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. Georgina Haig – Fringe. Just killed off last week and missed already.

    Elaine Cassidy – Harper’s Island. She was the best thing about that show.

  2. act_on_love says:

    Brendan & Holloway. Ambrose & Ferreira. Griffiths & St. Patrick. Chandler. Neuwirth.

    Add to list: Ben Browder. Ron Glass. Evangeline Lilly. Zachary Levi. GIovanni Ribisi. Gillian Anderson. Ruben Santiago-Hudson.

    Also the entire cast of Eureka. Preferably just bring back Eureka altogether (and have the Science Channel do it instead of SyFy).

  3. Celita says:

    I agree so much about Jason Dohring, but I need Tom Welling more than anything! Come back Tom! stop playing golf and go back to my screen dude Y_Y!

  4. Tina B. says:

    Yes to Jason Dohring please! Please have him play a bad ass too!

  5. Derek Johnson says:

    Josh Holloway doesn’t deserve to be on this list for at least another two years. Sawyer got way more story and meatier than his character deserved, and Holloway needs a longer hiatus. Naveen Andrews is the lost alum who should get another chance in a significant 1a-1b role-very underserved.

  6. Paige says:

    I second the request for America Ferrera. I would also love to see Milo Ventimiglia back on tv!

  7. zaza says:

    Jason Isaacs please! I’m still upset that Awake was canceled. Also, yes to Josh Holloway, but in a comedy please…he’s darn funny and has a ridiculously adorable giggle!

  8. Shadester says:

    Ally Walker?? annoying as hell!!!

    Hell ya to sawyer and Logan!!

  9. Julia says:

    Janel Moloney and Bradley Whitford.

  10. Walkie says:

    Ian McShane should be number one.

  11. kateshomesick says:

    Adam Brody, Wentworth Miller, Majandra Delfino, Brendan Fehr, Liza Weil, Scott Patterson, Milo Ventimiglia, Alexis Bledel, Kathryn Morris, Gregory Smith…

  12. GeeMa says:

    I was one of the few fans of Legend of the Seeker and I would like to see Craig Horner back. I know he did a pilot called Joey Dakota. Premise sounded good so I don’t know what happened.

  13. Rita says:

    Ben Browder of Farscape and Party of Five deserves his own show.

  14. Jewel Staite, Summer Glau, Dominic West, Naveen Andrews.

  15. tp says:

    Tom Cavanagh, Chi McBride, Sharon Leal (Hellcats doesn’t count), Michael T. Weiss, Salli Richardson, Erica Cerra, Aunjanue Ellis. I agree with Jason Dohring but I liked him more on Moonlight than VM.

  16. tp says:

    Steve Harris, now that Awake is cancelled.

  17. tucker says:

    James Marsters – immediately!

  18. Sarah says:

    Yes to all! All amazing choices! I am especially partial to Jason Dohring, Nick Brendon and everyone from Six Feet Under. Oh yes and Josh Holloway.

  19. TexasGreatGrams says:

    Jason Dohring was amazing in “Moonlight”, loved Kyle Chandler on “First Edition”, loved Ally Walker on “Profiler”, miss Zachary Levi and Tom Welling-would love to see all of these on my tv screen again real soon

  20. Brookie says:

    There seems to be an error with your list. There is no Tom Welling on it. This should be rectified.

  21. matthew c says:

    Um, Nicolas Brendon is on TV. He’s on Criminal Minds as Garcia’s boyfriend. But I agree with a number of these; especially Cheri Oteri! She needs to guest star on Suburgatory ASAP.

  22. Amy says:

    I would be a happy girl if Sawyer, Coach Taylor, and Xander were back in my life on a weekly basis!

  23. Sean D says:

    I went someone to give Alia Shawkat a sitcom!

  24. Tedi says:


  25. April says:

    Zachary Levi??? #1 on my list also James Marsters (Spike for Buffy)

  26. BabyFirefly says:

    I would love to see Xander back on my TV!

  27. Charlotte says:

    Jason Dohring and Kyle Chandler for sure!
    But I would also add Michael Rosenbaum!

  28. Ali says:

    Adam Baldwin NOW!!, and Jason Wiles and Vincent D’onofrio would be nice too. But I want Adam Baldwin on TV NOW! (stamps foot) (also I want HBO’s Vorenus and Pullo back!) Oh, and Mark Valley too. BUT ADAM BALDWIN NOW.

  29. Midori004 says:

    Sean Faris is awesome! I miss Life as We Know It!

    Sabrina Lloyd we miss you! Sports Night reunion movie anyone?

  30. Angela says:

    Fully agreed on David Hyde Pierce and Bebe Neuwirth.

  31. Dolphin says:

    I’d follow Kyle Chandler anywhere.

    Seriously, would love to see him back, but it’s got to be in a uber good role/show … maybe on cable. He/we deserve(s) no less.

  32. nikkie says:

    Adam Brody, Jason Dohring, Kyle Chandler, Nicholas Brendon, Rachel Griffiths…..Where are the casting people? Get them back on tv people!

  33. Bonnie says:

    I would definitely add Kelly Williams…Ooooh, I miss her…

  34. Beej says:

    Sabrina Lloyd? I can’t believe no one’s chimed in on her! “SportsNight” was Sorkin at prime, and Sabrina’s “Natalie” was sublime and goofy. Her role on “Ed” was great, and she performed the heck out of it. I had stopped watching “Numb3rs” by the time she came on the show (and wouldn’t have even known about it if not for IMDB). I’d LOVE to see her on my TV again!

  35. snarka says:

    I really miss seeing the work of Images Loading, too! Please come back; you’re sorely missed.

  36. Géraldine says:

    Please, add Paget Brewster to your list.

  37. Mark says:

    Tom Welling

  38. Bouncy Castle says:

    Matthew Rhys. He was fabulous in Brothers & Sisters.

  39. MJ says:

    Tracie Ellis Ross is on a show on BET.

  40. LAURA says:

    Surely we miss the fantastic and beautiful Tom Welling. TOM must return to work immediately!

  41. sofia green says:

    Please TOM WELLING back on my TV, the break has lasted too and we fans are losing patience. Tom is always the best!

  42. margot says:

    Yes I want Tom W.

  43. Patti says:


  44. dolleyes says:

    I’d love to see Jason Dohring on Good Wife. Josh Holloway was amazing in Mission Impossible 4, I’d like to see him do more films. Josh…sigh!

  45. linda says:

    I thought Tracee Ellis Ross is still on Reed Between the Lines? Last i heard that show was renewed?

  46. Bill says:

    Hugh Laurie and Josh Holloway, just too good not to be seen every week.

  47. Where’s the love for James Marsters? Sure, after Buffy there was Angel and Smallville and Caprica and Torchwood and Supernatural and a tiny snippet in Hawaii 5-0, but sheesh! He has a huge fan base. I’d settle for a supporting role or even a meaty guest-villain arc.

  48. Jo says:

    Yes, yes, yes to Jason Dohring!! Love him!
    Cheri O’Teri was SO talented on SNL and I have always wondered why she did not move onto some quality projects as a few other SNL’rs have been able to do.
    I will go one step further with Jay Harrington…just bring back “Better Off Ted!”

  49. Eva says:

    What about Lena Olin? Irina Derevko is still one my favourite tv vilain!

  50. Vetle says:

    YES. Lauren Ambrose, Rachel Griffiths, and Mathew St. Patrick. See a pattern here? I especially need Lauren Ambrose to return. Since Six Feet Under (which is my favorite series ever) she has yet to find a nice gig, afaik. :(