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TVLine Items: Charisma Carpenter Plays a Lying Game, Criminal Minds Casting Scoop and More!

Fresh off her celebrated visit to Supernatural, Whedonverse alum Charisma Carpenter has landed a recurring role on the upcoming season of ABC Family’s The Lying Game, playing Char’s aunt Rebecca aka “Annie, ” TVGuide.com reports. The nickname might be slightly confusing for viewers given the fact that it’s also the name of the twins’ long-lost birth mother, but rest assured these two are vastly different women.

If you’re wondering if anything will be made of Carpenter’s slight resemblance to series lead Alexandra Chando, a source tells us that Rebecca will factor into the larger mystery of who the twins’ birth mother is.

Ready for more of today’s TV dish? Well…

• Crime novelist Patricia Cornwell (she of the sometimes literally mouth-watering Kay Scarpetta series) will guest-star on CBS’ Criminal Minds as herself, TVLine has confirmed. In the hit procedural’s Jan. 18 episode, Cornwell will be seen speaking at the “2012 Great Lakes Violent Crime Seminar” in Chicago, before she introduces Reid (played by Matthew Gray Gubler) as the next speaker.

One Life to Live creator Agnes Nixon will guest-star this January on the sudser before it ends its run on ABC, TV Guide Magazine reports. The soap opera legend is set to play Agnes Dixon, the creator of One Life‘s soap-within-a-soap, Fraternity Row.

• Mary Steenburgen has landed a multi-ep arc on NBC’s 30 Rock, playing Charlotte, “the highly spirited and attractive” mother of Elizabeth Banks’ Avery, per EW.com. 30 Rock returns with new episodes at midseason.

• And just like that, all is right with the world… ABC’s Suburgatory has officially promoted Ana Gasteyer to series regular, EW.com reports. The Saturday Night Live vet had been recurring on the quirky freshman comedy as George and Tessa’s nosy neighbor, Sheila.

• Showtime has renewed the docu-series The Real L Word for a third season, which for the first time will go bi(-coastal), shooting in both Los Angeles and New York.

• Syndicated game show Family Feud has been renewed through 2015, per The Hollywood Reporter. Comedian Steve Harvey currently acts as host.

Which TVLine Items have you talking today?