Margaret Lyons
March 05, 2009 AT 12:00 PM EST

Another day, another cast member added to Shonda Rhimes’ DC-set TV news drama Inside the Box. Today’s deal: Inidra Varma will star as Catherine, “an ambitious news producer,” who’s “fast-talking, whip-smart, and wound a little too tight for her own good.” Novel! Varma’s probably best known as Niobe from Rome, but Bones fans will also recognize her as the British inspector from the season premiere.

Varma’s the star of the series, and she’ll be flanked by….

• Sarah “Hannah from Everwood” Drew, who’s playing a “low-level employee

Eli Stone alum Jason George as an reporter

• Jennifer Finnigan, from Closer to Home, as the White House press secretary involved with George

• Martin Henderson, and Australian Hey, It’s That Guy, as Catherine’s on-again, off-again smooch buddy, “charismatic, with a great sense of humor and great chemistry with her.”

• Kim Raver, which means Lipstick Jungle is definitely donesville, as a “knock-out reporter

• Lloyd Owen, of Viva Laughlin* infamy, as the incoming bureau chief at the station

I’d call that a mixed bag. I adore Drew — most recently seen as Salvatore’s wife on Mad Men — but really hope she doesn’t have to play mousy. Finnigan is fine, I guess. George never did much for me on Eli Stone, and Raver’s a bit brittle for my taste. But Henderson is definitely swoon-worthy, and Owen can be slick and fun.

The real question here is: Can Shonda Rhimes pull this off? Two years ago, when Rhimes was first shopping around a (different) journalist-centric show,  I plotzed. But…well, things have happened since then. Bad things. Bad, bad things, like imaginary zombie sex, the de-awesomeing of Addison Montgomery, characters being unceremoniously eliminated — the list goes on and on. My curiosity about this pilot knows no bounds.What about you, PopWatch nation? How badly do you want to go Inside the Box?

*American Viva Laughlin is an abomination. But the British series on which its based, Blackpool (which aired in the US as Viva Blackpool) is totally awesome. Go figure.

addCredit(“MJ Kim/Getty Images”)

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