Lahti, Sneed check into USA's military hospital


Emmy winner Christine Lahti and Johnny Sneed have joined the cast of USA Network's 90-minute pilot "Operating Instructions," directed by "Hitch" helmer Andy Tennant.

The project, from Conaco Prods. and Universal Cable Prods., centers on Lt. Rachel Scott (Emily Rose), a former Marine who returns from a tour as a Navy surgeon to take a post at a military hospital.

Lahti will play Cmdr. Helen Keller, the hospital's chief administrator, who butts heads with Rachel almost from the get-go.

Sneed will play Capt. Will McKay, who might share a history with Rachel. He is the hospital's chief medical officer and arranged for her to take the job there.

Lahti and Sneed join the previously cast Rose, Nick Zano and Diana Maria Riva.

"Instructions" marks Lahti's return to the medical genre after her Emmy-winning turn on the CBS drama "Chicago Hope."

The actress, repped by ICM and Management 360, next appears in the features "Obsessed" and "Yonkers Joe."

Sneed, who starred in the Fox sitcom "Unhitched," is repped by the Paul Kohner Agency and the Gold Co. (partialdiff)