25 Actors We Want Back on TV Right Now

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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!



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Comments (387)

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

    Comment by PJL – October 29, 2012 12:45 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Definitely Jason Dohring!!!!!!!

    Comment by Tiera – October 29, 2012 12:46 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Where is Tom Welling in this list? I miss him so much in tv.

    Comment by Coca Cola – October 29, 2012 12:46 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Where’s Tom Welling on that list?

    Comment by svmarines – October 29, 2012 12:46 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Janel Moloney!

    Comment by erin – October 29, 2012 12:47 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • ^^^THIS!!

      Comment by Jen – October 29, 2012 01:16 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • OMG yes, she was adorable on West Wing! I’m thinking Sorkin needs to get to work on writing a new character for season two of The Newsroom…..

      Comment by Mary – October 29, 2012 01:42 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • YES! I love this idea.

        Comment by erin – October 30, 2012 09:53 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • i placed a comment but it did not show where is it tom welling added him to the list of actors we want back on tv

          Comment by Marybeth Mason – October 30, 2012 10:04 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • 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?!

    Comment by Caro – October 29, 2012 12:47 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • 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.

    Comment by Liza180 – October 29, 2012 12:47 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I think Donal Logue was cast in SOA to show up at the end of this season for 4 episodes, or something like that.

      Comment by jk – October 29, 2012 01:22 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • What about Sarah Michelle Gellar?!?!?! Where is she on this list

    Comment by dale grossman – October 29, 2012 12:47 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • 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.

    Comment by Paul – October 29, 2012 12:47 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Sarah Michelle Gellar. But this time with a show that doesn’t s*ck, please. Why isn’t she doing cable?

    Comment by Toby – October 29, 2012 12:47 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • YES tvline. just YES. this list is so right it’s wrong.

    Comment by cjeffery7 – October 29, 2012 12:48 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Holly Hunter, Loved her in Saving Grace

    Comment by Karen – October 29, 2012 12:49 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Second, Michael Vartan of Alias! Miss him so much!

    Comment by Joyce – October 29, 2012 12:50 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • No Tom Welling on that list? Shame!

    Comment by Maria Gabriela Perez (@Gottara) – October 29, 2012 12:50 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • 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.

    Comment by Noel – October 29, 2012 12:51 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I think she’s doing movies now. I know she’s in Red Dawn and the next GI Joe movie too.

      Comment by Renee – October 29, 2012 04:14 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • She is such a good actress. She just needs another good role, good show.

      Comment by dolphinlights – October 29, 2012 10:24 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Nicky Brendon, Josh Holloway and Tom Welling for sure. And I’d love for Eliza Dushku to have a steady gig NOT ON FOX.

    Comment by Thea – October 29, 2012 12:52 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • It baffles me how little we’ve seen Cheri Oteri since SNL! She was my favorite SNL female!

    Comment by Vicks – October 29, 2012 12:53 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • 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.

    Comment by whisperintherain – October 29, 2012 12:54 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • 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

      Comment by Michael Slezak – October 29, 2012 01:13 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • 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.

        Comment by whisperintherain – October 29, 2012 02:39 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • 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.

    Comment by Beverly – October 29, 2012 12:54 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Michael Rosenbaum!

    Comment by Linda – October 29, 2012 12:55 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • 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.

    Comment by K – October 29, 2012 12:55 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I agree! Ally Walker was amazing on Sons of Anarchy. Hit and awkward every time she went face to face with Katie Segal.

      Comment by Wendy – October 29, 2012 01:13 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • David Hyde Pierce, Kyle Chandler and Hugh Laurie please.

    Comment by IMHO – October 29, 2012 12:57 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • merrin dungey was just on hollywood heights, so she has been off tv for a little les than a month.

    Comment by Mick – October 29, 2012 12:58 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • James Marsters, please. And Anthony Stewart Head. Also Alan Tudyk. :)

    Comment by Merikat – October 29, 2012 12:58 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Alan is on Suburgatory. It’s a great show. Check it out.

      Comment by jennifer – October 29, 2012 01:02 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • And Tony Head is on ‘Merlin’ among other things.

      Comment by Jon – October 29, 2012 01:03 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Yes! James and Anthony are guesting on Warehouse 13, but would love to see them back full time.

      Comment by RJ – October 29, 2012 01:13 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • ZACK BRAFF

    Comment by jennifer – October 29, 2012 12:59 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Actually Tracee Ellis Ross is on TV now. She’s got a show with Malcolm Jamal Warner on BET.

    Comment by Audrey E. – October 29, 2012 01:01 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • She left Reed Between the Lines.

      Comment by tp – October 29, 2012 04:50 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • 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.

    Comment by Charlotte – October 29, 2012 01:04 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Everybody from the Third Watch cast!

    Comment by Claudia – October 29, 2012 01:05 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Oh god, yes. Skipp Sudduth needs to be on my TV.

      Comment by Bouncy Castle – October 30, 2012 04:44 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Jason Behr of Roswell fame! Would love to see him back on our TV screens!

    Comment by KazM – October 29, 2012 01:05 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Thank you. Thank you. Thank you for including Bebe Neuwirth!

    Comment by Caroline Evans – October 29, 2012 01:06 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Gale Harold!!!!

    Comment by Abby – October 29, 2012 01:10 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Yes! To most of them. Highlight on Jason Doehring, Nicholas Brendan, Lauren Ambrose. Good list.

    Comment by Wendy – October 29, 2012 01:10 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Julian McMahon please! And no one is missing Cheri Oteri.

    Comment by Shan – October 29, 2012 01:11 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • James Marsters! And definite yes to Kyle Chandler and Nicholas Brendon.

    Comment by RJ – October 29, 2012 01:12 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • 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!

    Comment by NEC – October 29, 2012 01:12 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • 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!

    Comment by Jae – October 29, 2012 01:14 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • 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.

    Comment by Jared – October 29, 2012 01:16 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Didn’t he also do Ringer or am I thinking of someone else?

      Comment by Linda – October 29, 2012 01:19 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • He did and the other failed show Valentine.

        Comment by Mick – October 29, 2012 06:59 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Jerry Seinfeld, Phylicia Rashad, and Caroline Rhea.

    Comment by Mark – October 29, 2012 01:16 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Put Michael St. Patrick, Lauren Ambrose, and Rachel Griffiths on a show together. People would watch it

    Comment by Bradley – October 29, 2012 01:19 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • 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.

      Comment by Alex – November 5, 2012 08:15 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Jason Dohring! I miss him the most.

    Comment by Kate – October 29, 2012 01:20 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Matt Keeslar, please and thank you. I miss Sexy Bossman!

    Comment by Ace – October 29, 2012 01:20 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Jason Alexander

    Comment by jk – October 29, 2012 01:21 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • What about the “Pushing Daisies” Cast?

    Comment by sazuka – October 29, 2012 01:22 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • 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!

    Comment by Sean – October 29, 2012 01:22 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Wenthworth Miller!!

    Comment by John – October 29, 2012 01:23 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I miss Ben Browder a lot.

    Comment by EllaBee – October 29, 2012 01:23 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Michael Goorjian was my reason for watching Party of Five.

    Comment by Sarah – October 29, 2012 01:24 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • 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.

    Comment by Robi Del Rey (@robbiemosby) – October 29, 2012 01:26 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • 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

    Comment by Fernanda – October 29, 2012 01:27 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Could do without Ally Walker.

    Comment by Jim C – October 29, 2012 01:28 PM PDT  Reply To This Post

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