'The Catch' Enlists 'Downton Abbey's' Lesley Nicol

She'll recur on the freshman Shondaland drama.
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ABC's The Catch is adding a dash of Downton Abbey.

Lesley Nicol has boarded the freshman Shondaland drama, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.

Details on just whom Nicol will play on the drama are being kept under wraps, as has become commonplace for all series executive produced by Shonda Rhimes. Nicol, who played Mrs. Patmore on Downton Abbey for more than 50 episodes, will have what insiders say is a "substantial" recurring role. (Considering her resemblance to star Mireille Enos, our money is on Alice's mother.)

The drama stars Peter Krause and Enos in a multilayered game of cat and mouse. Talking with THR ahead of the series premiere, new showrunner Allan Heinberg (Scandal, Grey's Anatomy) said the series will start uncovering secrets of the organization that Krause's conman works for. The drama recently enlisted British actor John Simm (Doctor Who) to play the "benefactor" — the guy who fronted the money for the elaborate cons that Krause's Ben/Christopher pulls off. He'll debut in episode six. 

Heinberg noted that part of the allure of the series is making Krause's character — the guy who took everything from Enos' Alice — sympathetic. "How do you make someone who does reprehensible things someone you root for? How do you maintain your investment with him over the course of the series? The only way to approach it is to make his love for Alice real and true," he said. "She's his north star and compass and he can't veer from it. He adores this woman; she changed his life and I didn't want the audience to question if his feelings were real."

For Nicol's part, The Catch will be her most substantial U.S. television role of late. She's repped by Paradigm and London Theatrical in the U.K.

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