Marcia Cross, Susie Essman, Robert Vaughn

Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images, Franziska Krug/Getty Images for Marc Cain, Monica Schipper/Getty Images

Marcia Cross is returning to TV and she'll be tangling with the Law & Order: SVU detectives. Cross, who spent eight seasons as Bree Van De Kamp on Desperate Housewives, will guest star opposite Robert Vaughn, Curb Your Enthusiasm's Susie Essman and Mercedes Ruehl in "December Solstice," in the Feb. 25 episode of SVU.

This is Cross' first TV role since Desperate Housewives ended in 2012. She was attached to the pilot, Fatrick, but it didn't get a series order.

"We are lucky to have Robert Vaughn as a proud lion in late winter, and Marcia Cross as his sixth and most beautiful wife," executive producer Warren Leight said in a statement. "They make a terrific SVU couple...with all that entails."

Cross plays Charmaine Briggs, the sixth wife of celebrated novelist Walter Briggs (Vaughn). When Walter's adult daughters accuse their stepmother of sexually abusing their father, a legal battle ensues.

It's SVU's twist on the Casey Kasem family feud.

Viewers will remember Essman from her time on HBO's Curb Your Enthusiasm as the foul-mouthed Susie Green, Jeff's (Jeff Garlin) wife. Vaughn was nominated for an Oscar for 1960's The Young Philadelphians. He also starred in The Man From U.N.C.L.E. He previously appeared on Law & Order as Carl Anderton and made an SVU appearance in 2006 as Tate Speer. Ruehl, who has also appeared on Law & Order, won an Oscar for her work in The Fisher King. In addition to Desperate Housewives, Cross starred in Melrose Place and recurred on Everwood.

Law & Order: SVU airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. on NBC.

(E! and NBC are both part of the NBCUniversal family.)

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