Michaela Watkins, Abby Elliott

Never heard of Abby Elliott and Michaela Watkins? Well, they just might be the next Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, if Lorne Michaels has his way.

Elliott and Watkins have just been named Saturday Night Live's stable of Not Ready for Prime-Time Players, ostensibly to fill the void left by the exits of Fey and Poehler.

SNL mastermind Michaels invited the pair to join the show's lineup just weeks after Poehler's tenure ended with the birth of her first child. Next season she'll star in her own NBC series from the producers of The Office. Fey, meanwhile, says she is giving up her Sarah Palin impersonation to focus on 30 Rock.

The daughter of veteran funnyman Chris Elliott, Abby Elliott had a stint with improv group Upright Citizens Brigade (a company cofounded by Poehler) and has voiced several episodes of King of the Hill and Mike Judge's upcoming ABC 'toon The Goode Family.

Watkins, meanwhile, is an alum of Los Angeles' Groundlings and has logged guest appearances on Malcolm in the Middle, Without a Trace, Charmed, Californication and The New Adventures of Old Christine.

In the day's other major casting news:

Steve Carell will voice the title character of Universal's Despicable Me, a 3-D animated feature about a grump named Groo who tries to steal the moon only to be thwarted by a trio of orphans. The cast also includes Jason Segel, Kristen Wiig, Will Arnett, Danny McBride, Russell Brand, Jermaine Clement, 30 Rock's Jack McBrayer and Julie Andrews. Despicable Me is due out in 2010.

Matthew McConaughey is slated to star in The Grackle, a comedy about a New Orleans-based barroom brawler who makes a living settling disputes for people who can't afford attorneys of their own. David O. Russell is in talks to direct.

Meryl Streep is heading up Dewey, a film inspired by the real-life tale of a kitten that takes up residence at a small-town library. The Oscar winner will play an author who works at the library and chronicles the feline's impact on the townsfolk.

Chris Cooper and musician-actor Reeve Carney are dusting off their iambic pentameter for Julie Taymor's gender-bending take on William Shakespeare's The Tempest. Helen Mirren and Jeremy Irons also star.

NCIS alum Sasha Alexander is heading up the cast of CBS' new comedy The Karenskys, about a woman (Alexander) who reunites with her large, eccentric family when her husband's job relocates them back to her hometown.

Finally from the stunt casting (dang, is it time for sweeps already?) department, Sean "Diddy" Combs will make a two-episode guest appearance on CSI: Miami playing a federal prosecutor facing off with Horatio (David Caruso); Pamela Anderson will turn up on NBC's Kath & Kim, playing herself in a scene with show stars Molly Shannon and Selma Blair.

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