Elizabethmitchell_lost_240 This is a post about Elizabeth Mitchell and something she’s doing that’s not “Lost.” There aren’t any show-specific spoilers in here, but as it relates to her future outside the show, it might also relate to her future in the show. OK? OK.

Late last week, EW‘s Michael Ausiello broke the news that Mitchell had been cast in ABC’s remake of the 1980s alien-invasion series “V.” The anguished cries of “Nooo! Not Juliet” and “Thanks for spoiling me, you insensitive lout” comments followed — because when an actor on a current show takes a job in another show, it usually means his or her time on the current show is coming to an end.

But, the original post noted, Mitchell had only been tapped as a guest star in “V,” which could mean she’d be able to continue her work on “Lost.”

Well, she has been cast as a guest star — but not really.

On Monday, the Hollywood Reporter ran an item about Lourdes Benedicto (“The Nine”) being cast in the pilot, playing a “possible love interest” for Morris Chestnut’s character. Chestnut is playing the boyfriend of the main character, a Homeland Security agent — who’s being played by Elizabeth Mitchell.

I know, it’s weird casting a “guest star” in your lead role. But in pilot season, contractual vagaries mean a guest star is not always a guest star.

Usually when actors who have shows on the air get cast in pilots, their new role is put “in second position” to their current job — meaning that if the current show returns the following season, the pilot has to recast the role. Sometimes, though, an actor will get guest-star billing even if he or she’s playing a lead role. When CBS was making “Close to Home” a few years ago, Jennifer Finnigan was listed as a guest star throughout the pilot process, then became just the star-star when the NBC show she was on, “Committed,” was cancelled.

What does all this mean for Mitchell’s character, Juliet, on “Lost”? I don’t know, and given the way the show plays with time and the way characters cycle back through, speculating on what might happen to her isn’t going to do much good.

“Lost” will end its season on May 13, about a week before ABC announces its schedule for 2009-10. That’s at least one good thing — we’ll get to learn Juliet’s fate from watching the show, not reading a network press release about “V.”

What do you think of this news, and what effect it might have on “Lost”?

Posted by:Rick Porter