EXCLUSIVE: Oscar nominated actress Virginia Madsen (Sideways) is joining NBC’s freshman drama The Event as a recurring. The actress — who’s coming off of ABC’s summer series Scoundrels — will play Catherine Lewis, the widow of a U.S. senator from Alaska who has assumed her husband’s post. A former powerhouse attorney, the Harvard grad is determined to carry out her husband’s legacy at any cost. As Deadline told you back in November, the role was originally offered to Friday Night Lights MVP Connie Britton. The Event is currently on hiatus and is slated to return to the schedule on Feb. 28. Michael Ausiello is contributing to Deadline.com and Movieline.com as he preps for the January launch of TVLine.com, a new TV-centric website from MMC.