Fall TV Preview: 25 Fresh Faces That Are on Our Radar -- and Should Be on Yours
Danai Gurira, The Walking Dead
HOW FRESH? | Pretty fresh, outside of six episodes of HBO’s Treme and the occasional crime drama guest spot.
WHY WATCH? | As Michonne, a popular badass from the graphic novels who will play a big role in Season 3 of AMC’s TWD, Gurira will walk tall – in the company of two tamed walkers/”pets” – and carry a really big katana.
Barry Sloane, Revenge
HOW FRESH? | Very U.S.-fresh, as the British actor’s major credits to date include the BBC series Holby City and Hollyoaks.
WHY WATCH? | In the recurring Season 2 role of a mystery man from Emily’s past, he surely will keep the Hamptons’ pretty little puppet master on her toes. Plus, it doesn’t hurt for the ABC hit’s female fans to get a new eye candy option.
Elyes Gabel, Body of Proof
HOW FRESH? | Prior to doing several episodes of Game of Thrones the Brit focused on BBC and ITV series (including Waterloo Road and Identity).
WHY WATCH? | Body of Proof is a show in transition, and Gabel is but one part of its cast shake-up. As a young cop who thinks he knows it all, it’ll be fun to see Megan – as well as his own partner, to be played by Mark Valley (Human Target) — show him what’s what.
Todd Williams, The Vampire Diaries
HOW FRESH? | Semi-, having appeared on multiple episodes of The Chicago Code and In Plain Sight, plus some Third Watch. But this could be his buzziest showcase in years.
WHY WATCH? | Where there be vampires there be hunters, and Williams’ is described as having a soldier’s disposition and thus isn't nearly as “friendly” as Alaric. It’ll be good to see the guys (and gals like Elena now!) have a formidable foe nipping at their heels.
Dean Geyer and Jacob Artist, Glee
HOW FRESH? | Somewhat, and quite. Geyer should be familiar from his turn as the Terra Nova guard who wooed the teen Shannon daughter, plus he’s got the Aussie soap Neighbours and Australian Idol on his resume. Artist’s credits pretty much start and stop with Lifetime’s recent Blue Lagoon redo.
WHY WATCH? | For one, Geyer’s Glee guy, NYADA student Brody, is set to make a serious play for Rachel out in NYC; that, to put it lightly, will get the fans talking/squawking. Artist meanwhile is taking on the role of Puck’s half-brother, raising the question: How far did this apple fall from their shared half of the tree?
Melissa Benoist and Becca Tobin, Glee
HOW FRESH? | Very (a couple episodes of Homeland), and extremely.
WHY WATCH? | Intel is sparse here, so we’ll go with this for now: Tobin’s McKinley High newbie is named Kitty. And she’ll soon enough have one of the boys purring.
Stephen Amell, Arrow
HOW FRESH? | Kinda…? Fact is, Amell has steadily booked gigs since 2005, most recently multi-episode runs on Private Practice (as Vi’s frequently shirtless EMT hook-up) and Hung. But this is far and away his first starring role, or anything close to such.
WHY WATCH? | Oh, we pretty much spelled that out in our Fall TV First Impression. But in a word, Arrow is intensefunawesome.
Liane Balaban, Supernatural
HOW FRESH? | Pretty fresh, save for a couple episodes of Alphas (playing a human "Rosetta stone”) and a guest gig on Covert Affairs (as Auggie's Russian hacker ex).
WHY WATCH? | She’s playing a romantic interest for one of the boys (in this case, Sam), and as we all know, that always goes entertainingly sideways, one way or another. (Check out our First Look photo above.)
Daisy Betts, ABC’s Last Resort
HOW FRESH? | Quite, with the Aussie beauty’s only significant Stateside gig being NBC’s short-lived Persons Unknown.
WHY WATCH? | As noted in our Fall TV First Impression, Betts’ Navy Lt. Grace Shepard, an admiral’s daughter laboring to legitimately command respect aboard a nuclear sub, gets to lock horns with the likes of onetime Terminator Robert Patrick.
Sarah Bolger, ABC’s Once Upon a Time
HOW FRESH? | Relatively, with the Irish lass’ only regular TV role being as The Tudors‘ Mary.
WHY WATCH? | Recurring during Once‘s Season 2 as Aurora aka Sleeping Beauty, she’s playing one of the Disney princesses. We don’t see anyone dozing off during that.
Lizzie Brochere, FX’s American Horror Story
HOW FRESH? | Trés! Le plus de Brochere’s credits are French productions.
WHY WATCH? | You’ll be asking why not once we remind you that in Season 2 of the FX spooker, which is set in the 1960s at an East Coast insane asylum, Brochere is playing a character modeled on Angelina Jolie’s Girl Interrupted nut job . The French actress’ Gia is described as a “fierce, ferocious, extremely sexual and dangerous wild-child sexpot.” On top of all that, she’ll be a nemesis for Jessica Lange’s hospital administrator nun.
