NBC has announced that double platinum recording artist and American Idol runner-up Clay Aiken will make his acting debut as a singing star when he "pops" up as himself on an episode of NBC's Ed that is scheduled for broadcast in late January.

As of now, it's unclear whether Aiken will perform any of the songs from his hit album during his appearance and if so, which song he might perform.

"Measure of a Man," Aiken's much-anticipated debut album, is already certified double platinum and had an extraordinary first week at retail, with sales of 613,000 copies and a smashing debut at No. 1 on the Billboard 200. Aiken has the third highest first-week sales figure of 2003, and the second-highest first week total of any debuting solo artist in the SoundScan era. "Measure Of A Man" sold more copies than any other album by a debuting solo artist since Snoop Dogg's "Doggystyle" in December 1993.

Born and raised in Raleigh, North Carolina, Aiken's musical talent was evident when he was just three years old. His love for music and singing led him to join the Raleigh Boys Choir and by seventh grade he became a member of his school choir. In high school, Aiken won roles in high school productions of "Oklahoma," "The Music Man" and a dinner theater stint in "The Sound of Music" one summer (where one of his co-stars Frankie Muniz before the teen starred in Malcolm in the Middle).

After enrolling in college, Aiken decided to study special education and was soon assigned to the Bubel family in Charlotte, to care for their son Mike. Interestingly, it was Mike's mother, Diane, who told Clay he should audition for the second season of American Idol.

A quirky comedy-drama series, Ed stars Tom Cavanagh as a former New York City lawyer who returned to his small hometown and now runs a small private practice out of the local bowling alley that he purchased upon his return. Julie Bowen, Josh Randall, JanaMarie Hupp, Lesley Boone, Daryl Mitchell, Michael Ian Black, Justin Long, Michael Genadry, Rachel Cronin and Marcy Harriell also star on the program.

Ed is produced by NBC Studios in association with Worldwide Pants, Inc. and Viacom Productions. The creators are Rob Burnett (Late Show with David Letterman) and Jon Beckerman (Late Show with David Letterman). The executive producers are Rob Burnett, Jon Beckerman and David Letterman.