Tuning in to TV: HBO’s ‘The Newsroom’ casts recurring roles

Another daughter of Meryl Streep has landed a role in a TV drama.

Grace Gummer will have a recurring role on HBO’s “The Newsroom” in its upcoming second season, according to The Hollywood Reporter. She will play Hallie Shea, a reporter who is embedded with the Mitt Romney campaign.

Her casting comes on the heels of Rosemarie DeWitt and Patton Oswalt joining the Aaron Sorkin drama, also in recurring roles. Mr. Oswalt is set to play the new vice president of human resources at Atlantic Cable News, while Miss DeWitt will portray a litigator brought in to defend the cable network in a wrongful-termination lawsuit.

Miss Gummer, who co-starred in Nickelodeon’s “Gigantic,” guest-starred on NBC’s “Smash” last season. Her sister, Mamie Gummer, stars in the CW’s freshman drama “Emily Owens, MD.

A return date for “Newsroom” has not been set.

Billy Dee Williams to appear on 'Modern Family'

The Force is coming to “Modern Family.”

“Star Wars” alum Billy Dee Williams has booked a guest spot on the ABC comedy, which also has secured Nathan Lane to reprise his role in an upcoming episode, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Mr. Williams, who played Lando Calrissian in “The Empire Strikes Back” and “Return of the Jedi,” will play himself in the 13th episode of the season, titled “New Year’s Eve.” During the episode, Jay (Ed O’Neill) takes the family to Palm Springs, Calif., to celebrate New Year’s Eve together and meets Mr. Williams over a game of cards.

Meanwhile, Mr. Lane will reprise his role as Mitch and Cam’s flamboyant friend Pepper in the following episode, marking his third appearance on the Emmy-winning comedy. Mr. Lane most recently has had a recurring role on CBS’ “The Good Wife.”

“Modern Family” airs at 9 p.m. Wednesdays.

Jason Biggs defends his political tweets

Jason Biggs is brushing off criticism he received during the presidential campaign for vulgar tweets that referenced the wives of both Republican Mitt Romney and his running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan.

The “American Pie” star took heat for off-color comments posted to his Twitter feed at the time of the Republican National Convention in August, according to The Associated Press. The outpouring of criticism from parents groups, pundits and others led Nickelodeon to issue an apology for the actor’s comments on the social media website.

Mr. Biggs is providing one of the voices in the cable TV station’s new animated series “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.”

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