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12 Now Famous Celebrities You Totally Forgot Were In That TV Show You Watched Once Or Twice

By Dustin Rowles | Seriously Random Lists | February 27, 2013 | Comments ()


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I’ve spent the last couple of hours combing through the network primetime schedule over the last 15 years or so (we all have hobbies, you know), and it was an interesting nostalgic exercise, seeing the names and time slots for hundreds of shows that no one ever speaks of anymore and that barely cling to the back recesses of our mind. (The original idea for this list, actually, was to discover what monstrous show replaced many of our favorite cancelled-too-soon shows, like “Prison Break” taking over “Arrested Development’s” spot, but I grew bored with the exercise when it didn’t turn up my fruit.) Anyway, much of the experience went like this: Oooh! I remember that show. Who was in it? (Does quick IMDB search). No way! I totally forgot that person was in that show I barely remember!

Thus, in order to duplicate that two-hour experience in a matter of seconds for you, I will give you the highlights.

See more Celebrity Facts.

Class — I have only the vaguest recollection of “Class,” which I remember fondly, and which was cancelled after 19 episodes. However, the cast — mostly unknowns at that point — is downright fantastic by today’s standards: Lucy Punch, Jason Ritter, Andrea Anders, Lizzy Caplan, Jon Bernthal, and Jesse Tyler Ferguson, which is an insane collection of television actors who should all be on television all the time.

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Love, Inc. — “Love, Inc.” lasted 22 episodes on the UPN, and it’s a show I only remember because it came on after “Everybody Hates Chris,” the underappreciated Chris Rock sitcom. I don’t know why I didn’t remember that a brunette Busy Phillips was the lead.

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Faith and Hope — This show actually lasted for an unbelievable three seasons. I never watched it, but I was aware of it because it was during that period in Kelly Ripa’s life when she was on everything. I had no idea that Megan Fox was a series regular on the show.

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Out of Practice — I remember the premise to this show more than I remember the actual show itself, which lasted a full season. It was about a family of doctors who treated the youngest son like a lesser person because he was merely a marriage counselor, though in situation comedy terms, that also meant he was the smart one. I tuned in out of loyalty to Henry Winkler, but discovered Christopher Gorham and Ty Burrell (the show also starred Paula Marshall and Jennifer Tilly).

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Joan of Arcadia — I always think that I watched “Joan of Arcadia” a lot because I often confused it with “Wonderfalls,” which came from Bryan Fuller, who also gave us “Dead Like Me,” which starred Ellen Muth, who I used to confuse with Amber Tamblyn. What I have no recollection of, however, was Jason Ritter’s place in this series, which is odd considering that he’s the one in the wheelchair.

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Less than Perfect — I have no idea why I can only barely remember “Less than Perfect,” which actually ran for four seasons, although it was dismally rated. It survived, however, because it aired during a dark time in ABC’s history (2002-2006). I thought that “Chuck” was the first time I’d ever seen Zachary Levi. Apparently not. I wish I could remember if it was any damn good, because Mitch Hurwitz worked on this show for a time. It does strike me as unjust, however, that Andy Dick managed to stay employed for so long.

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8 Simple Rules — I liked “8 Simple Rules,” quite a bit, although most of my memory of the show revolves around the death of John Ritter and the heartbreaking episode they filmed when the show returned. I vaguely remember a generic-looking blonde daughter, though she is conflated in my mind with Ami Dolenz from Tony Danza’s She’s Out of Control. Turns out, she was actually “Big Bang Theory’s” Kaley Cuoco. In other words, a generic-looking blonde.

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The Education of Max Bickford — I remember this show because it reminded me of Richard Dreyfus’ movie, Mr. Holland’s Opus. I do not remember, however, that it also starred Katee Sackhoff.

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Grounded for Life — I liked “Grounded for Life” quite a bit, because I grew up during a certain time, and those around my age all have a nostalgic and present affection for Donal Logue (who used to do awesome segments on MTV). I do not remember, however, that Brett Harrison was a series regular at one point, presumably the boyfriend of the daughter?

