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.
The panel for NBC’s The Event often evoked 24 and Lost and understandably so as the new NBC serialized thriller about a government conspiracy is touted as a potential successor to the iconic dramas that bowed out in May. It also has 24 veteran Evan Katz as showrunner. “The show won’t be as dark (as 24) but there will be the same intensity, the same roller-coaster ride that provokes visceral response to what you watch.”
Producers fielded a lot of questions about how they will sustain viewers’ interest in a dense serialized drama. The biggest questions in the pilot will be answered in the second episode, Katz said. (The Event received strong reaction at Comic-Con last week.) Creator Nick Wauters, who admitted to being influenced by Lost and 24, stressed that “we will try and reveal as many answers as we can as we go and set up more mysteries. “But you have to go on faith that we know what we’re doing,” he said. “As a viewer myself and a fan of Lost, I ask for people’s trust.”