NeNe Leakes Joins Ryan Murphy's New Pilot, 'The New Normal' And More Casting News

NeNe Leakes & Ryan Murphy Team Up Again

NeNe Leakes' guest spot on "Glee" definitely left an impression. The musical dramedy's creator Ryan Murphy has cast "The Real Housewives of Atlanta" star on his new comedy pilot, "The New Normal," Deadline reports.

The half-hour single-camera comedy that stars Andrew Rannells and Justin Bartha as a gay couple who hire a surrogate (Scottish actress Georgia King), with Ellen Barkin as her mother.

On "Glee," Leakes played hard-ass synchronized swim coach Roz Washington, another rival for Cheerios Coach Sue Sylvester (Jane Lynch). Should "The New Normal" get picked up, the Bravo celebrity will have a recurring role.

In other casting news...

Serena Williams is trading the tennis court for TV to guest star on Lifetime's "Drop Dead Diva." Williams will play Kelly Stevens, a lawyer who represents Elisa Shayne (Brandy Norwood) in a custody battle against Jay Parker, played by Josh Stamberg. "I had heard that Serena was a fan of the show, so I reached out to her directly,” the show's creator Josh Berman said. [EW]

"Battlestar Galactica" actress Tricia Helfer will guest star in the "Criminal Minds" finale. Helfer is set to play a villain on the two-hour finale of the CBS drama. While the details are being kept under wraps, the actress has described her character as "definitely bad." [TVLine]

Michelle Borth has been picked up as a series regular on "Hawaii Five-0."
The "Combat Hospital" alum has recurred on the CBS police procedural as Steve McGarett's girlfriend for two seasons, and is set to return to Season 3 as a series regular. [TVLine]

Margo Martindale is headed to "Suits." Emmy-winner Martindale is set to appear on an episode of USA's "Suits" as Nell Sawyer, a tough-as-nails nurse who refuses to be taken down when her union threatens a strike against the hospital Harvey (Gabriel Macht) represents. [EW]

David Lyons joins the cast of another J.J. Abrams NBC drama pilot. The "Cape" vet has nabbed a co-starring role in the still-untitled drama pilot produced by J.J. Abrams and Eric Kripke. Lyons will play Bass in what has been described as a high-octane drama in a world where energy stops existing without explanation. [TVLine]

Kenneth Mitchell has landed a guest-starring role in an upcoming episode of "Grimm." Mitchell is set to play Wildermann, a sasquatch-like creature in the NBC drama. [TVLine]

Cheyenne Jackson is returning for the second live "30 Rock" episode. Broadway alum Cheyenne Jackson is headed back to NBC's "30 Rock" as TGS player Danny for the show's second live episode. [TVLine]

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