Pilot News: Housewives' NeNe Leakes Joins Ryan Murphy Comedy, Vampire Alum Finds Shelter

NeNe Leakes is fast becoming Ryan Murphy‘s newest protégé.

The Real Housewives star — who’s made a handful of appearances on Glee this season — has joined the cast of Murphy’s NBC comedy pilot The New Normal.

Also among the latest wave of pilot castings: a Vampire Diaries alum returns to The CW, Notorious adds a Breakout Kings vet and more.

As for Leakes, she joins the project — which centers on a modern-day blended family of a gay couple and their surrogate — as the heavily recurring character, Rocky.

In other pilot news…

• Trent Ford (Vampire Diaries) will co-star in The CW’s Shelter, a resort-set drama from Mark Schwahn and J.J. Abrams. He’ll play a former British rock star staying at the New England-based inn.

• Breakout Kings‘ Laz Alonso has nabbed the male lead in NBC’s Notorious, an opulent soap centering on a detective who goes undercover within the wealthy family she knew a child. Per Deadline, the actor will star as a determined NYPD detective opposite the previously cast Meagan Good.

Jonathan Silverman (Greek, The Single Guy) will play an internist in David E. Kelley’s TNT medical drama, Chelsea General.

Veteran actor Ken Howard (30 Rock) has joined ABC’s Counter Culture, Deadline reports; the show is a comedy about three sisters running the family diner in Texas. He’ll play the working-class hubby of Margo Martindale’s leading lady.

Which pilot castings have your interest piqued?