By Oliver Lyttelton | The Playlist February 17, 2012 at 10:00AM
There appears to be some kind of legal mandate that any actor who spends time on the East Coast has to, at some point, guest star on "Law & Order" or one of its many spin-offs. Over the 20-year history of the franchise, it's managed to find room for the diverse, acclaimed likes of Robin Williams, Angela Lansbury, Marcia Gay Harden, Ellen Burstyn, Brenda Blethyn, Dianne Weist, Frank Langella, Alfred Molina, Stephen Rea, Sharon Stone, Jeremy Irons, Laura Linney, Liza Minnelli, Holly Hunter and Julia Roberts. Hell, there are not many shows that have had guest appearances from both Ludacris AND Isabelle Huppert.
The latest actress to face the draft? Indie darling Chloë Sevigny, who TV Guide (via Vulture) reports will do a one-shot appearance on an upcoming episode of long-running rape-y offshoot "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit," the only show in the franchise still airing. The actress will play a woman who's kidnapped while Skyping with her husband, who's on the other side of the world.
In other TV news, "Community" has rarely been able to afford to attract A-listers to its low-rated brand of comedy brilliance, bar appearances by Jack Black and Owen Wilson in the first season, but it's had a smart approach to bringing in talent, going for cable-favorite character actors and comics like John Goodman, Michael K. Williams, Luis Guzman, Martin Starr, Rob Corddry, Josh Holloway, Patton Oswalt, Paul F. Tomkins, Tony Hale and Lee Majors over its three seasons to date. And it's keeping up the trend with its latest hire, as Vulture reports that Giancarlo Esposito is going to feature on the show in an upcoming episode.
Esposito, a Spike Lee favorite previously best known for "The Usual Suspects," has become a cult figure in the last few years thanks to his portrayal of chicken magnate/drug dealer Gus Fring on AMC's "Breaking Bad." He'll play a business associate of the late father of Chevy Chase's character, Pierce Hawthorne. There's still no word on when the show will return to the air, but when it does, we can't emphasize enough that you should watch it.
Existing series aside, it's pilot season at the moment, and a familiar big-screen name just signed up to make the leap to TV, with Deadline reporting that Malin Akerman, star of "Watchmen," has signed on to co-headline the sitcom pilot "The Smart One" with "Arrested Development" star Portia de Rossi. Akerman, who also appears on Adult Swim's bonkers-but-brilliant "Children's Hospital" and will crop up next week in "Wanderlust," will play a former weather girl who's now a city mayor, and employs her sister (de Rossi). Jean Smart ("Garden State") has also signed on to play their mother.
And finally, you can watch the first episode of the Jason Isaacs-starring series "Awake" from "The Beaver" scribe Kyle Killen, below, ahead of its debut on NBC in a few weeks.