Bell will appear in several episodes of the hit series, playing a woman with shadowy ties to several characters. The actress has been fielding multiple TV offers since "Veronica" was cancelled at the end of last season; she reportedly turned down a role on ABC's "Lost" in recent days.
"This was not easy to pull off. But since we're an ensemble show, with many arcs playing out through the year, we found a way to jump into a small window in [Bell's] schedule," "Heroes" creator Tim Kring says in a statement. "I pitched her the idea we have for the character, which she loved, and we're off and running."
"Heroes" viewers will first meet Bell's character, Elle, in October, and her first scene will involve the commission of a crime. The character has links to the Peter's (Milo Ventimiglia) supposed death, as well as HRG (Jack Coleman) and his daughter Claire (Hayden Panettiere).
"Kristen Bell is a very special actress," says Katherine Pope, president of "Heroes" producer and NBC sibling Universal Media Studios. "With so many studios chasing her in both film and TV, we're beyond delighted that she chose to star on our show. Viewers are going to love her in this role."
The role is Bell's second TV gig this fall; she also narrates The CW's series "Gossip Girl," though she does not appear on camera.