15 Unemployed TV Actors Who Deserve Their Own Shows
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15 Unemployed TV Actors Who Deserve Their Own Shows

By Dustin Rowles | Seriously Random Lists | October 18, 2012 | Comments ()


Andrea Anders ("Better off Ted," "Mr. Sunshine"). CASTING FOR: Quirky, acerbic workplace comedy.


Donal Logue ("Grounded for Life," "Terriers," "Life"). CASTING FOR: Wise-ass slightly sleazy authority figure in complex dramedy.


Anna Friel ("Pushing Daises"). CASTING FOR: Whimsical network fairy tale.


Alexandra Breckenridge ("American Horror Story"). CASTING FOR: Steamy, sexually explicit premium cable relationship drama.


Laura Allen ("Awake," "Terriers"). CASTING FOR: A network ensemble single-mom drama.


Zachary Levi ("Chuck"). CASTING FOR: Network buddy espionage dramedy in the vein of Sneakers, preferably cast alongside Brett Harrison, who would play his brother.


John C. McGinley ("Scrubs"). CASTING FOR: Abrasive, sarcastic but ultimately compassionate boss in single-camera workplace comedy.


Catherine O'Hara and Jean Smart. ("Glen Martin DDS" and "Designing Women"). CASTING FOR: Wacky Situation comedy about lifelong stay-at-home Moms who re-enter the workplace after the death of their respective husbands.


Allison Janney ("West Wing," "Mr. Sunshine"). CASTING FOR: Smart-mouthed figure of authority with occasional drinking problem in complex legal or political drama.


David Walton ("Bent," "Perfect Couples"). CASTING FOR: Smart-ass irresponsible man-child in single-camera situation comedy.


Jason Dohring ("Veronica Mars," "Ringer"). CASTING FOR: High school teacher in a superhero dramedy in which the all the high-school teachers have specialty superpowers.


Martin Starr ("Freaks and Geeks," "Party Down"). CASTING FOR: Gadget geek in a cable spy comedy.


Ethan Suplee ("My Name is Earl," "Raising Hope"). CASTING FOR: Quirky blue collar comedy.


Summer Glau ("Firefly," "Dollhouse," "The Cape," "Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles"). CASTING FOR: Any sci-fi series expected to be quickly cancelled.


John Barrowman ("Doctor Who," "Torchwood"). CASTING FOR: A "Once and Again" like show about a divorced gay couple.


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Comments Are Welcome, Bigots and Trolls Are Not

  • FrayedMachine

    The Summer Glau one made me a sad.

  • jcoa2

    I wish there were more of the tragically underemployed Chris Elliott and less of the stunningly overpaid Ashton Kutcher.

  • LOL!

  • Jo 'Mama' Besser

    I've got nothing against Andrea Anders, but she is a certified showkiller. Joey, The Class, Better Off Ted, Mr. Sunshine--she's the WASP equivalent of Lucy Liu.

  • Nadine

    Was there a show about high school teachers with super powers? How did that not do well? I would have watched the shit out of that.

  • Sirilicious

    Let me fix this for you.
    Zachary Levi (“Chuck”).
    CASTING FOR: Steamy, sexually explicit premium cable relationship drama.

  • badkittyuno

    OMG I miss Logan so much.
    Can we make a Jean Smart/Catherine O'Hara/Alison Janney show? I would watch the SHIT outta that show.

  • Zirza

    Allison Janney needs to be in everything. Preferably with John Barrowman. John C. McGinley and Jason Dohring can come too.

  • I would watch THE SHIT out of that Jason Dohring show! .

  • Robert

    Allison Janney and Jean Smart need to star in some kind of intense indie thriller film. The amount of angst, desperation, and awesome bitchy presence about the, would surely earn them both raves. I mean, did you see Janney steal Margaret with one five minute scene? Or Smart steal every moment she had on Harry's Law? Genius pairing.

  • InternetMagpie

    Couldn't Allison Janney and John McGinley just be in EVERYTHING? Please? I've been so good.

  • brandon_ROTU

    John McGinley is on Burn Notice.

  • InternetMagpie

    HE IS?!?! Goddammit Burn Notice. Just when I thought I was out, you pull me back in.

