Exclusive Pilot Season Preview: The 36 Most Wanted Actors and Actresses

Get More: Lists, Photo Gallery, Pilots

blog_combo_10.10.12_v2As busy as Santa is right about now, he ain’t got nothing on TV execs! They’re working 24/7 these days in anticipation of their most hectic time of the year: pilot season!

You see, as soon as the networks finish deciding which potential series they’ll be trying out (shortly after the ball drops), a casting frenzy will get underway the likes of which hasn’t been seen since… well, since the 2012 casting frenzy! As you’d imagine, the casting directors’ wish lists include everyone from hot shots (Kyle Chandler, anyone?) to long shots (Katie Holmes). Who’ll actually get around to starring in a pilot?

PHOTOS | 20 Actors You Want Back on TV Immediately

Consider the red-hot candidates in our gallery, then hit the comments with the names of the actors that you want on the small screen in a big way!

PHOTOS | 20 Actresses You Want Back on TV Right Now



Comments (152)

  • Tom Welling!

    Comment by Karen – December 10, 2012 03:03 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I agree. But luckily for me, I’m only watched the first 3 seasons of Smallville so far, so I’ve got a lot more Tom Welling viewing to last for a while.

      Comment by Andy – December 10, 2012 04:16 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • He would also be my #1 choice for Most Missed.

      Comment by Valerie – December 10, 2012 07:26 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Tom Welling could read the phone book and I’d watch. He needs to be back on my screen yesterday.

        Comment by Chuck – December 12, 2012 02:19 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Although the show itself was uneven, the cast of Private Practice was excellent. I would add just about any one of them to this list.

    Comment by George – December 10, 2012 03:07 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Someone please give Caterina Scorsone her own show.

      Comment by Emily – December 10, 2012 03:09 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Please don’t.

        Comment by Tom – December 10, 2012 03:13 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • I agree. Either give Caterina Scorsone her own show or send her to Grey’s. She needs to stay on mt TV.

        Comment by omabin – December 10, 2012 03:19 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Totally agree!!! But, since she’s a new mom, she’s probably taking a small break.

        Comment by Barbie Furtado – December 10, 2012 04:37 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Agreed! She’s amazing! I’d like to see her pop over to Grey’s part time.

        Comment by Ava – December 10, 2012 05:32 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • The whole cast of Private Practice is amazing! Most of them can have their own show. Can’t believe none of them are on this list!

          Comment by Jen – December 11, 2012 02:14 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • What about JASON DOHRING????????????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Comment by lamb – December 10, 2012 03:10 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • No..

      Comment by Josh – December 10, 2012 03:44 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Yes!

      Comment by Day – December 10, 2012 03:52 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • YES JASON DOHRING!!!! yes yes yes

      Comment by bobbie – December 10, 2012 05:30 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • YES!!!

      Comment by Ally Oop – December 11, 2012 09:38 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Yes, Please!!!! And add James Marsters too!!!

      Comment by Spikenalabama – December 11, 2012 02:16 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Yes, I’d love to see all of these folks back on my TV. Especially Kyle Chandler (I certainly don’t begrudge him his film career, I just love the Coach)

    Paget Brewster should be in there, though.

    Comment by keja – December 10, 2012 03:11 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Oh, and I really want someone to give Sarah Wayne Callies a series that let’s her smile more :) No more prisons and zombies, kay?

      Comment by keja – December 10, 2012 03:15 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • keja I agree to both of those. Paget needs a comedy though. She is great in comedy!

      Comment by JoAnne – December 11, 2012 03:54 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • They definitely should make a tv movie about the pre-apocalypse of the Walking dead. I mean what happened when Rick was in coma and led to the formation of the first group…bring back Sarah Waynes Callies,John Bernthal (Shane) and other dead characters (Dale, Amy, Carol”s husband,…). and maybe Wentworth Miller as a military officer (who get caught by the zombies in the end) for a prison break reunion. would be perfect!

    Comment by Azerty – December 10, 2012 03:15 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I think you’re on to something there, but maybe it would better as a prequel mini-series for the show? I don’t think the time frame between the outbreak starting and Rick waking up from the coma was all that far apart? I always thought it was only a few days in between Rick’s coma machines losing power while Shane gave that impassioned speech and then Rick waking up. I could be wrong.

      Comment by Britta Unfiltered – December 10, 2012 03:23 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • It would have to be only a few days or Rick would have dehydrated and died. The timeline has always confused me.

