20 Actresses You Want Back on TV Right Now

Last month, TVLine brainstormed a list of 20 TV stars we’re hoping will score big, juicy roles in fall 2013 pilots.

You responded with hundreds of suggestions of your own that were so intriguing, it gave us enough material for not one, but two spinoff galleries.

RELATED | Ask Ausiello: Spoilers on NCIS, Grey’s, Army Wives, Glee, Revenge, Shameless and More!

Today, we present a countdown of the 20 actresses whose return to the small screen is being championed by tastemaking TVLine readers. Tomorrow we’ll reveal their male counterparts.

RELATED | TVLine’s All-Star Pilot Season Wish List

So click through the photo gallery of underappreciated thespians below, then hit the comments with any names your fellow readers might’ve forgotten.

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. Superhero says:

    One error here: Lizzy Caplan is already set to star in Showtime’s Masters of Sex. It’s been ordered to series and will air sometime in 2013.

  2. Superhero says:

    Definitely agree with Sarah Michelle Gellar (provided it’s not some crappy CW show; Buffy the goddamn Vampire Slayer deserves her own cable show). Would also love to see Summer Glau, Portia de Rossi, Amy Acker, and Frances Conroy (on something OTHER than AHS).

    • John says:

      Amy Acker is already on Person of Interest, albeit as a recurring guest star. She’s a very important character who appeared in the finale of season 1 and the first two episodes in season 2 and will come back again. I’ve fell in love with this lady because of POI. She’s so awesome.

  3. Polly says:

    Gillian Anderson and Andrea Parker, I’d give a lot to see them both in the same show! :)

  4. dude says:

    Hell yes to Jessalyn Gilsig! SUCH a funny actress. Since her show got canceled I have to add Sophia Bush to that list. Also, Minka Kelly, Kristin Wiig and Chyler Leigh.

  5. Kelly says:


  6. cjeffery7 says:

    Dualla!!! and now that Last Resort is ending, Dichen Lachman.

  7. Shaun says:

    I’m guessing that recent recurring/one shot roles don’t count?Kandyse was on Alphas and pretty sure Lizzy was on New Girl.

  8. Billie says:

    Liza Weil. Yes. But even more, I just want Paris Geller back on my tv.

  9. TC says:

    I want Sallie back! I want Eureka back! SyFy really screwed that one up.

  10. Mary says:

    Renee O’Connor

  11. Ella says:

    Autumn Reeser, now that Last Resort has been cancelled. Chyler Leigh, I’ve been a fan of hers since Reunion aired on Fox. Carla Gugino & Ali Larter too.

    • Britta Unfiltered says:

      Did you ever see Chyler Leigh on the short-lived That ’80s Show? I watched her for years on Grey’s Anatomy before figuring out she played the punk rock character, June, on the show. Total 180 from what she usually plays.

  12. nik says:

    Kristen bell. Allison Mack. America ferrera. Elaine cassidy. Amber tamblyn. Sophia bush. Rose mcgowen. I really love all of these actresses & would love to see them back.

  13. John Moshier says:

    isnt robyn reigert on soa

  14. n says:

    Lisa Edelstein! Immediately!

  15. Aleana says:

    Joanna Garica Bethany Joy Lenz

  16. Mamen says:

    Lisa Edelstein

  17. oh god, Kandyse McClure 1,000,000x YES! I miss her so much, such a great actress. Get her back on TV!

  18. talex says:

    I think we’re missing Yvonne Strahovsky!!

  19. tiff says:

    I need Chyler Leigh especially on Grey’s. Holly Marie Combs was the best on Charmed

  20. Truefan says:

    Would love to see Sarah Michelle Geller, Gillian Andersson, and Janel Moloony.

  21. arial2 says:

    Good list. Allison Janney needs to be on this list! Given the YEAR we have to wait between seasons of Major Crimes, I’d add Mary McDonnell to this list. (What’s up with that, TNT???)