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Titus — I remember this show as being obnoxious, mostly because I found Christopher Titus to be obnoxious. I don’t remember it lasting for three seasons, and I really don’t remember that Elizabeth Berkley became a series regular during its final season.

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Tucker — I think I confuse this show with a Dabney Coleman show that came on around the same time. It’s amazing how Katey Sagal has managed to stay employed in television for most of her career. This show only made it four episodes, but I also find it interesting that — in addition to Sagal — it also featured Alison Lohman and Seth Green (not pictured), who played “Seth Green.”

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Ally McBeal — I loved this show, which coincided with my time in law school. I remember Jon Bon Jovi. I remember Robert Downey, Jr. I have zero recollection of James Marsden.

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Boston Public — I watched most of this series, too, because it also came from David E. Kelley (who went to the same law school I attended), and while I remember liking it well enough, I don’t remember Rashida Jones, although at the time I would’ve had no idea who she was.

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Conrad Bloom — I remember NBC promoting the hell out of this show, and it may have been one of the many, many sitcoms on Thursday night that fell by the wayside during the “Cheers,” “Seinfeld,” and “Friends” years. I don’t remember Lauren Graham from this, though neither do I remember her from her arc on “Caroline in the City,” which was another of those Thursday night shows.

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Two Guys a Girl and a Pizza Place — Finally, I was obsessed with “Two Guys and a Girl,” (which is where the affection for Ryan Reynolds began). I’m fairly certain I saw every single episode, and yet, I don’t remember that Jennifer Westfeldt — Jon Hamm’s girlfriend — was the love interest and a series regular in season one.

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Comments Are Welcome, Jerks Will Be Banned


  • tevra

    two guys and a girl was the only show of those that actually was GOOD.

    Titus started out funny but before the first season was over he became abrasive.
    simple rules was ok just not really that good.

  • Rush

    I must be out of touch! I have no idea who 90% of these "now famous" people are. I guess I need to get out more...or perhaps I need to stay in more with the tv on.

  • Pickle8182

    I never even heard of these shows either except Boston Public, and of course Ally McBeal.

  • BrandonG

    veronica mars had a ton of actors before their prime. Max Greenfeld, Jessica Chastain, Amanda Seyfried, Krysten Ritter, Aaron Ashmore, Leighton Meester. Who ever was doing casting for that show knew what they were doing.

  • crickett_4jc

    Never watched a single one of those shows.

  • Brian

    "Faith and Hope"
    Really? It's not hard to Google the name of a show, rightfully titled "Hope and Faith"

  • lakawak

    Who the hell watched ANY of these shows?

  • ROFLsmacker

    What about Ryan Gosling from "Sweet Valley High" ?

  • Nick

    I always forget that Jennifer Lawrence was on the Bill Engvall Show. Probably because I never watched it, but it was jarring discovering her lighthearted comedic side.

  • Michael V Parrillo

    Who is the blonde woman wearing the green dress lounging on the couch in the photograph at the very beginning of this article??

  • Kitchen Confidential.

    Awesome hilarious show based on Anthony Bourdain's book Kitchen Confidential starring the now hugely famous and gentlemanly Bradley Cooper, and probably my favourite cancelled too soon TV shows. If only they showed this a couple of years later during TV's massive foodie outbreak, but then that would have clashed with Cooper's rise in fame.

    Also starred Frank Nigella, Xander from Buffy, Michael Vartan, John Cho and a host of famous very recognisable faces.

    God I love this show so much.

  • Melody

    Let us not forget Two Guys, a Girl, and a Pizza Place also had Nathan Fillon in the later seasons as Sharon's husband. I loved that show.

    Elizabeth Berkley will forever be Jessie Spano or Nomi Malone. FOREVER.

    RDJ's arc on Ally should best be remembered for his cover of "River".