  • minxy

    Gabrielle Union, Garcelle Beuvais and Alexis Denisof. Maybe on the same show. Also, James Marsters should be in more stuff.

  • PerpetualIntern

    Poor James Marsters. He did not outgrow Spike well.

  • zeke_the_pig

    Goddammit I would do Allison Janney in a second and then trade post-coital witty bards and retorts with her over a cigarette. Fuck that thought's a balm for my hangover.

  • Kip Hackman

    1,000 Internets to the person who can come up with a show with a place for each of these individuals!

  • e jerry powell

    Laura Allen and her demented clone Laura Harris seem to be television poison, alas.

  • Pookie

    What do we want, Jobs!

    When do we want them, Now!

    What do we want, Jobs!

    When do we want them, Now!


    No Justice!, No Peace!

    No Justice!, No Peace!

    No Justice!, No Peace!

    No Justice!, No Peace!

  • abell

    So, I'm probably the only one who watches USA, but, John McGinley's been recurring on Burn Notice. Maybe not great television, but, he's working.

  • <3


  • Ozioma

    Isn't Zachary Levi in Thor 2? He's replacing the guy who played Fandral (the swashbuckler with the epic moustache).

  • Rooks

    Just thinking about Jason Dohring brings tears to my eyes and that YOU WERE THE CHOSEN ONE-meme to my mind. Oh Jason. Can we blame Scientology for the nonexistence of your career?

  • Sirilicious

    I loved him in Veronica Mars, but was disappointed when he did Moonlight. He never convinced as a 100+ year old vampire.

  • Kivrin

    I miss him so much. I even watched many episodes of "Ringer" for him (and SMG).

  • firedmyass

    I am unfamiliar with him. Is that a bad pic or is his skull actually the size of a tangerine?

  • Rooks

    You need to see Veronica Mars asap.

  • catagisreading

    What about employed actors we'd like to see on better shows? I'll get this started:
    Nathan Fillion, I love him but Castle sucks.
    Pablo Schreiber, he's in that Jersey lawyer show right?, god give Nicky something better to do, oh a guest spot on Parenthood, that show needs more pathos.
    Scott Cann, I mean if someone offered me a paycheck in Hawaii I'd take it but his talents surely could be better deployed.
    Rachel Bilson, Hart of Dixie is charming but only because she is so charming...

    I am sure there are more.

  • Sorry, Castle? Don't you mean the show that might more accurately be called "The Nathan Fillion Happy Hour"?

  • dizzylucy

    Surely Elizabeth Mitchell and Giancarlo Esposito deserve better than Revolution.

    Speaking of Elizabeth Mitchell, where is Josh Holloway and why isn't he on my TV?

  • damnitjanet

    Thank you, thank you, a thousand times thank you for that last gif.

  • lonolove

    Those were...my exact words. After I silently screamed for 20 seconds straight, until my jaw seized up and my lungs collapsed.

  • crs2910

    Because the gif reminded me of it: Why the hell is James Marsters not in more things?

  • BobbFrapples

    He reads all of the Dresden Files audiobooks by Jim Butcher, and they are amazing!

  • Guys, we have to let Jason Dohring go. We've tried to make him happen. He's not going to happen. Our tears are futile. Let's just rewatch our Veronica Mars DVDs and remember the good times, ok? :(

    I am generally against the usage of emoticons, but that seemed appropriate.

  • hazel dean

    John C. McGinley currently has a recurring role on Burn Notice. He deserves better, but is in fact working.

  • melissa82

    I love Donal Rogue but also lets get his co-star Michael Raymond James a show too - - and there's his girlfriend on the list as well...Lets just bring back Terriers then! If only...

  • TheOtherOne

    Big+1 for Lauren Allen.

    How about Jenny Wade? She is listed on IMDB in"The Wedding Band" (2012 to ?) whatever that is.

  • I want Kristen Bell to stop making terrible rom com movies and come back to a smart, sarcastically funny show with a lot of heart on t.v. If it co-stars Enrico Colantoni or Jason Dohring, so much the better. :)

  • MissAmynae

    Have you seen her in House of Lies with Don Cheadle? Not a lot of heart, but its darkly funny as hell.