        Comment by Ava – December 10, 2012 05:34 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • No. That’s not in the spirit of The Walking Dead. Even the comics haven’t revealed what happened.

      Comment by Teag – December 10, 2012 04:04 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Michael B. Jordan please!!

    Comment by Liney – December 10, 2012 03:15 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I like Kelsey Grammer, I hope he can find something meaty that will fulfill him creatively. He seems to like to be challenged with his roles. Hopefully that Boss mini-series wrap-up comes through for him. And I would love to see Justin Long on a comedy. And *should* Brody happen to be killed off of Homeland this Sunday (please, God, don’t let that really happen), well, we’ve got to get Damian Lewis into something right away if that happens. Hopefully the entire Community cast can just transition into Dan Harmon’s new pilots that are in development. A girl can dream…

    Comment by Britta Unfiltered – December 10, 2012 03:19 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Awesome list! Some of these people I really want back right now! Sarah Wayne Callies! I am missing a lot of Losties in there though (Henry Ian Cusick, Matthew Fox, Evangeline Lilly, Josh Holloway) and Battlestar alumnies in there (Jamie Bamber, Tahim Penicket, Michael Trucco)

    Comment by omabin – December 10, 2012 03:21 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • As long Zachary Levi’s hair isn’t blonde, I’ll watch him in anything

    Comment by Patrick Maloney – December 10, 2012 03:22 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Diversity much? There are plenty of actors in Hollywood that represent the landscape of America unfortunately it appears the main networks just want more of the same. where is Omar epps from House? Why is he not pictured in the photos?

    Comment by Melody Baker (@evangml) – December 10, 2012 03:23 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Absolutely this! Vanessa Williams? Chi McBride? Andre Braughner?

      Comment by Jen – December 10, 2012 04:35 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Harold Perrineau? Sanaa Latham? Taye Diggs? Wentworth Miller?

        Comment by Jen – December 10, 2012 04:45 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • Oh! and Dennis Haysbert from 24. Rescue him from those Nationwide Insurance commercials!!

          Comment by Jen – December 10, 2012 04:48 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
          • Thank you!!! Thought it was unfortunate and sad they didn’t include any of these folks on their list.

            Comment by NamelyNorm – January 5, 2013 11:37 AM PDT  
  • Yvonne Strahovski should be the lead on some show.

    Comment by Lev – December 10, 2012 03:24 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I agree with you Lev.

      Comment by Tater – December 10, 2012 05:45 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Abbie Cobb !! She was awesome in 90210 . And under used in Suburgatory imo

    Comment by liliane – December 10, 2012 03:24 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Michael Urie, Wentworth Miller, Luke Mcfarlane, Sarah Shahi, T.R. Knight, Katherine Moennig, Constance Zimmer, Kelly Rutherford, Toni Colette, Hunter Parrish, Indina Manzel, Vanessa Williams, Portia De Rossi, Madeline Zima, Lee Pace, Megan Mullally, Felicity Huffman

    Comment by Richard – December 10, 2012 03:25 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I’d love to see Kelly Rutherford jump over to Revenge now that GG is over.

      Comment by Mikael – December 11, 2012 09:35 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Yes to so much of this list, especially Michael Urie, Hunter Parrish, and Vanessa Williams. And good heavens, I need Toni Colette back on my TV.

      Comment by Anna – December 11, 2012 09:23 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Andre Braugher deserves a show that will last longer than 1 season. He is a superb actor. I would also lik eto see Cuddy from house in another series

    Comment by Melody Baker (@evangml) – December 10, 2012 03:25 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Agree. Lisa Edelstein is excelent. I hope we see hee again this year in a good show

      Comment by Desigual – December 10, 2012 05:35 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • This ^^^!

      Comment by Jen – December 10, 2012 08:34 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I’m ready to program my DVR right now for Hugh Laurie, Katherine Heigl, Marisa Tomei, Jason Isaacs, Tea Leoni, and Kate Hudson. Also add the entire cast of Private Practice and next season will be awesome!

    Comment by Linderella – December 10, 2012 03:29 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Somebody really needs to find something for Jason Isaacs that actually lasts. The man is ridiculously underrated.

