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But it wasn’t until Ames pegged the actor for a network news anchor that the show’s premise started to materialize. (quoted from Newsweek)

What's the meaning of "peg" in this sentence?

I looked up in the dictionary and found out it has many different meanings.

I guessed "to classify; categorize" is the meaning of "peg" in the above sentence.

Am I correct?

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You've hit on the answer. It does mean to classify or categorize.

peg v tr
4. Informal To classify; categorize: I pegged her as an opportunist. Why do you have me pegged as the rowdy one?

Usually this is used in a judgmental way, and is frequently negative. "Oh, I had you pegged!" is something said to indicate that the object of the statement has been found wanting in some aspect of character or capability.

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I don''t think peg in your sentence was used to mean "to classify or categorize".

Based on the full context:

Star Trek’s Captain Picard comes crashing down to Earth for his return to television.

One evening, as writer Jonathan Ames (of now-defunct HBO comedy series Bored to Death) watched CNN, a thought occurred to him: Patrick Stewart would look fascinating and striking behind one of these anchor desks. Earlier in the year, Seth MacFarlane had approached Ames about creating a show together, and MacFarlane had immediately suggested getting Stewart on board. (Yes, that Patrick Stewart—of Star Trek and stage-acting fame.) But it wasn’t until Ames pegged the actor for a network news anchor that the show’s premise started to materialize.

And thus Walter Blunt, star of the new Starz show Blunt Talk, was born. Blunt — a pseudonym Stewart often uses, taken from one of his first roles with the Royal Shakespeare Company — is a fast-talking, hard-drinking British network news anchor with a penchant for fucking up. Within the show’s first 10 minutes, he’s stoned out of his mind and reciting Hamlet on the roof of a police cruiser, right after being caught “just talking” with a prostitute.

It is closer to mean:

6.To indicate or ascribe an attribute to. (Assumed to originate from the use of pegs or pins as markers on a bulletin board or a list.) He's been pegged as a suspect. I pegged his weight at 165.

[Wiktionary]

But it wasn’t until Ames pegged the actor for a network news anchor that the show’s premise started to materialize. (quoted from Newsweek)

can be rephrased to:

But it wasn’t until Ames indicated the actor would be a good candidate for (a role of) a network news anchor that the show’s premise started to materialize. (quoted from Newsweek)

  • To pin something down or restrict it is essentially what classification or categorization does. The meaning has broadened from literal "pinning" via a more metaphorical interpretation. Clearly the preposition for supports the latter view. To "peg something for" something else is to interpret it, which is a form of definition, which is a form of classification. – Robusto Oct 17 '15 at 13:11
  • @Robusto I understand what you mean by the comment. But it makes a difference between using classify (categorize) and using restrict. Especially, in your example sentence, restrict doesn't work when used in place of "pegged" in "I pegged her as an opportunist. ". It sounds more like "compare/consider". – user140086 Oct 17 '15 at 13:16
  • Still, it is a matter of perception, not actual restriction. How we view things. – Robusto Oct 17 '15 at 13:19
  • @Robusto Absolutely. The original meaning of peg was used in the sentence. That's all I wanted to say. When you peg someone, he/she dosn't move. – user140086 Oct 17 '15 at 13:21
  • But “peg” in that sentence does not mean “to restrict by signing a contract prohibiting him from appearing in another show”. Here it just means “cast” or “considered him for the role of”. Basically I imagine Ames saying to himself, “Wow! What would it be like if we cast him as the news anchor?” and after that thought things started falling into place. – Jim Oct 18 '15 at 1:32

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