Clare Bowen and Sam Palladio, ABC’s Nashville
HOW FRESH? | Very, very. Bowen’s small-screen resume features her native Australia’s Home and Away and All Saints, while Palladio, British, has been playing Pucks! heartthrob Stoke on Episodes.
WHY WATCH? | As indicated in our Fall TV First Impression of Nashville, their pilot-ending duet will have you ‘shipping waitress/poet Scarlett and wannabe recording artist Gunnar hard — sorry, Jonathan Jackson! — and lunging for iTunes. Amid many expected “types,” they’re a pair of originals.
Camilla Luddington, Grey’s Anatomy
HOW FRESH? | Somewhat. The British beauty as of late has recurred on this summer’s True Blood and the most recent season of Californication, plus she played one half of the royal newlyweds in Lifetime’s William & Kate.
WHY WATCH? | New faces brought onto Grey’s as “recurring” players (or, in this case, a multi-episode “guest star”) often wind up as series regulars, so get in on the ground floor with this new doc who’s bound to get pulses racing.
Colin O’Donoghue, ABC’s Once Upon a Time
HOW FRESH? | This Irishman is U.S.-fresh, having most notably appeared on his native land’s Fair City and The Clinic.
WHY WATCH? | Of the several new characters to be popping up on Once this season, his Captain Hook is the only one to get teased in a promo thus far. Consider us… wait for it… hooked.
Grace Phipps, The CW’s The Vampire Diaries
HOW FRESH? | Daisy-fresh, having only played Chloe King‘s bestie Amy on the small screen.
WHY WATCH? | As April, an old friend of Elena and Jeremy’s who’s been away at boarding school, she’s destined to be dealt a heaping serving of WTF? as she discovers what has become of quaint Mystic Falls during her absence. And that is always fun to watch.
Jay Ryan, The CW’s Beauty and the Beast
HOW FRESH? | Quite, especially if you've never had occasion to pop on the telly in Australia, where this Kiwi hunk starred on Neighbours and Sea Patrol. Stateside, you may remember him as the Terra Nova colonist who committed murder-by-dinosaur.
WHY WATCH? | For one, his leading lady is the Beauty-ful Kristin Kreuk. Also, you gotta admit you’re curious just how Beast-ly — beyond that Todd Manning-like cheek scar — The CW will allow its leading man to become.
Crystal, NBC’s Animal Practice
HOW FRESH? | As fresh as a slightly green banana, at least when it comes to TV – though she (yes, she) of course memorably has recurred on Community as, ahem, Annie’s Boobs. (On the big screen, you've spied her in the likes of Hangover II and Night at the Museum.)
HOW FRESH? | Pretty darn fresh. The offspring of Melanie Griffith and Don Johnson has only popped up in movies here and there.
WHY WATCH? | Make no mistake, Johnson is charming and adorbs in her own right, as Ben’s sensible, unlucky-in-love sister. (You’d almost swear she was Kate Hudson’s daughter, though the math doesn’t quite work.) But add in Maggie Elizabeth Jones (We Bought a Zoo) as the single mom’s precious daughter and resistance is futile.
Echo Kellum, Fox’s Ben and Kate
HOW FRESH? | So fresh, unless you caught his episode of Hot in Cleveland. (And you probably didn’t.)
WHY WATCH? | As the titular Ben’s best bud Tommy, his banter with series co-lead Nat Faxon is fun and frat boy-like. Plus, we just like his unconventional-for-TV look. (Why is everyone so in love with combs??)
Georgia King, NBC’s The New Normal
HOW FRESH? | Very, given that the Scotswoman’s biggest credit looks to be the BBC’s Little Dorrit miniseries.
WHY WATCH? | Her Goldie is the calm, normal yet perky center amid a storm of loud and/or proud types, including Ellen Barkin’s uberconservative grandma character and NeNe Leakes’ sassy assistant to partners/wannabe parents Justin Bartha and Andrew Rannells.
Tracy Spiridakos, NBC’s Revolution
HOW FRESH? | Quite, save for a few episodes of Syfy’s Being Human and a stint on Canada’s Majority Rules.
WHY WATCH? | In case the promos NBC ran during the Olympics “here and there” did not make it clear, Revolution‘s Charlie totes a bow as confidently and works it as proficiently as that Katniss gal. If the lights go out and the world succumbs to martial law, she’s the kind of plucky plucker we want by our side.
Marc Warren, The Good Wife
HOW FRESH? | Only slightly, having amassed many fans with his roles across the pond in State of Play, Mutual Friends, Mad Dogs and Hustle, where he played Danny Blue. That said, many U.S. viewers are in for a treat when the Brit shows up on The Good Wife as Kalinda’s nefarious ex-husband.
WHY WATCH? | What part of “Kalinda’s nefarious ex-husband” didn’t sell you? The only question is how he makes it alive through the Kalindacave’s doorway, which when last we saw had a gun nozzle aimed in its general direction.