    Comment by Dani – December 10, 2012 03:31 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Really? Is Community that DOA :(

    Comment by Josh – December 10, 2012 03:31 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • So true! I don’t know what ill do without community :(

      Comment by rachel – December 10, 2012 03:44 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Does Community even have a premiere date yet? I feel like at this point it’s going to be a summer burner for NBC.

      Comment by Ava – December 10, 2012 05:35 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • I think it’s all set for February return at thurs at 8:30. Which will suck bc they have no chance against other networks 8pm shows.

        Comment by Jen – December 10, 2012 08:38 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Exciting list. ! Can’t wait and hope 2013 has a strong crop of newbies because this year has been a bit flat.

    Comment by Danielle Hamilton – December 10, 2012 03:33 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Anna Camp NEEDS a good pilot with an actual meaty role!!! She’s been extremely wasted on Mindy Project and she’s been fantastic in so many supporting parts, I’d love for her to get the chance to actually lead something worthwhile!!!

    Oh and Anna Faris needs a good show too, and any appearance from James Marsden on a show would be great! And though I’d love to see Uma Thurman and Marisa Tomei on a show… I think they would probably be suited to a cable pilot more.

    Also throwing in an extra name… Missi Pyle!!! Though I love seeing her pop up everywhere in film and tv… she needs a great comedy show to finally get a more high profile big break!!!

    Comment by GC – December 10, 2012 03:35 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I miss Wentworth Miller on my weekly tv… haven’t seen him since Prison Break… only in small roles… and please give Michael Ealy and Warren Kole something to do… preferably something together XD Or something I would watch, since I’m not that much interested in Warren’s upcoming show… XD that’s all!

    Comment by Katrin – December 10, 2012 03:35 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Yes to:
    Tea Leoni, Kate and Katie, Carla G., Jane K., Justin L., and Maris T.. Please add David Sutcliffe, Mark Valley, Jackie Earle Haley and Chi McBride [in fact just bring back Human Target minus that Pucci witch].

    Comment by Templar – December 10, 2012 03:37 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Anna Camp needs her own show! She’s amazing in everything she’s starred so far

    Comment by MDS (@musicisthedoor) – December 10, 2012 03:39 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • must return to Tom Welling, television needs of young actors and new. I miss Tom WELLING !!!!!

    Comment by Sarajh moss – December 10, 2012 03:41 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I love Bradley James from Merlin. With that series ending can some network keep him in mind for something amazing? Please and thank you.

    I also want more Santiago Cabrera on my tv. Wish he was on Dexter longer.

    Comment by Eliza – December 10, 2012 03:42 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • SUMMER GLAU you knobs.

    Comment by Bob – December 10, 2012 03:43 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Why haven’t I seen Sawyer from Lost anywhere?

    Comment by Amy – December 10, 2012 03:44 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • More importantly, why haven’t I seen his ABS anywhere???

      Comment by StupidPeopleShutUp – December 10, 2012 04:43 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Sophia Bush! She needs her own show ASAP! Would love for her to either star in a television version of Stephanie Plum or as another ass-kicking chick. She likes to do her own stunts.

    Comment by dude – December 10, 2012 03:49 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I want Tom Welling on my TV! Tom W. is ‘very good in the role of villain.

    Comment by Margot – December 10, 2012 03:49 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • My list: Josh Holloway, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Jason Dohring!

    Comment by Steve – December 10, 2012 03:49 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I’m confused. Did Zachary Levi’s new pilot ever air?

    Comment by Tara – December 10, 2012 03:51 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • no Fox(i think) passed. He dyed his hair blonde for Thor 2

      Comment by gary – December 10, 2012 03:52 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Where??? Where is this pic of Zachary Levi with blonde hair????

        Comment by Eve – December 10, 2012 04:09 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • It did not get picked up. I know it will sound trivial to most of you, but the show has to be extra special to get picked up if the lead guy has a beard – from pictures he had a beard in the pilot.

      He should try to get a supporting role or be in an ensemble in a really strong show instead of trying to be the lead in something. I actually didn’t mind the script for his pilot but they picked a cast that was bland.

      Comment by John W. – December 10, 2012 04:10 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Last time I checked, Zachary Levi, Kat Foster, Joel David Moore and Romany Malco isn’t particularly bland.

        Comment by Zach – December 11, 2012 02:55 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Where is Tom WELLING …….I love TW!!!!

    Comment by Laura – December 10, 2012 03:53 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Paget Brewster. Paget Brewster. Paget Brewster.

