The_nine_jessica_collins2Jessica Collins: The name so nice, they cast it twice.Big_shots_jessica_collins

Last year, ABC chose Jessica Collins (left) to play one of the hostages in its ballyhooed drama, "The Nine." WIth all the positive press heaped upon that pilot by this time in 2006, Collins’ name figured to grace the Alphabet network for years.

And in a way, that’s still a possibility.

"The Nine" failed to last the 2006-07 TV season, but undaunted, ABC has again dipped into the Jessica Collins well — and pulled out a different Jessica Collins.  This Collins (right), a former recurring guest on such shows as "American Dreams" and "Tru Calling," will appear on ABC’s "Big Shots" as Marla, the mistress of Joshua Malina’s character.

Normally, the Screen Actors Guild requires a performer with the same name as a predecessor in the union to alter their moniker in some fashion, either by adding an initial or with a wholesale change, but apparently it hasn’t come to this yet for the Jessicas.

Don’t fret about the fate of ABC’s first Jessica, however. She’ll appear on the season premiere of NBC’s "Heroes" on Sept. 24 — three days before "Big Shots" bows. Crossover episode, anyone?

— Jon Weisman

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