Throwback Thursday
The CW Most-Used Actors

The CW All-Stars: Which Actors Have Appeared on the Most Shows?

Given its penchant for recycling, The CW’s got to have one of the smallest carbon footprints in Hollywood.

If you’ve been a regular viewer since the network launched in Oct. 2006, you’ve probably noticed that a lot of the same (attractive) faces keep popping up. TVLine certainly has, and we’ve decided to start tallying ’em up in order to determine, once and for all, which actors deserve to be crowned CW royalty.

You may not be surprised by every actor in our gallery — especially if you’re a consistent consumer of the network’s #DCTV superhero properties — but trust us, there are some surprises. (Plus, who doesn’t love remembering when Stephen Amell was on The Vampire Diaries?)

A couple of notes before we dive in:

1. My condolences to The CW’s many web series, but only shows that aired on the actual network count for the purposes of this list.

2. If an actor appeared on a WB-turned-CW series during its WB days (i.e. Katie Cassidy on 7th Heaven), it doesn’t count. Nick Zano’s post-WB appearance on 7th Heaven, however, is fair game.

3. An actor must have been on at least five CW shows in order to make this list. So if you’re wondering why several CW staples — including, let’s say, Robert Buckley and Shantel VanSanten, each with four under their belt — are missing, that’s why.

4. Feel free to cry foul about any of the above. (This is America, and that’s why we have comment sections.)

To that end, browse our gallery of CW all-stars — you can click here for direct access — then drop a comment below: Who’s your favorite recurring actor? Did we miss any big ones?

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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61 Comments
  1. jason says:

    Funny how the actors evolved with the network itself. it almost makes me miss those early trashy CW TV days. xoxo Gossip Girl.

  2. Steven says:

    The WB would do this too. I remember Jason Behr was on Dawson’s Creek, Buffy, 7th Heaven, and then Roswell.

  3. Lola says:

    Andy-Peyton List was also on One Tree Hill. She played a model season 3.

  4. Gina says:

    I just love you for this! Thank you. =)

  5. T.W.S.S. says:

    Reminds me of how you see the same faces in many a Vancouver-shot sci-fi series (looking at you Roger Cross).

    • Karen MT says:

      I’ve always known which shows are shot in Vancouver by the guest stars that have also been in Stargate SG-1.

  6. tigersmurfette says:

    off the top of my head, my high school buddy Chris Gauthier has been in atleast 3(that i watch) Smallville, Supernatural and iZombie. plus, kinda an unfair list consider most have played the same character regardless of what show.

  7. Nicole Walker says:

    Ha! Yes, I remember Reaper.

    Seeing them on 90210, I suddenly want a male soap starring Amell, Gustin, and Zano. They all can bring the angst and tears and manpain.

    Katie Cassidy on Supernatural was the best thing ever. I miss her Ruby.

    Thank you for doing this list :)

    • Sully says:

      I loved Reaper!! So glad to see someone else watched it.

      • Tai says:

        Oh I remember Reaper too. I loved that show and was so sad when it was cancelled. Hulu has season one but season two is only available on the ABC app for some reason.

  8. Luke says:

    What about Ty Olsson? He was in Smallville (post CW switch), Arrow, Beauty and the Beast, The Tomorrow People, iZombie, Supernatural, and The 100. That’s 7, so does he share the crown with Dohring as the king of the CW?

  9. You forgot that Nick Zano was on the Wb’s What I Like About You

  10. Cas says:

    Have loved Nick Zano since “What I like about you”. Also huge Katie Cassidy fan. She deserves a better home.

  11. Corky says:

    Hallmark Channel is pretty committed to recycling as well.

  12. Jennifer says:

    I don’t think playing the same character in the same universe should count. It should only be different characters. I love Grant Gustin, but it’s the same character in shows that cross over regularly.

    • Hannah says:

      Agreed. I’m not sure why playing 1 character in the same universe on 4 of your 5 shows would count, but playing 4 different characters on 4 unrelated shows wouldn’t (cough*RobBuckley*cough)

  13. dansue says:

    I miss the old UPN/WB half hour comedies, though some of them were big piles of poop (hi, Homeboys in Outer Space). Maybe Nick Zano and Chris Wood in a buddy comedy on the CW? I think both those guys could be successful with a sitcom. A Friday night comedy hour or something with another show.

    • Jane Q. Doe says:

      If that keeps Wood off Supergirl, I’d totally support it. I do think both he & Zano have some comedic chops – it’d be a good platform for them.

  14. Andy Swift says:

    This is also a good point.

  15. Levi says:

    Katie was FIRE on Melrose and Gossip Girl, very disappointed with the writing and sometimes portrayal of her characters in the DC shows.