    Comment by Birdie – December 10, 2012 04:02 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • agreed!

      Comment by ele – December 10, 2012 05:57 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Yes, this!!!

      Comment by Jeff – December 11, 2012 03:58 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Yes! Yes! Yes! More Paget!!!

      Comment by KP – December 11, 2012 05:26 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Agree. Agree. Agree!!!

      Comment by KC – December 11, 2012 11:08 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • AMERICA FERRERA!!!

    Comment by Julio P – December 10, 2012 04:03 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Um, we just need to bring the entire Pushing Daisies family back to television. But otherwise ALLISON JANNEY. I’d also pay super big bugs to see Jessica Chastain and Anna Camp do a high powered drama together. Maybe they should just join Homeland for season 3.

    Comment by Ri – December 10, 2012 04:08 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Paget Brewster!!!!!

    Comment by Kendall – December 10, 2012 04:17 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I want Matt Dallas back on TV! (And not just guest starring on Baby Daddy)

    Comment by Andy – December 10, 2012 04:19 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Where is Lisa Edelstein on that list, man? She is missed.

    Comment by irene A – December 10, 2012 04:20 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • No she’s not.

      Comment by tripoli – December 11, 2012 05:13 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • My wish list: HUGH LAURIE (I miss [H]ouse MD), Jennifer Beals, Linda Cardellini, Gillian Anderson and Janel Moloney.

    Comment by Vero – December 10, 2012 04:20 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Gillian Anderson is back this season on Hannibal.

      Comment by Michele – December 17, 2012 09:20 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I miss Zachary Levi on my TV

    Comment by Mike – December 10, 2012 04:23 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Zach Levi, as you mentioned, NEEDS to come back.

    Him, Josh Holloway, Lee Pace and someone from Community (maybe Danny Pudi! Or Donald Glover! Or both!) would make for an awesome ensemble cast. Like, I would honestly lose my mind.

    Comment by Eric – December 10, 2012 04:31 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • And throw Jason Segel in there, since he’s leaving HIMYM after this season. Even though he said that was so at he could pursue his film career…

      Comment by Eric – December 10, 2012 04:32 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Bridget Reagan and Craig Horner need their own shows bonus if they are both in the same show. That would make me very happy.

    Comment by Patricia – December 10, 2012 04:35 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Why isn’t Terry O’Quinn on a hit show????

    Comment by StupidPeopleShutUp – December 10, 2012 04:44 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Jewel Staite please!

    Comment by Mandy – December 10, 2012 04:57 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Actually, she is on TV. Check out L.A. Complex

      Comment by Jeff – December 11, 2012 03:59 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I’m still crossing my fingers that The CW picks up The L.A. Complex for a third season!!! But otherwise, I definitely agree!

      Comment by Fabian – December 11, 2012 01:50 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • (without bothering to check and see if these people already HAVE gigs planned, or even how to spell their names, because I’m lazy like that): Jason Dohring, Taye Diggs, Seth Gabel, James Marsters, Lee Pace, Julian McMahon, Ben Browder, (I’ll stop there, though I should probably include some females shouldn’t I? Oh well. )

    Comment by Missing my guys – December 10, 2012 04:57 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Julian McMahon DEFINITELY! I don’t know why the pilot he did last year (I think with Angela Bassett) did not get picked up but I need him back on TV now.

      Comment by Deena – December 10, 2012 08:32 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Caterina Scorsone needs to stay on my TV. Her intervention and scenes with Addison and her baby last season were absolutely one of the finest pieces of television and acting I have ever seen. I hope she recurs on GA after PP. Also here’s to hoping that Martha Plimpton and Lisa Edelstein head back to The Good Wife soon!

    Comment by A – December 10, 2012 04:57 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Tom Welling¡¡¡ I miss him on the TV¡¡¡¡¡¡

    Comment by Cocacola – December 10, 2012 05:02 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Adam Baldwin (I’ll be in my bunk)

    Comment by princess – December 10, 2012 05:03 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Sophia Bush defffff. One of the best.

    Comment by Tim – December 10, 2012 05:06 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Dear Santa……please bring me back Tom Welling¡¡¡ I miss him on the TV¡¡¡¡¡¡

    Comment by Hannah – December 10, 2012 05:07 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • PIERCE BROSNAN!!!!

    Comment by magmikemlunru – December 10, 2012 05:08 PM PDT  Reply To This Post

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