  • L.O.V.E.

    These people need to join up for a Showtime ensemble show.

  • mc-rox

    It would seem that John Barrowman will be showing up in Arrow if I saw correctly from the NYCC Arrow preview clip. :) :) :)

    Also Allison Janney should work more doing whatever.

  • llp

    Allison Janney should be on the The Good Wife.

  • Ginger

    Catherine O'Hara just did Frankenweenie, FYI, and she's got 3 films being released in 2013, but she should still have her own show. Preferably with Martin Short playing her husband.

  • jmd

    Or Martin Mull, he would be good too.

    And I would like to see Dohring back on my TV, watching the reruns of Veronica Mars on the weekends just doesn't cut it.

  • elise

    Zachary Levi isn't unemployed, he's in the new Thor movie.

  • PinkGlitteryBrain

    Really? Isn't this just a matching game between actors and the roles they have already played. I think you can do better

  • Blake

    NO BRIE !@#ING LARSON?!!! While she doesn't actually qualify as an "Unemployed Actor" give her a show already!


    And Jonathan Slavin.

  • Ernest Hirsch

    Martin Starr is part of the cast of NTSF:SD:SUV::.

  • lowercase_ryan

    I take offense to your snide remark about Summer, if that's what it was. But even after drinking ALL of the kool-aid would never say she could anchor a show.

    But I'd like:
    Andrea Anders - The Newsroom
    Donal Logue - Justified (someone on WG said this and it's so perfect)
    Anna Friel and Summer Glau - Sand Snakes in GOT
    John McGinley - Louie

  • MGMcD

    Donal Logue is going to be in a few episodes of Sons of Anarchy. Maybe they can spin that into a longer character arc.

  • lowercase_ryan

    He deserves it. R.I.P. Terriers

  • L.O.V.E.

    Well, since SOA seems to be doing lots of stunt casting and silly story archs lately, why not McGinley AS Dr. Cox working in the hospital with Tara.

    From what I can tell, McHale is already playing Winger, but with mommy issues instead of daddy issues

  • lowercase_ryan

    I'm waiting for a good time to watch SOA from the beginning. It's always nice to have a fallback series you can waste a weekend catching up on.

  • Wasn't Summer Glau just in two episodes of Alphas from this past season, though, or does that not count?

  • Fabius_Maximus

    Yes, and she was pretty good.

  • Green Lantern

    It counts. "Alphas" is pretty solid.

  • DominaNefret

    You use Anna Friel but not Lee Pace what huh?

  • Tinkerville

    I'm not sure if Summer Glau has the chops to carry her own show, I think she does better in ensembles. That aside, hell yes to all of these. I'd also add Chi McBride, Callum Blue, David Tennant (is he unemployed right now? I don't technically know) and Lee Pace.

  • Marik

    Callum Blue! Just let him keep his British accent. I've never heard a worse American accent

  • David Tennant is actually working on a new show with Arthur Darville. I believe it is called Broadchurch.

  • Jo 'Mama' Besser

    Rory and a 'The Dok-torr' (in Amy speak)? I'm intrigued.

  • I have never understood the Summer fascination and I've seen her on several shows. I definitely agree about Borrowman and Dohring.

  • gunnertec

    Finally, someone with some sense around here. Summer Glau may be bunk material for some but her "acting" is awful.

  • Natallica

    Ditto. She's very wooden. I really don't see much difference between her and Charisma Carpenter

  • amylu

    Me neither. I thought her acting was mostly awful in Firefly.

    Seeing Donal Logue and Martin Starr in new shows would be amazing. I reminisce about "Terriers" on a biweekly basis (if not more frequently).

  • TheOriginalMRod

    Wasn't Martin Starr recently in a New Girl episode? I mean, I thought it was him... he played Nick's philosophy professor or something friend guy?

  • Jo 'Mama' Besser

    I think he was a Poli Sci professor on Community and Nick's sleazy 'philosopher' friend on NG.

  • atoz15

    Snow globe museum curator on parkz as well

  • Bedewcrock

    He was also a debate moderator in Community, I think.

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