'Hellcats' taps 'DH's' Gale Harold as crime-solving law professor

aly-michalka-gale-harold.jpg Zap2it is on the scene at the Television Critics Association's Summer Press tour, where "Hellcats" executive producers Kevin Murphy and Tom Welling announced that Gale Harold, of "Desperate Housewives" and "Queer as Folk" fame, has signed on for a guest-starring role as Marti's ( Aly Michalka) law professor.

We spoke to Michalka after the panel to get the scoop on Harold's character. "That storyline begins in episode three," she tells us. "A friend of Marti's gets into some trouble with the law, and she has to go to her law professor for help with the case."

The story begins when a friend of Marti's goes to jail for a crime he didn't commit. "This very good man is behind bars for what amounts to a minor robbery, that was really a set-up," Michalka explains. Marti reaches out to Harold's character, and he takes the case, which involves Memphis' three-strike law. The law sends offenders to jail for a life sentence after any third conviction.

It's a rude awakening for Marti. "Justice is very important to Marti," Michalka says. "It's one of the things she and I have in common, we're very invested in the right thing. This is the first time that she realizes that there are dirty cops and that justice doesn't always prevail. It really serves to ignite her passion."

Harold will have a multi-episode arc as he becomes a mentor to Marti. "It's something new for her, to have to go to an adult for help with a problem. She's used to taking responsibility and taking care of Wanda." Wanda ( Gail O'Grady) is Marti's mother, an alcoholic with a history of careless, flighty behavior.

"Some episodes will focus mostly on the Hellcats," Michalka explains, "but others will really get into the other side of Marti's life, which is her passion for her career and for justice. This isn't just a one-note show. The writers have really created a whole world for her."

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