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'Heroes' Star Takes Role in ABC Drama Project Deadline

An actress who formerly was a key player in NBC’s “Heroes” has landed a starring role in an ABC drama pilot, Deadline.com reports.

Hayden Panettiere will star in the pilot for "Nashville," the story reports. The drama, written by Oscar winner Callie Khouri ("Thelma & Louise"), is directed by R.J. Cutler and produced by Lionsgate and ABC Studios.

The story reports: “’Nashville’ is described as a family soap about love, country music, family, politics and sex set against the backdrop of the Nashville music scene. It centers on 40-year-old Nashville superstar Rayna James, who is stunned to find that her star is fading and her label requires her to team up with teen sensation Juliette Barnes (Panettiere) on tour -- or else face the loss of her own tour and the label’s promotion of her latest record, whose sales have been underwhelming.”

Among those who have previously been cast in the pilot are Robert Wisdom, Powers Boothe, Clare Bowen and Jonathan Jackson, the story notes.

Panettiere, who played cheerleader Claire Bennett on “Heroes,” recently starred in Lifetime’s movie “Amanda Knox: Murder on Trial in Italy,” and also has a career as a singer.