  • Sara

    Sad to admit that I know it was actually called 'Hope and Faith'

  • Patty O'Green

    I unabashedly love(d) Joan of Arcadia. I especially loved Kathryn Joosten's reoccuring role as (I'm not kidding, this is what IMDb says) "Old Lady God".

    Also, my brother was this close to being on The Class.

  • Nadine

    Nathan Fillion also got his start in Two Guys and a Girl once it was renamed Two Guys and a Girl but the pizza place remained a major set.

  • Lindsey Gregory

    Rashida Jones was also on a few episodes of The Chappelle Show.

  • Orleanas

    I'm familiar with only three of those shows on the list:

    Two Guys, a Girl, and a Pizza Place: I watched a couple of episodes here and there, and remember it as the show that made me see Ryan Reynolds in a newer and positive light. Previously, I had known him as the pathetic and annoying "Billy" on the Nickelodeon teen show, Fifteen.

    Ally McBeal: By the time those characters in that particular group shot were introduced, I had abandoned ship by a couple (or more) seasons.

    Less than Perfect: I actually really liked that show and have joyfully re-watched the series within the last year. My image of Zachary Levi is from that show. He was such a douche. He was unrecognizable to me as Chuck and I remember being flabbergasted when Shari mentioned that that actor was "Chuck." The wonders of a haircut.

    ...I do not really see a trace of Megan Fox in that picture from Hope and Faith. So, too, the wonders of plastic surgery!

  • DominaNefret

    Neil Grayston aka Fargo from Eureka was the irritating Assistant Manager on Wonderfalls.

  • babykangarootribbiani

    i am immensely proud of myself i watch/ed like half of these... boy do i need a life...
    and yes, brett harrison played the geeky next door neighbor who pined for the daughter lily for years before they hooked up and started going out. i used to watch the show all the time on abc family...
    and as someone who watched two guys a girl and a pizza place (a show that is shockingly hard to find on dvd, you literally have to order it from england) it blows my recently-turned-mad-men-obsessed mind that pete;s girlfriend the first year was jon hamm;s leading lady. methinks i might have to break out those DVDs i most certainly did not order from england and watch them again...

  • Archie Leach

    As I've never - TO THIS DAY - heard of almost all of those show, those shows must have existed when I was starting to build my career which meant I was working around 80-100 hours/week. And it was a REAL job; not one of those where you show up and watch videos and surf the net in your cubicle..... Try having the chance to even turn on the television, let alone go to the movies, when you're working those kinds of hours.....

  • John G.

    I have never heard of any of these, except for Two Guys a Girl and a Pizza Place , which I remember, because I thought Ryan Reynolds must be a bigger star, and then it took a lot longer than it should have.

  • ang

    I seem to have a vague recollection of Nathan Fillion somehow being involved with Two Guys and a Girl. Perhaps as the girl's boyfriend? Am I wrong? If so, what the heck show am I thinking of? I'm too lazy to look it up.

  • Orleanas

    You are correct.

  • Bodhi

    I STILL mourn for the loss of Wonderfalls. That show was FANTASTIC

  • My all time favorite show. I keep extra copies of the dvds to loan out to people who haven't seen it yet.

  • thenchonto

    My monkey bookends and I do too. Unlike the ones in the show, however, mine can hold tea lights, and also, in this instance where we're feeling nostalgic and have cheap merlot on hand, pour one out for their homies.

  • Shazza

    Actually Holly Robinson Peete was the star of 'Love Inc' and Busy Phillips was her assistant. I remember that show, I watched it every week. That was when UPN was still an 'urban network', well and still existed.

  • e jerry powell

    Every time I hear "UPN" a truly offensive Paul Mooney joke pops into my head.
    http://youtu.be/f3Gtn9yKV9I

  • Shazza

    And I always hear Wendy Williams saying the 'You People's Network' as she to refer to it when she was still on the radio.

