Hannigan’s got ‘Game’

ABC changes midseason plan for Hewitt skein

“Buffy the Vampire Slayer” star Alyson Hannigan is back “In the Game.”

Thesp has joined the cast of Jennifer Love Hewitt’s midseason ABC laffer from Gabe Sachs and Jeff Judah (“Life as We Know It”). Skein, for which a pilot was shot last year, is undergoing several major changes as production on the first episode prepares to get under way.

Judah said Hannigan will play Hewitt’s assistant, who also happens to be her best friend since junior high school. “She’s someone who’ll have a quarter-life crisis, quitting law school to become an assistant and enjoying having no real responsibility,” scribe said.

Casting Hannigan was key because the two producers “wanted someone who could carry her own storylines,” Sachs said, rather than serve as what Judah calls “the typical loser best friend who listens to (someone else’s) problems.”

Paula Cale, who appeared in the pilot as Hewitt’s assistant, has left the project due to the change in her character.

Role reps Hannigan’s first series gig since “Buffy” ended its run. Thesp is also known for her work in the “American Pie” feature trilogy.

As for “Game,” Sachs and Judah are working on several other changes:

  • Ed O’Neill, who played Hewitt’s boss in the pilot, will now also be her father. He’ll play a “Monday Night Football” producer who, after 20 years on the road, takes a job running his daughter’s cable sports net.

“The show’s now more about a father and daughter trying to re-establish their relationship,” Sachs said.

  • Instead of being set at ABC sister cabler ESPN, laffer will now take place at an upstart sports cabler called In the Game.

  • Producers have written a new character into the show, a Diane Sawyer-like reporter. Casting is expected soon.