things that way.
Stowe, recently seen in the CBS movie "Saving Milly," is starring in "Southern Comfort," about the widow of a mob boss who assumes control of the family business. Also at FOX, Katheryn Winnick ("Failure to Launch") will star opposite Matthew Lillard in "13 Graves."
Among other castings are Nicole Sullivan ("Hot Properties") and Luis Guzman ("Boogie Nights," "Luis") joining Jeff Goldblum in NBC's "Raines" (formerly "Seeing Red"); Bobby Cannavale ("Will & Grace") in Paul Reiser's CBS comedy; and Rhea Seehorn ("I'm With Her"), Jarrad Paul ("The Shaggy Dog") and Conor Dubin ("Close to Home") in the NBC comedy "The Singles Table."