  • e jerry powell

    Gary Dourdan, is that you?

  • Long_Pig_Tailor

    God, I just remembered Boston Public is almost singlehandedly responsible for my hot teacher fetish.

  • Rocabarra

    Look how adorable Jon Bernthal looks in that picture!!!

    And I totally loved Titus and Grounded for Life. I have all the seasons of the latter on DVD even. To this day, whenever I see Kevin Corrigan in something I yell "Uncle Eddie!"

  • Repo

    You act like Prison Break was the reason AD got vapored. It was a dumb show, but The Scholfield Brothers (yum) and crazy old Stormare plus the best damn character actor in the game William Fucking Ficthner made that dopey ass show worth while. Bonus early Lori Grimes in a show that didn't make me want to kill her. Well, as much anyway.

  • Nadine

    Seriously, William Fucking Fichtner. Seriously. Mahone. God damn, that was some fine work. Why isn't he more famous, it makes no sense. He should be in Justified.

  • Rocabarra

    Silas Weir Mitchell as crazy and somehow endearing Haywire was the highlight for me, but yes and yes to all of those points too. Well, except I hated Dr. Lori Grimes, just not as much ;)

  • A. Smith

    Surprised there are no comments about The Bill Engvall show.

  • If I remember correctly, Bret Harrison was in pretty much most, if not all, of Grounded For Life, first as the geeky neighbor kid and later as daughter's boyfriend. It was a cute show, but I really wish REAPER had lasted longer...

  • e jerry powell

    I think I made it through a few episodes of Less Than Perfect, mostly because I was still stuck in the middle of a decade-long lust hangover with Eric Roberts, but they lost me with the Andy Dick overexposure. I blame Andy Dick for all of Dave Foley's current money problems. I blame Andy Dick for Brooke Shields's divorce from Andre Agassi. I blame Andy Dick for CSI: Miami being the best consistent work Khandi Alexander had been able to find before Treme.

    I hate Andy Dick.

    Ah, yes, the gays of The Class. At least the show gave Star Search Grand Champion Sam Harris something to do until he and his husband got their baby. Sam and Danny managed to get married before Jesse Tyler Ferguson, no less.

  • thenchonto

    For some reason, every time I'm reminded of Andy Dick's continued existence, I immediately fantasize about beating him to death with the business end of a sparkly silver stiletto. And then I think "wait - I've imagined my way through this before - that's odd". It's just that it seems so right!

  • e jerry powell

    You'll get no argument from me.

  • Bert_McGurt

    Let's not forget to blame Andy Dick for that whole "knocking Phil Hartman's wife off the wagon" thing too.

  • e jerry powell

    I was considering going there, but I still feel like it's too soon. Better to blame him for prolonging Jon Lovitz's camera time.

  • Jon

    i remember clearly apparently everything this guy doesn't. do i have a really good memory or do i just care about and watch more tv than this guy?

  • Whoa, I remember a lot of these. I really liked Less Than Perfect because I thought Sarah Rue was adorable. I'm sad that she doesn't get more work.

  • Brian

    When I saw Sarah Rue in anything after the year 2000 I recognized her as "that girl from Popular" That was my introduction to her.

    ...and Carly Pope from that show, oh man Carly Pope...good times!

  • kirbyjay

    Also in Two and a Half Men as a gassy prego.
    FUCKSTICKS! I really really can't believe I watched that show

  • e jerry powell

    I may be imagining it, but there was always so much talk about Rue's weight for most of the time the show was on, which I always thought was ironic (in that Hollywood Logic kind of way) after the showrunner brought in Will Sasso. Kind of that same double-standard dynamic as ABC had played with Margaret Cho/Drew Carrey.

    I'm disappointed that she's playing second-banana to Reba McEntire these days.

  • Bert_McGurt

    Maybe it's just me, but I think she looked better before she lost a bunch of weight.

  • e jerry powell

    No doubt, but she took the Jenny Craig money anyway.

