'Drop Dead Diva' gets Paula Abdul to play ... a judge

Paulaabdul_americanidol_290 Lifetime's new dramedy "Drop Dead Diva" has lined up a pretty interesting list of guest stars for its first season, including new addition Paula Abdul.

The "American Idol" judge has signed on to a judge (of the robe-wearing, courtroom-ruling variety, not the reality-show kind) in an episode of the show, which premieres July 12. Abdul's episode will air toward the tail end of "Diva's" first season.

"Drop Dead Diva" stars Broadway actress Brooke Elliott as a "brilliant, thoughtful and plus-size attorney" who tends to be overlooked by her more conventionally attractive colleagues. That starts to change when the soul of a vapid and recently deceased model (Brooke D'Orsay) enters her body.

Other guests confirmed for the show include Nia Vardalos ("My Life in Ruins"), "Project Runway's" Tim Gunn, Sharon Lawrence, Marla Sokoloff, Elliott Gould, Liza Minnelli and Delta Burke. The latter two will be playing sisters who sue one another when Burke's character opens a competing psychic business across the street from Minnelli's.

Oh -- and the judge in that particular case? Rosie O'Donnell. "Drop Dead Diva" sounds more than a little "Ally McBeal"-ish in its embrace of the quirky -- does that make you curious, or turn you off?

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