Fall 2011 TV: All-Stars

By  October 03, 2011

This season of television promises to be one of the most exciting yet. We’ll see fairytale creatures, twisted revenge plots, intriguing spy stories and best of all, actors who previously starred in our favorite shows. With dozens and dozens of stars coming back to the small screen, it looks like TV is the hottest place to be.

1. Tim Allen in Last Man Standing (ABC)
Famous Role: Home Improvement

Who doesn’t know this face? Tim Allen’s turn on Home Improvement spawned over 200 episodes, Taylor family action figures, and tons of clothing (including undergarments). Men everywhere tried desperately to replicate that famous Tim the Toolman Taylor grunt, while women everywhere suffered. While that show was all about a family dominated by men, Allen’s new show is literally the exact opposite. His character Mike Baxter is a family man… with a wife and three daughters, now he’s the only man in his family. How does he deal with living in a female-dominated world? Probably with a lot of estrogen jokes.

2. Sarah Michelle Gellar in Ringer (CW)
Famous Role: Buffy the Vampire Slayer

The teen icon is back on TV! Finally, after 8 years of appearing in films and accepting guest roles, the woman who made vampires and the people who hunt them cool is back with her new show. And how do you follow up the crazy brilliance that is Buffy the Vampire Slayer? By playing a set of butt-kicking, dark, and mysterious twins in Ringer. This one’s about two sisters: Siobhan, a beautiful wife living the life of luxury, and Bridget, who’s poor and on the run from the Feds and the mob (damn!). After a series of unfortunate events, Bridget takes over Siobhan’s life to escape those after her, only to encounter more problems than she could have imagined. Even with all the outside drama, the series is still about the siblings’ relationship. Rivalry, jealousy, and betrayal are the names of this game.

Gellar is joined by two other TV All-Stars: Nestor Carbonell from Lost plays a federal agent looking for Bridget while Kristoffer Polaha from Life, Unexpected plays Siobhan’s lover.

3. Rachel Bilson in Hart of Dixie (CW)
Famous Role: The O.C.

Bilson had a small TV and filmography roster before The O.C.‘s Summer Roberts made her into an iconic teen character. But now she’s all grown up and just out of med school in this new “city girl in the country” drama. She’s playing Zoe, an extremely smart girl who loses out on getting a fellowship at a New York City hospital. So what does she do? She packs up and heads for rural paradise. What could possibly go wrong… Right?

Joining Bilson as a potential love-interest is another notable TV All-Star: Scott Porter from Friday Night Lights and The Good Wife.

4. Michael Emerson in Person of Interest (CBS)
The Practice, Lost

Emerson has made quite a career playing creepy men. For anyone who watched The Practice regularly, Emerson is probably very recognizable. He gave a breakthrough performance on the show as the psychiatric patient and serial killer William Hinks, and it was that brilliant performance which prompted Lost producers to cast Emerson as the iconic Ben Linus. His new role promises to be just as creepy and mysterious. He plays Mr. Finch, a billionaire who asks former CIA operative John Reese to find people from a list and stop them before being involved in crimes. There’s a catch though: neither John nor Finch knows whether the people he is trying to find are the criminals or the victims. The show is the brainchild of Lost creator J.J. Abrams and The Dark Knight screenwriter Jonathan Nolan—no wonder that the questions and viewers are already piling up.

5. Will Arnett in Up All Night (NBC)
Famous Roles: Arrested Development, 30 Rock

Poor Will Arnett. After the fantastic Arrested Development was surprisingly cancelled only three seasons in, Arnett was unable to find any show that was worthy of his comedic genius. But thankfully he also dabbled in guest starring on hit TV shows like 30 Rock where he played Devon Banks, the gay gravelly-voiced rival to Alec Baldwin’s Jack Donaghy. This new NBC comedy shows off a new comedic side to Arnett as he plays a new father who has to reform his partying, frat boy ways so he can be a responsible stay-at-home dad. Here’s to wishing his character a lot of luck—and to Arnett himself. It’s about time he gets some recognition again.