  • Ingrid

    "Now Famous" seems like overkill for a few of these people.

  • sean

    TITUS was great. At least the first season.

  • It was a great deconstruction of a sitcom.

  • Devin McMusters

    Joan of Arcadia gave us the amazing and delicious Constance Zimmer!

  • barlowjk

    Apparently just before actresses become successful they all dye their hair a universally-unflattering dirty blonde.

  • RilesSD

    Loved Class and was disappointed when they cancelled it. Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Lizzie Caplan were fantastic. That's also where my dislike of Jon Bernthal started. Sorry, dude cannot act.

  • Jo 'Mama' Besser

    But let's not forget, irrespective of the show's quality, Andrea Anders is a licensed show killer so this was DOA. This is coming from a BETTER OF TED fan.

  • Jo 'Mama' Besser

    off

  • J.R. Paperstacks

    Bret Harrison is such a famous celebrity that you misspelled his name.

  • Joe

    Katee Sackhoff looks awesome in that green dress.

  • selucius

    But not a real green dress. That's cruel.

  • logan

    Yes but imagine if you can what she looks like OUT of it.

  • Joe Grunenwald

    Katee Sackhoff's hair! Wow!

  • Rooks

    Good gods (<-ha!), how I loved Joan of Arcadia. I remember very vividly every single one of these people - the blond guy who later showed up in Twilight, and the Dad who replaced Mandy Patinkin in Criminal Minds, and even the skinny blonde with the huge eyes who was the anorexic woman in the video for Christina Aguilera's 'Beautiful'.

    ... I should put that on my rewatch list.

  • Carrie/Teabelly

    I am right there with you. Also, still bitter that a) it only had 2 series and b) that stupid Adam cheating storyline. Would never happen, I say!

  • Bert_McGurt

    "...the Dad who replaced Mandy Patinkin in Criminal Minds..."

    AKA: Joe Mantegna AKA: Springfield's greatest mobster, Fat Tony.

  • tevra

    Criminal Minds is still good but tbh i preferred Inigo Montoya

  • jeandeux

    also Joey Zasa - Godfather III

  • cindy_lightballoon

    Tucker! holy crap, did that really only last 4 episodes? haven't thought about that show in years.

  • cruzzercruz

    I very clearly remember Kaley Cuoco as the blonde sister from 8 Simple Rules. In fact, most people I know who saw Big Bang Theory for the first time (usually around season 2 or 3) immediately recognized her as the daughter from John Ritter's last show.

    As painful as it is to remember Ryan Reynolds from "Two Guys, a Girl, and a Pizza Place," it's worse to remember Nathan Fillion.

  • tevra

    I've been watching BBT frrom time to time and I have tried very hard to find what is supposed to be so hilarious about that show but other than a few actors having a mildly amusing look and demeanor I don't understand how any one thinks they are funny.
    try watching it without a laugh track.
    and when they talk about Halo or World of Warcraft it is painfully obvious they have never played either game and none of the writers know that they are talking about.....such popular games it is inexcusable to make such huge mistakes about those two

  • Brian

    What's wrong with them in that show? Fillion was hilarious as usual in it. It's dated sure but still good for some laughs...much like Friends.

  • A painful reminder of the days when Megan Fox was naturally beautiful before her soul started to slowly seep out through her skin, turning her gradually inside out.

  • Three_nineteen

    That picture is Megan Fox? Wow.

  • kirbyjay

    Pretty sure Megan Fox was also in an episode of Two and a Half Men as Berta's granddaughter and a potential 16 year old piece of ass for Charlie. I say potential because Berta threatened him with jail time and a straight razor to his nuts and piece of ass because that's all women were to Charlie Sheen....I mean Harper. Gawd, I can't believe I occasionally watched that show

  • tevra

    two and a half was often very funny until they added Kelso and turned it into two and a half straight men

  • Mrs. Julien

    DIETRICH!

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