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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  1. MIk says:

    Lauren Ambrose. Yes thank you! Cameron Richardson. Yes thank you! Rachel Griffiths. Yes thank you! Matthew St. Patrick. Yes thank you! Merrin Dungey. Yes thank you! I don’t know if it’s because I watch all of them die on their respective shows, but these people I would LOVE to see back!

    I thought I was the only person in the whole wide world who still remembered Cameron Richardson. She was a m a z i n g in Harper’s Island, especially in her and Cal’s death scene. She showed so much promise. Hopefully someone sees this article, and casts Cameron for something!

    Lauren Ambrose and Rachel Griffiths, are also amazing!

  2. Cynthia says:

    Wait! What about Ryan Devlin? I loved him on Cougartown and Brothers and Sisters!

  3. Antoine says:

    Totally agree for all of them (and so mucho more! Andreap Parker!), especially Nicholas Brendon!!!

  4. Alyssa says:

    Where is the Jay Harrington love?! Better Off Ted was fantastic!!!

  5. Calanthe says:

    This list is missing Paget Brewster. Granted, it hasn’t been that long since she was on TV, but she should be back on screen – sooner rather than later. Otherwise a very good list.

  6. Liz says:

    I agree on Tom Welling. I keep hoping that we’ll hear he’s been cast in Once Upon A Time.
    I also miss Jennifer Garner, Sarah Michelle Gellar (already!), Adam Brody, and there’s probably more. I really hope that Bunheads also bringing in a ton of more Gilmore Girls character actors!

  7. Joe says:

    I could do without most of them.

  8. Barbara Rasch says:

    TOM WELLING!!!! Yes

  9. Sara says:

    ABSOLUTELY Yes to these 3:

    Jason Dohring
    Nicholas Brendon
    Cynthia Nixon

    BUT If Jason Dohring came back to TV, I could live without the other 2. Lol. I’m content seeing Nicholas Brendon semi-guest star on Criminal Minds for now.

  10. HanLin says:

    Err, Cynthia Nixon is currently on TV. Granted, her role sucks, but she is currently in the miniseries World Without End. Catch it on the Reelz channel.

  11. Denise says:

    I would love to see CoreyReynolds from “The Closer”,really miss him on the screen.

  12. Shannon says:


  13. Michelle says:

    I would like to see Sarah Michelle Geller back on TV. I don’t think Ringer was given a fair shot.

  14. lll says:

    Tracie Ellis Ross is on Reed Between the Lines, so she’s sorta back on television.

  15. Christine says:

    Aww Bebe Neuwirth! Would be fun if she guest-starred on Boss lol

  16. Katy says:

    More David Hewlett

  17. Pao says:

    Were is Tom Welling??

    He needs to come back!

  18. love tv says:


  19. Pao says:



  20. MaryMc says:

    You hit almost all of mine…only one missing is Jorge Garcia (Lost, Alcatraz).

  21. Anthony says:

    Uhhh Merrin Dungey is far more popular for her near decade-long recurring stint on The King of Queens, rather than on Alias. Even moreso for Summerland and the one-time guest stint on the PP back-door pilot on Grey’s.

  22. Jennifer says:

    A big YES to Nicholas Brendon. Josh Holloway definitely. I agree with whoever said Adam brody. Bebe Neuwirth is awesome. David Hyde Pierce is a definitely too.

  23. JB says:

    I thought Ellie Kemper WAS Sabrina Lloyd. :)
    Seriously, David Hyde Piece is great, but itt would take the right show for him to shine, likewise Bebe N.

    There are too many great talents out there…and a lack of decent shows to put them in.

    I’d like to see Bonnie Hunt, but her past efforts haven’t been that great (her first two sitcoms were pretty much interchangeable), likewise I’d like to see Dennis Miller as a snarky boss or grumpy neighbor in a show.
    Likewise, I’d like to see more of Cynthia Stevenson.

  24. mary harris says:

    Fred Weller
    Sarah Paulson

  25. KennyA says:

    Rachel Griffiths, Merrin Dungey, Jay Harrington,
    would add Chad Michael Murray & Rose McGowan
    All Together in One Super Mystery Show!

  26. kgt0413 says:

    Alexis Denisof PLLEEEEEASE

  27. Babybop says:

    Lizzy Caplan, and pretty much everyone on Dead Like Me (I was SO happy to see Jasmine Guy as Bonnie’s grandma on TVD!).

  28. Brenda says:

    Nicholas Brendan!! YUM!

  29. Apolonia says:

    Dennis Franz, please……………………and of course, Kyle Chandler

  30. bobbie says:

    Jason Dohring, Alessandra Torresani, Kyle Chandler

  31. Kim says:

    Jason Dorhing 100% and also James Masters!!! :-) love them

  32. John says:

    Jason Dohring number 1? Wasn’t he in Ringer just earlier this year?

    Pretty good list. Nicholas Brendon is sorely missing from TV. Only real omission I can think of is Jonathan Taylor Thomas. I never adored him or anything, but a lot of people did and I’m pretty surprised he wasn’t high up there!

  33. John says:

    And to echo a few above posts, Rose McGowan and James Marsters are missed as well.

  34. Msi says:

    Everyone from the prematurely cancelled human target and CHAOS.

  35. Rissa says:

    Nicholas Brendan has has a recurring role on Criminal Minds,

  36. Msi says:

    Oh—and friggin donal logue-canceling terriers was criminal

  37. Karen says:

    Jason Dohring MUST return to my tv-screen soon! (on a related note, I wouldn’t mind a ‘Veronica Mars’ return ala Arrested Development).
    Would also love Kyle Chandler, David Hyde-Pierce, Cynthia and Nicholas Brendon back on tv, from your list.
    Would also love Jennifer Aniston back on tv. With the right show (preferably a comedy), she could rule the tv-screen yet again.
    I also really miss Zachary Levi, Felicity Huffman, Gregory Smith and Milo Ventimiglia

  38. lissab99 says:

    Milo Ventimiglia
    Topher Grace
    Jonathan Groff
    Taylor Kitsch
    Kristopher Palaha

  39. mac says:

    what about James Marsters ?

  40. Isis Nocturne says:

    Where is James Marsters on this list??

  41. Katie says:

    My first thought was Josh Holloway, so I totally agree with that one!

  42. wingster55 says:

    Yes to David Hyde Pierce, Bebe Neuwirth, Josh Holloway, and Kyle Chandler. But no love for Linda Cardellini?

  43. Seeing Michael Goorjian on this list just made me insanely happy. I miss that man.

  44. KJS says:

    I miss Allison Janney!

  45. aunt_deen says:

    Robin Weigert.

    She was flippin brilliant on Deadwood and I loved her on Life (still pissed that was canceled) and she needs to be back on my screen.

    Put her in a series with Jason Dohring!

  46. stellalunaa says:

    JOSH HOLLOWAY!!!! I need some Sawyer in my life again!!!!!

  47. seeingdouble says:

    Jeffrey Dean Morgan

  48. Holly says:

    Cynthia Nixon recently had a recurring role on The Big C. But I’ll agree–we need to see more of her.

  49. not my jeep! says:

    Colin Ferguson please. I miss him soooo much.