Vanessa Williams has been cast in the ABC drama pilot “False Profits” in a series regular role, Variety has learned.

The project, described as a comedic soap in the vein of “Desperate Housewives,” follows a team of down-and-out women in suburban Arizona as they fight their way to the top of the cutthroat world of a multi-level marketing cosmetics business. Williams will play Suzanne, the leader of a highly successful group of saleswomen. She initially tries to befriend Laura (Bellamy Young), but turns ice cold when Laura decides to start a group of her own.

In addition to Young, Williams joins a cast that currently includes Kosha Patel, Kapil Talwalkar, and Shelley Hennig.

Williams is no stranger to ABC’s audience, having previously appeared on the network’s shows “Ugly Betty,” “Desperate Housewives,” and “666 Park Avenue.” She also recently starred in VH1’s “Daytime Divas” and is known for roles in films like “Shaft,” “Eraser,” and “Soul Food.” In addition to acting, Williams is also an acclaimed singer and Broadway star. She was also the first African-American to win the Miss America pageant.

She is repped by UTA and GEF Entertainment.

Kayla Alpert will serve as writer and executive producer on “False Profits.” Jason Reed and Sabrina Wind will also executive via Jason T. Reed Productions, with Paul McGuigan directing. ABC Studios will produce.