  22. Britta Unfiltered says:

    Robin Weigert, yes! I think she appears periodically on Sons of Anarchy as the club’s lawyer though. I just saw her on the last episode. That show really likes to cast Deadwood actors. Sutter must have been a huge fan. I also second Summer Glau and Allison Janney. Also, I would add Brie Larson, Patricia Arquette, Sabrina Lloyd and Molly Parker.

  23. Stacy says:

    Andrea Parker & Bethany Joy Lenz need to be on this list! I was SO happy to see Liza Weil get a well deserved mention on this list. Other faves: Kandyse McClure, Evangeline Lilly & Lizzy Caplan!

    I love Jennifer Garner (in response to a previous comment), but she no longer belongs on this list. She’s a bona fide movie star, and with three kids, I doubt she’s longing to return to the rigors of the small screen.

  24. Please, please TV guys…bring Paget Brewster back!!

  25. ronny says:

    now that their shows are canceled, Sarah Shahi and Mercedes Mashon…sure both will land pilots next season

  26. will says:

    shantel vansueten

  27. SJ says:

    Jennifer Beals and Portia de Rossi!!!

    • wvg says:

      Jennifer Beals!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Shockingly underappreciated actress. Her portrayals of strong women chatacters on the L Word and Chicago Code and in guest roles have been great. She can convey so much emotion without saying a word.

    • BOOYA says:

      Portia is in that Munsters remake. Or has it been cancelled?

  28. John says:

    Adrienne Barbeau needs to be back in prime time full time. She is guesting on Revenge. How about the 70s scream queen in American Horror story or something she can really chew up the scenery with.

  29. Lucy says:

    Sarah Shahi, Mercedes Masohn, Jennifer Beals and Evangeline Lilly.

  30. Julia says:

    I agree with Evangeline Lilly, and why isn’t Patricia Arquette on that list???

    Bring back Medium!!!!!

  31. Ann says:

    God I miss Paget on that show so much. I don’t even know whats going on with the show now that I don’t watch it (since she’s gone). She made such a big impact on so many people and I can’t wait to see her in something bigger and better.

  32. Gigi says:


  33. liz says:

    Sarah Shahi will be on CHICAGO FIRE (NBC) for at least 6 weeks starting early December!

  34. Natalie Mehden says:

    Don’t forget about older actresses like Jaclyn Smith& Lynda Carter

  35. Sheena says:

    Gillian Anderson!!!

  36. Silk says:

    Stephanie March needs to get back on my television as soon as possible in something way better than the drowning SVU that will be nearly impossible to save after this season/

  37. Kelly says:

    I agree so much with Janel Moloney and Majandra Delfino. I would add Summer Glau to the list too.

  38. bhm1304 says:

    Robin Weigert has been SAMCRO’s lawyer since “Sons” premiered.

  39. Yoho says:

    Kandyse and Anna Friel FTW

  40. Deena says:

    MARY McCORMACK! I’m still mourning the loss of In Plain Sight…

  41. VCI says:

    How did America Ferrara not make this list???
    But Triple Yes to Lizzy Caplan and Liza Weil

  42. Courtney says:

    One name & Two words: Amanda Tapping: Sheer Perfection

  43. Mary McCormack!! And Maura Tierney!

  44. Chiara says:

    I really miss Billie Piper, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Ali Larter, Evangeline Lilly, Gillian Anderson, Janel Moloney, and I already fear for Anna Torv (how people don’t realize how good she is is a wonder) when Fringe will end.

    • John says:

      You’ve good taste.
      Anna Torv = Emmy worthy.

      • JohnDeacon says:

        ANNA TORV = so capable of Oscar-level performances, Emmy or not (for Fringe.) She’s had to play 4 different versions of her character, and has nailed them all; brainy, sexy, powerhouse, playful, delicate, determined… Way too complex for the average tv audient, it seems.
        The rest of the cast was awesome too, but since this is a tvline discussion I can only say I wish each & all of the Fringe cast principals a very productive & stellar FILM career!

  45. Mcat says:

    Just missing Georgina Haig! Seth Gabel better be on the men’s list tomorrow. I would love for them to star in a new show together next fall.

  46. Marianne says:

    Bonnie Hunt, please :)

  47. jen says:

    Chyler Leigh!