Whether it’s their time, they’re being cut too soon, or they never had the chance to get off the ground, the following shows likely won’t be showing up on your DVR next season. Not all of them are dead in the water yet, but I’m always been a fan of hanging crepe and then being pleasantly surprised when something I love makes the cut. So I’ve been thinking a lot of my favorite actors from my favorite soon-to-be/already-are gone shows. Here’s a fork in the road, career-wise, and it can go two ways. For every Cranstonian Hal Wilkerson to Walter White ascendance, there’s a Tami Taylor to Rayna James free fall. Fingers crossed for the prospects of our favorite casts and for those shows still teetering on the edge of cancellation? Why let’s cross our fingers toes and knees. Just in cases.
“Happy Endings”: I hope against hope this show returns next year. But the shoddy way ABC has been airing episodes (out of order, on a different night each week) doesn’t bode well for the charming ensemble meta-com. So if the cast isn’t rescued by TBS, I’d at least like to see them all in projects befitting their talents. I don’t see why Damon Wayans Jr. coudn’t rejoin the cast of “New Girl.” Two black males on one sitcom?! Why not? This isn’t “The Walking Dead.” And while I wish the best for Elisha Cuthbert, Casey Wilson, Zach Knighton and Adam Pally, the other actor I have the highest hopes for is the insanely talented Eliza Coupe. Wouldn’t she make a sharp as h*ll femme fatale on “Justified”? We’d all be sporting Marshal stiffies.
“The Office”: The lovely Ellie Kemper could slide with ease right on over to “The Mindy Project.” I don’t see much of a future in television for the rest of these folks and lord knows the writers are doing their level best to kill all my love for John Krasinski.
“Community”: Thankfully the end of “Community” (if this is, indeed, the end) doesn’t mean we have to lose Joel McHale’s abrasive snark. He’s still kutting into the Kardashians on “The Soup.” And can still enjoy Alison Brie’s doe-eyed perkiness on “Mad Men.” But Donald Glover? Danny Pudi? Yvette Nicole Brown? Gillian Jacobs? I have trouble imagining them playing quite so well with others. Maybe they’ll get to work with Dan Harmon on one of the three pilots he’s got in development.
“Ben & Kate”: If you never caught this sweet yet sadly cancelled sitcom, you’ll have no idea what you’re missing. Nat Faxon (Jim Rash’s Oscar-winning writing partner) can go ahead and stay behind the scenes, thank you very much. But it would hurt my heart if Dakota Johnson and one of the best damn child actresses out there, Maggie Elizabeth Jones, were unable to find more work. Go ahead and replace half of the terrible kids currently acting with Jones and we’ll be in business. Worst case scenario? She’s the new Lilly on “Modern Family.” Best case scenario? “Mad Men” fast forwards in time and Jones is cast as Joan’s preternaturally bright off-spring. What’s that you say? Lilly’s Asian? Joan’s baby is male? Underestimate Maggie Grace Jones’ range at your peril. Too bad they already cast the lead on the “Boy Meets World” spin-off. This munchkin would have been perfect.
“30 Rock”: I’m sick to death of everyone on this show not named Alec or Tina, and I really doubt those two are going to do anything in television for a good long while. So have fun at the movies playing corporate heavies and hapless comedic ladies, you two.
“Don’t Trust The B”: It was very sad to see this sharp, brittle little gem go. Krysten Ritter does rapid-fire, bubbly sarcasm really well and I think she’d fit right in with the other fast talkers on “Bunheads.” As for James Van Der Beek, well, it may not be a good show, but I’d be interested to see what he might do on Kevin Williamson’s “The Following.” Williamson, of course, knows Van Der Beek from their “Dawson” days.
“Last Resort”: This entire project ended up being a bit of sh*tshow, and it’s too bad. There was a lot of talent involved. But if you can’t build a show around Andre F*cking Braugher, then you’re in deep trouble. I’m not worried about Braugher in the long run because, let’s face it, the man is an acting juggernaut. I do, however, have protective feelings for Scott Speedman (in or out of uniform) and wouldn’t be at all disappointed if he showed up to fluster Keri Russell on FX’s “The Americans.” Similarly, I hope the best for Dichen Lachman and, fingers crossed, her “Dollhouse”/Whedon pedigree will land her some action on “S.H.I.E.L.D.”
“Partners”: This show was terrible but I have much love for Michael Urie. He was a bright spot on “Ugly Betty,” and has a slippery ease with comedic dialogue. I’d like to see his particular brand of cartoonish elegance in something a less broad. Maybe “The Newsroom”? Hey, it worked for Olivia Munn.
“Fringe”: I have six words for you: John Noble on “Game Of Thrones.” You Lord Of The Rings nerds know he has the chops. Make it happen, HBO. Also, since Pacey is once again a free agent, maybe he can join Dawson on Kevin Williamson’s “The Following.” Y’all, Pacey and Dawson as serial killers/lovers? Tell me you didn’t just get a little chill.