Casting Roundup: Greg Kinnear on ‘Modern Family,’ NBC Throws Betty White a Birthday Party

Betty WhiteModern Family has done fun things with some pretty great guest stars—Ed Norton’s Season One appearance comes to mind. Another actor known best for his big screen activity will be heading onto the set of ABC’s top sitcom: Greg Kinnear. Hardly an amatuer at playing the suave but somewhat seedy individual, Kinnear will bring his talents to Modern Family as Phil’s new business partner. Last night, we saw Phil venture into a new, exciting but risky professional opportunity with two fellow real estate agents. It seems that Kinnear will play one of them: Tad, a man who Phil idolizes and Claire secretly disdains. We’re not exactly sure what rubs Claire the wrong way about Tad, but Kinnear can pull off sleazy with the best of ’em. Modern Family airs on Wednesday nights at 9 p.m. ET/PT on ABC. –EW

Betty White has made it perfectly clear that there is no place she’d rather be than in the spotlight, and her upcoming 90th birthday is proof of that. NBC is putting together a televised birthday celebration special in honor of the to-be nonagenarian; it will film before the end of 2011 and to air close to White’s 90th birthday, which is Jan. 17, 2012. The special will include tributes from some of White’s former and current collaborators, including the casts of The Mary Tyler Moore Show and Hot in Cleveland (the latter series is also planning a “birthday episode” for White’s character Elka). –TVGuide

When 30 Rock returns to NBC this spring, it will bring with it a very welcome guest star: Kristen Schaal, the quirky comic actress who is likely best know for her regular role on the HBO series Flight of the Conchords, on which she played the hopelessly devoted Mel. Schaal’s role on 30 Rock has yet to be revealed, but we do know that she will be gifting us with a multi-episode arc. –Vulture