Gina Torres Gina Torres

Gina Torres will appear on Gossip Girl this fall as Vanessa's mom, has learned exclusively.

Gabriela Abrams, mother to home-schooled vid-kid Vanessa, is described as being warm and outgoing, which will certainly be a change of pace for this show, not exactly known as the paragon of parental virtue. She is a free spirit, a former Brooklynite who lives "off the grid" in Vermont and has definite opinions about things, especially concerning her daughter. Ah, that's more like it.

Torres is best known for her roles on Alias and Firefly, though she also had a recent blink-and-you-miss-it cameo on Pushing Daisies as the wayward mom of Emerson's daughter. The actress is married to CSI's Laurence Fishburne.

Gabriela Abrams is currently scheduled to appear in two episodes, but she will recur on the series. Gossip Girl returns for its third season on Monday, Sept. 14 at 9/8c on the CW.

Watch full episodes of Gossip Girl in our Online Video Guide and follow on Twitter for more breaking news and scoop