EXCLUSIVE: Vanessa Williams has been on an ABC primetime series for six consecutive seasons now: four years on Ugly Betty, from which she segued into a starring gig on Desperate Housewives, now in its eighth and final season. The actress and the network are looking to extend their run together with a new series. ABC has signed a talent holding deal with Williams, who will headline a new hourlong or half-hour project targeted for next fall. Williams is the first star from departing Desperate Housewives to book a potential new series gig. She earned three Emmy nominations for her role as the cunning Wilhelmina Slater on Ugly Betty. The multiple Tony nominee and Grammy winner, repped by UTA and manager Geordie Frey, just landed a cameo in Tyler Perry’s The Marriage Counselor. She is currently writing her first book, a memoir in conjunction with her mother Helen Williams, which will be released by Penguin Group around Mother’s Day.