Female 24 prez leads casting changes

The idea of a female president in the White House is ever so close to becoming a reality, but until the first president to wear high heels gets sworn in, it's up to the world of television to fill the gap.

Cherry Jones is slated to be the next fictional female president in Fox's 24, Fox announced today. Though Jones forte is stage work, she has an extensive film portfolio, including recent films Ocean's Twelve and The Village. She also has experience in a fictional Oval Office setting, as she guest starred in The West Wing.

Female presidents are far from new to television, as evidenced by a few recent examples. Mary McDonnell has received rave reviews for her portrayal of Laura Roslin in Battlestar Galactica, though her ascension from Secretary of Education to president was due to the rest of the government being evaporated in a Cylon attack. She at least fared better than Commander in Chief's Mackenzie Allen, played by Geena Davis. ABC impeached the show before it could go for a second term.

Elsewhere in Hollywoodland, Jericho will welcome Esai Morales to its cast, according to Reuters. He'll play Colonel Hoffman, a military-minded man who is searching for his wife and is scheduled to appear in six of the seven renewed episodes of the revitalized drama. Morales most recently appeared in Vanished and played Lt. Tony Rodriguez in NYPD Blue.

Friday Night Lights is adding to its team and has recruited a pair for its upcoming season. Glenn Morshower will play Chad Clarke, father of Landry Clarke, and Daniella Alonso will play Carlotta, a nurse who helps Matt care for his grandmother. Morshower is best known as 24's Aaron Pierce, and Alonso played Anna Taggaro on One Tree Hill.

Finally, wrongfully imprisoned cop drama Life has swapped out one 30-plus-year-old hottie for another. Brooke Langton (Friday Night Lights, The Replacements) has signed on to replace Melissa Sagemiller (Sleeper Cell) as the lawyer who gets the lead character (played by Damien Lewis) out of jail. Sagemiller played the part in the show's pilot.

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