6. Christina Applegate in Up All Night (NBC)
Famous Roles: Married with Children, Samantha Who?
Christina Applegate has been in the small-screen spotlight since she was 16 years old. After playing every teenage boy’s dream as Kelly Bundy in Married with Children, she took a long break from TV to focus on films, the most famous being Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy. She came back 8 years later to star in a critically-acclaimed comedy called Samantha Who?, but sadly it only lasted two seasons. In this new parenting comedy, Applegate’s character Reagan has always been a party girl, though now her partying life doesn’t seem to fit with being a mother and working a fulltime job. She gets help and a headache in the form of her husband Chris (played by Will Arnett). The first two episodes show the pair trying to conquer tons of baby-related challenges and while still trying to reject the normal, cookie-cutter culture of suburban family life. This oughta be good.

Joining Applegate in the comedy is TV All-Star Maya Rudolph from Saturday Night Live.

7. Emily VanCamp in Revenge (ABC)
Famous Roles: Everwood, Brothers and Sisters

At the age of 25, Emily VanCamp is already one of the most recognizable and successful TV actresses around. She’s starred in the popular WB series Everwood and she’s tried her hand at ensemble drama with Brothers and Sisters, acting alongside big wigs like Sally Field. In VanCamp’s new series, the title is all you need to get hooked. It’s all about one woman’s quest to get closure and justice for her deceased dad who was betrayed by the woman he loved. VanCamp’s character (also named Emily) uses everything in her power to get the aforementioned revenge: seduction, manipulation, violence, and a whole lot more.

Joining VanCamp on the new show is All-Star Connor Paolo, best known as Eric van der Woodsen from The CW’s Gossip Girl.

8. Kelsey Grammer in Boss (Starz)
Famous Roles: Cheers, Fraiser

Everyone knows Kelsey Grammer as the fancy-pants, yet hilariously endearing Fraiser Crane. He’s won almost every award in the book and he’s also a big-time Broadway star. So what will happen when his new Starz drama debuts in October? Grammer plays the mayor of Chicago, who finds out that he has a neurological disease. He manipulates and hides the secret from everyone around him because if the information gets into the wrong hands, it could mean the end of the power he so desperately wants to keep. Looks like we’ve come a long way from “tossed salad and scrambled eggs.”

9. Mandy Patinkin in Homeland (Showtime)
Famous Roles: Chicago Hope, Dead Like Me, Criminal Minds

Don’t really recognize this name yet? Here’s a hint: “My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.” While The Princess Bride made him famous, Patinkin’s consistently great work on TV made him reliable. He had a memorable role in the medical-procedural Chicago Hope but reached cult status in the short-lived Showtime series Dead Like Me where he played Rube, a reaper whose job is to escort dead souls to the beyond. Pretty heavy stuff right? In Homeland, Patinkin plays Saul Berenson, a mentor to a CIA agent that is convinced an American soldier who has just been released by Afghan terrorists has become a traitor. If it’s true, he’s just been mistakenly given a hero’s welcome. Problem is, no one believes her… Except maybe Saul.

Playing Patinkin’s mentee/paranoid CIA specialist is TV All-Star Claire Danes.

10. Connie Britton in American Horror Story (FX)
Famous Roles: Spin City, Friday Night Lights

Connie Britton has done well for herself on TV. After a successful stint on the popular comedy Spin City with Michael J. Fox, she played Tami Taylor in the drama Friday Night Lights and was met with critical acclaim. In this new horror-drama from Glee creators Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk, Britton plays Vivien, a woman has surprisingly agreed to work on her marriage after both finding out about her husband’s affair and having a violent miscarriage. Get ready for some strange sexual intrigue and frightening images from this new scary series.

Joining Britton as her husband is TV All-Star Dylan McDermott from The Practice.