  16. obriensg1 says:

    Carlos Valdes has also been on all four shows in the arrowverse

    • tstephen51 says:

      Yeah but he doesn’t fit the color scheme. Surely I’m not the only one to notice this…

    • Kenzie says:

      True, but sadly, that only makes 4 shows since he’s never guested on anything outside of DCTV and this list requires 5 shows. He’d be at 5 if they included Vixen, but they excluded web-series so he’s still only at 4.

  17. katsssblog says:

    Katie and Jason should now have shows on CW as leads. I think I would like to see that. :D Maybe even work together on same show.

  18. Toni says:

    I feel like adding the crossovers is cheating a little because they only appeared on the others shows due to their primary ones. Regardless, nice list!

  19. Wordsmith says:

    You forgot to mention the “Vancouver Repertory Company” actors who appear in pretty much every Canadian-shot show, including the CW’s. For example, Tahmoh Penikett and Aaron Douglas have both been in at least five CW shows each…

  20. Caitlyn Cain says:

    They forgot one for Stephen Amell– he also appeared on 90210

  21. Matt C. says:

    Can somebody please get Jason Dohring his own show? I can’t believe he’s done 7 different guest stints on The CW and he has yet to be a series regular! Still holding out hope for a Veronica Mars revival series someday…

  22. Tee says:

    Katie Cassidy should get 8 I think cause she was on 7th heaven as well

  23. aaron says:

    Katie was flawless in Melrose Place. Her best character yet.

    • Julia says:

      Different network but loved her in Harper’s Island! Wish they’d re-air that sometime.

      • Leo says:

        I love Katie after watching Harper’s Island. That’s one of my most favorite series which I don’t know why it get such a horrible rating.

  24. Goldenvibefan says:

    I feel so bad for Peyton List, as her shows don’t ever really work out. I also hope she comes back to the Flash during season 4 as Golden Glider.

  25. Kenzie says:

    This list is interesting, but I think you missed a few actors. I’m pretty sure Tahmoh Penikett, Brett Dier, and Rekha Sharma should be on this list. Also, according to imdb, The 100’s Sachin Sahel, Jessica Harmon, and Ty Olsson have all appeared on 5 or more CW shows. Though, this is assuming that imdb’s info is correct.

  26. Jooshua says:

    It’s so odd you guys did this. I stopped watching One Tree Hill after Lucas and Peyton left, then today I noticed Robert Buckley was in the photo they use for OTH on Netflix and it made me think about all the actors I see who frequently appear in CW shows. Thanks for the great write-up!

  27. Kami says:

    Peyton List was in an episode of One Tree Hill in 2006!

  28. Wendy says:

    Would love to see Jason Dohring step into the DC-verse shows after his iZombie role inevitably dies… or a series regular on something… just sayin’ CW.

  29. Jared says:

    I forgot about Chris Wood on The Carrie Diaries, another show gone way too soon. I might just have to rewatch soon.

  30. Katie Cassidy is the Queen of The C.W
    She was definetely the bst part in Melrose Place, in wich they actually treated her like the leading

  31. Also, how come The CW hasn’t give Jason Dohring his own show

  32. Sasha says:

    Wasn’t Nick Zano in What I like about you? I mean its technically WB before it was the CW so I’m not sure if it counts

  33. Dan Char says:

    Katie was funny in Whose Line Is It Anyway? 😄

  34. Remy says:

    What about Tahmoh Penikett? He’s been on Beauty & the Beast, Reign, Star-Crossed, Supernatural, & Arrow. He was also on Snellville, but I’m not sure if it was during it’s WB or CW time.

  35. kaliber says:

    Jason Dohring has been on a DC show… iZombie is a DC/Vertigo show.

  36. Samantha says:

    Pre CW but Chyler Leigh was 7th Heaven… one my fav guest stars

  37. Sarah says:

    Peyton List was also in an episode of OTH, was it before the CW came to be?

  38. Rex the Wonder Dog says:

    I suspect Katie Cassidy is going to eventually end up on Supergirl, making her the queen of crossovers.

  39. Casey says:

    Late to this show and he’s obviously more of a guest or background actor, but what about Hiro Kanagawa? He’s everywhere, all the time! I had to go to his imdb because there’s no way I could ever remember every CW show he’s appeared in. Dude has 163 credits, which include Lt. Suzuki (iZombie), a council member (The 100), a one-off role of some sort (Tomorrow People), two different doctors lol (Emily Owens, MD), a couple appearances as another doctor (Arrow), Calvin Wilson (Secret Circle), the Japanese game show host where Sam takes a hit to the junk (Supernatural), a role I don’t remember … Sock’s new stepdad? (Reaper), and multiple appearances as the principal (Smallville). He’s definitely one of those you-know-his-face-even-if-you-don’t-know-his-name actors. And he’s so prolific, appearing on so many non-CW shows, too.