Actress Vanessa Williams attends the Carmen Marc Valvo Spring 2012 fashion show at NASDAQ Tower on Sept. 10, 2011 in New York City

*ABC wants to get into the Vanessa Williams business.

The network has just secured the actress well beyond the end of her current series “Desperate Housewives.” Williams signed a talent holding deal to headline a new hourlong or half-hour project targeted for next fall, according to

Vanessa Williams has been on an ABC primetime series for 6 consecutive seasons now — four years on “Ugly Betty,” from which she segued right into the starring gig on “Desperate Housewives,” now in its eighth and final season.

She is the first star from “Housewives” to book a potential new series gig.