25 Actors We Want Back on TV Right Now

Temperatures may be dropping across the nation, but pilot season is heating up. And that got us thinking about some of our favorite actors and actresses who’ve gone too long without juicy series-regular roles.

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A few of ‘em have only been MIA for a season or so. Some have been relegated to years of guesting gigs. Others have IMDb pages with less activity than Rick Santorum’s Presidential campaign site. But today, we advocate for an end to their collective dry season. Behold: The 25 Actors We Want Back on TV Right Now!

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Click through our photo gallery below, then hit the comments to tell us which picks we got right, which ones made you say “Huh?” and who you’d add to this Pilot Season wish list!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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390 Comments
  1. PJL says:

    Jason Dohring!! Never watched Veronica Mars but loved him in Moonlight.

  2. Tiera says:

    Definitely Jason Dohring!!!!!!!

  3. Coca Cola says:

    Where is Tom Welling in this list? I miss him so much in tv.

  4. svmarines says:

    Where’s Tom Welling on that list?

  5. erin says:

    Janel Moloney!

  6. Caro says:

    Ally Walker, but not in such a grueling show, and Rachel Griffiths, but only in a stronger role. And I agree with Julie: Michael Vartan please! And now that we’re talking about hotties: Whatever happened to Michael T. Weiss?!

  7. Liza180 says:

    I’d add James Marsters (Spike from Buffy), Sarah Michelle Gellar (I liked Ringer), Kristin Davis, John Corbett, Donal Logue (please someone give him another show! Terriers was soooo good!), David Conrad, James Lafferty, and I wish I could count Andy Halleck but he passed away. I so miss him on Angel.

  8. dale grossman says:

    What about Sarah Michelle Gellar?!?!?! Where is she on this list

  9. Paul says:

    Matthew St. Patrick was great on SFU and had great chemistry with Michael C. Hall. Can’t figure out why he hasn’t been on another show.

  10. Toby says:

    Sarah Michelle Gellar. But this time with a show that doesn’t s*ck, please. Why isn’t she doing cable?

  11. cjeffery7 says:

    YES tvline. just YES. this list is so right it’s wrong.

  12. Karen says:

    Holly Hunter, Loved her in Saving Grace

  13. Joyce says:

    Second, Michael Vartan of Alias! Miss him so much!

  14. No Tom Welling on that list? Shame!

  15. Noel says:

    I miss Adrianne Palicki. She was one of my favorites on FNL after the Taylors (so obviously a big yes to Kyle Chandler). Someone please give her a good show asap…she was so good on FNL.

  16. Thea says:

    Nicky Brendon, Josh Holloway and Tom Welling for sure. And I’d love for Eliza Dushku to have a steady gig NOT ON FOX.

  17. Vicks says:

    It baffles me how little we’ve seen Cheri Oteri since SNL! She was my favorite SNL female!

  18. whisperintherain says:

    Technically, Tracee Ellis Ross shouldn’t be on this list, since she currently plays the female lead opposite Malcolm-Jamal Warner on BET’s multi-camera comedy Reed Between the Lines, which has been renewed for a second season. Sorry, but if you’re going to narrow it down to 25 actors, I’m going to be nitpicky about them actually not being currently in a series regular role on any show still in production.

    Otherwise, some great picks there: love Mathew St. Patrick, Cynthia Nixon, Bebe Neuwirth, Rachel Griffiths… As for someone I’d add to the list: Without a Trace’s secret weapon, the wonderful Marianne Jean-Baptiste.

    • Michael Slezak says:

      She’s left the show for its upcoming season, so I thought it was within the boundaries to include her: http://www.ebony.com/entertainment-culture/interview-malcolm-jamal-warner-talks-life-after-traceeellis-ross-432

      • whisperintherain says:

        I stand corrected. Thank you very much for taking the time to respond and provide a link, that’s very much appreciated although I’m disappointed to learn that she won’t be in the second season. I had no idea that the Bad Girls pilot required her to leave Reed Between the Lines, as I thought they would have been on different filming schedules. As mentioned by Malcolm-Jamal Warner in the interview, they had excellent chemistry and the relationship between their characters was actually one of the healthiest ones portrayed on TV these days IMHO. Anyway, thanks again.

  19. Beverly says:

    Definitely KYLE CHANDLER, who I’ve crushed on since his HOMEFRONT days. JOSH HOLLOWAY – want him on Once Upon A Time . . . now! JASON DOHRING – grew to like him on Moonlight, even though I was mainly watching to see Alex O’Loughlin. DAVID HYDE PIERCE – he’s a funny guy when they let him be.

