Actually it just seems that Anne Deavere Smith has played the Vice President of the United States before. But she has played other White House government official types in movies such as The Kingdon, American President and Dave.
However, this time she's gotten a real promotion, and has been cast as the V.P. in the CBS pilot The Surgeon General, starring Jason Isaacs as, who else, the surgeon general.
No word yet as to who will play the President of the U.S.
No doubt the huge success of Scandal has all the other networks scrambling to get their own White House-set prime time soap opera on the air.