EXCLUSIVE: Jane Curtin is joining the cast of CBS’ freshman drama series Unforgettable as a new regular. The crime procedural stars Poppy Montgomery as former Syracuse, NY police detective Carrie Wells recruited by the NYPD’s Queens homicide unit who has  rare medical condition that allows her to visually remember everything. Curtin will play Jane Webster, an acerbic and demanding Inspector who was running the Medical Examiner’s office in Manhattan until being demoted to the Queens PD for mouthing off one too many times. Although she is a brilliant forensic pathologist with an encyclopedic knowledge of New York crime, she refuses to be pigeonholed as merely a crime fighter, and even teaches a course in Romantic Poetry at New School. Carrie will soon come to rely on Jane’s deductive prowess and historical expertise to help solve the murder of her own sister more than two decades ago. This is a rare foray into drama for Saturday Night Live alumna Curtin, who starred on such comedy series as Kate & Allie, which earned her 2 Emmy Awards, and 3rd Rock From the Sun. Unforgettable, which recently received a full-season pickup, is the second CBS crime drama procedural to add a veteran sitcom actor for a lighter touch, following CSI‘s hire of Ted Danson as its new leading man. Curtin is with ICM.

Meanwhile, in another new regular casting, Italian actress Valentina Cervi is joining HBO’s True Blood. She will play Salome, a powerful ancient vampire and a world class seductress. Cervi, who has signed with ICM, landed the part after an extensive international search that included hundreds of actresses from around the world vying to play the exotic character, which is expected to be  featured prominently next season.