Liu provides 'Sexy' appeal

But actress awaits 'Mafia' fate

Lucy Liu will be back on ABC next season no matter what.

Liu is in negotiations to join the cast of the network's freshman drama "Dirty Sexy Money," which has been renewed for a second season. She most recently starred in another ABC freshman drama, "Cashmere Mafia."

The casting on "Sexy," where she would be a regular, is formally in second position to "Mafia," which is on the bubble after a low-rated midseason run.

On the ABC Studios-produced show — a primetime soap revolving around the wealthy Darling clan and their spoiled offspring — Liu would join Peter Krause, Donald Sutherland, William Baldwin, Natalie Zea, Glenn Fitzgerald, Blair Underwood, Seth Gabel, Zoe McLellan and Jill Clayburgh. Samaire Armstrong, who was a regular during the first season, won't continue on the show full time.

Liu will be play an attorney. It's not clear whether her character will be associated with Krause's Nick George, the Darlings' family lawyer.

Liu has been a fixture on ABC in the past year. In addition to "Mafia," she also did an arc on the network's "Ugly Betty."

She next voices a lead character in the upcoming animated feature "Kung Fu Panda."

She is managed by Framework and Untitled.