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ABC appoints De Mornay as its legal eagle

If she chooses, she may become a regular on ‘The Practice’ spinoff  that will feature James Spader
/ Source: Hollywood Reporter

Rebecca De Mornay is on track to co-star on ABC’s new legal series from “The Practice” creator David E. Kelley.

She has signed to do four episodes of “The Practice,” which serves as a springboard for the new show, with an option to continue on the new series as a regular.

She will play a tough, capable attorney working for Crane, Poole & Schmidt, the law firm that represents Alan Shore (James Spader) in his wrongful-termination lawsuit against Young, Frutt & Berluti. De Mornay replaces Fay Masterson, who was originally cast in the role.

In the new show, said to be lighter in tone than “The Practice,” Shore and Tara Eilson (Rhona Mitra) join Crane, Poole & Schmidt, where senior partner Danny Crane is played by William Shatner.

De Mornay, who most recently co-starred in the feature “Identity,” next appears in “Heart of Summer.”

Elsewhere in the TV casting world:

  • Shane West has been tapped to join NBC’s hit medical drama “ER,” which will return for its 11th season in the fall. West (“Once & Again”) will play a medical intern joining the Chicago hospital’s ER personnel at the center of the show.
  • Alec Newman has landed a starring role on the WB Network’s drama “Dark Shadows,” a remake of the 1960s Gothic soap about the wealthy Maine Collins family under a vampire curse. Newman will play 200-year-old vampire Barnabas Collins, a role played in the original by Jonathan Frid.
  • Annie Potts has come on board ABC’s untitled comedy about a man (Tom Everett Scott) and his estranged father (William Devane) who reconnect when they become dads at the same time. Potts (ABC’s “Dangerous Minds”) will play Devane’s character’s ex-wife, mother to the character played by Scott.
  • Craig Ferguson has joined ABC’s comedy “Hot Mom,” which centers on a wedding planner/single mom (Gina Gershon) and her more conservative teen daughter. Ferguson’s credits include “Saving Grace” and “Chain of Fools.”