*Gabrielle Union has been cast in what Lifetime is calling an “embedded pilot” for a spinoff to its original drama “Army Wives.”

According to the Hollywood Reporter, the network has been developing a “Wives”-inspired crime drama during recent months under executive vp entertainment JoAnn Alfano. The project now moves to the next level, with Lifetime airing a special “Wives” episode near the end of the current fourth season that will set the stage to launch the potential series.

In the episode, “Wives” regular Pamela Moran (Brigid Brannagh) returns to her former career and becomes a detective with the Atlanta police department. Union will play her partner, Detective Gina Holt.

Embedded pilots have become an increasingly common way to shoot without significantly adding extra costs.

Union recently played Zoey in ABC’s “FlashForward” and also was featured in NBC’s “Life.”