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Exclusive: 'Castle' spoofs NBC's Jay/Conan ruckus... and kills [spoiler alert] in the process!

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castle-bergeronImage Credit: Karen Neal/ABC; Bergeron: Craig Sjodin/ABCHeads-up to Jay Leno and Conan O’Brien: Be sure to DVR the April 12 episode of Castle.

In a rare ripped-from-the-headlines detour, the hit ABC dramedy is prepping an episode inspired by NBC’s recent late-night kerfuffle — and The Powers That Be are mixing in a cheeky bit of ABC cross-promotion while they’re at it.

Sources confirm to me exclusively that Dancing with the Stars emcee Tom Bergeron has signed on to guest as Bobby Mann, a late-night talk show host who gets permanently shut up by… Well, the prime suspect is his would-be successor, a rival chatterbox (played by Bill Bellamy) who’s long coveted the victim’s timeslot.

In addition to Bergeron and Bellamy, the episode’s eclectic guest cast also boasts TV vet Fred Willard as Bergeron’s sidekick and 3rd Rock From the Sun‘s French Stewart as a Pellicano-esque investigator.

The title of said ep? “The Late Shaft.”

Follow me on Twitter at @ewausiellofiles