In the vast majority of cases, someone signing on to guest star in a TV series that hasn't aired yet isn't news. However, the great Vanessa Redgrave appearing on a series that already features Sigourney Weaver, Ellen Burstyn and Ciaran Hinds is not just news, it's a swift kick to your senses, a reminder that USA's upcoming 'Political Animals' should probably be on your radar.

Redgrave will play Diane Nash, who, within the universe of the show, is the first openly gay member of the Supreme Court. She is a friend and mentor to Weaver's Elaine Barrish, a divorced former First Lady who became Secretary of State after failing to snag a presidential nomination (shades of Hillary Clinton, except for the whole divorce thing). Hinds will play her ex-husband, the former President. Carla Gugino will play the "hungry DC journalist" hellbent on taking Nash down. Burstyn's role is unspecified, but considering her talent, you can be it'll be a great part.

Redgrave has been nominated for six Academy Awards (and won in 1978 for her role in 'Julia') and she's one of the handful of living actresses who can justifiably be referred to as a legend. She's no stranger to television, either. Recently, she appeared in 'Nip/Tuck,' but her experience on the small screen goes all the way back to 1980, when she won an Emmy for her role in the TV movie, 'Playing For Time' (her most recent Emmy nomination was in 2002 for 'The Gathering Storm').

'Political Animals' has a great premise and one of the best ensembles in recent TV history...which means that its July 15 premiere just became a high priority for people who like good television.