  20. Linda says:

    Michael Rosenbaum!

  21. K says:

    ALLY WALKER! She was freaking amazing as June Stahl in Sons of Anarchy. Loved that psycho bitch and she was fabulous opposite Katey Sagal and Charlie Hunnam. Their scenes rocked and MADE season 3.

    • Wendy says:

      I agree! Ally Walker was amazing on Sons of Anarchy. Hit and awkward every time she went face to face with Katie Segal.

  22. IMHO says:

    David Hyde Pierce, Kyle Chandler and Hugh Laurie please.

  23. Mick says:

    merrin dungey was just on hollywood heights, so she has been off tv for a little les than a month.

  24. Merikat says:

    James Marsters, please. And Anthony Stewart Head. Also Alan Tudyk. :)

  25. jennifer says:

    ZACK BRAFF

  26. Audrey E. says:

    Actually Tracee Ellis Ross is on TV now. She’s got a show with Malcolm Jamal Warner on BET.

  27. Charlotte says:

    YES! to pretty much all of these but especially JASON DOHRING and KYLE CHANDLER! Back on my TV asap please! I would watch almost anything with either of these two.

  28. Claudia says:

    Everybody from the Third Watch cast!

  29. KazM says:

    Jason Behr of Roswell fame! Would love to see him back on our TV screens!

  30. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you for including Bebe Neuwirth!

  31. Abby says:

    Gale Harold!!!!

  32. Wendy says:

    Yes! To most of them. Highlight on Jason Doehring, Nicholas Brendan, Lauren Ambrose. Good list.

  33. Shan says:

    Julian McMahon please! And no one is missing Cheri Oteri.

  34. RJ says:

    James Marsters! And definite yes to Kyle Chandler and Nicholas Brendon.

  35. NEC says:

    Tammy Lynn Michaels (Popular)–why hasn’t Ryan Murphy made that happen?? No one does comic bitch with vulnerability better and it’s been too long!

  36. Jae says:

    Tom Welling was totally overlooked from this list! He is definitely the one I miss the most! Maybe S.H.I.E.L.D.? I would Love to hear some Tom Welling news soon!

    I have seen at least a couple of movies that have Kyle Chandler including Argo and Zero Dark Thirty! Wake up guys, he’s still around!

  37. Jared says:

    Kristopher Paloha can’t seem to catch a break. He starred on the underrated CW series Life Unexpected..but most recently he did 2 episodes of the MTV series Awkward and the now cancelled CBS series Made in Jersey. Why can’t he find a home on a cable drama?..I can totally see him headlining something on USA.

  38. Mark says:

    Jerry Seinfeld, Phylicia Rashad, and Caroline Rhea.

  39. Bradley says:

    Put Michael St. Patrick, Lauren Ambrose, and Rachel Griffiths on a show together. People would watch it

    • Alex says:

      Seriously though, Six Feet Under had the most talented cast. It’s actually insane. I would love to see any of them have a mini reunion on Parenthood with Peter Krause or Dexter with Michael C. Hall.

  40. Kate says:

    Jason Dohring! I miss him the most.

  41. Ace says:

    Matt Keeslar, please and thank you. I miss Sexy Bossman!

  42. jk says:

    Jason Alexander

  43. sazuka says:

    What about the “Pushing Daisies” Cast?

  44. Sean says:

    Bebe N. needs to come back to TV or Broadway, she has so much talent! I also have to add Tyne Daly as a must have back ASAP!

  45. John says:

    Wenthworth Miller!!

  46. EllaBee says:

    I miss Ben Browder a lot.

  47. Sarah says:

    Michael Goorjian was my reason for watching Party of Five.

  48. Totally agree for Nick Brendon, America Ferrera, Rachel Griffiths and Josh Holloway.
    I would also add Wentworth Miller, Mischa Barton, Amber Benson and Tom Welling.

  49. Fernanda says:

    guilty pleasure actors that I want to see in a new show
    ————————–
    Shannen Doherty.. Am the only one who wants a Charmed Reunion with the resurrection of Prue?
    Katie Holmes.. she is finally free!!!!!
    Neve Campbell
    Sarah Michelle Gellar,.. I’m still pissed off when Ringer was cancelled
    Jason Behr… I’m in love with him since Roswell
    Adrien Grenier
    the whole cast of Queer as Folk
    —————–
    The Big ones
    —————–
    James Gandolfini
    Michael Imperioli
    Sean Bean
    Kyle Chandler
    Felicity Huffman

  50. Jim C says:

    Could do without Ally Walker.

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