Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Revolving Door of TV Openings: 2011-2012 Edition

Here's my annual look back at which  TV and movie stars have come back to TV in the 2011-2012 season. The idea of this list is to show how expansive the revolving door is and just how many familiar names and faces make it back to our airwaves every year. The list is created by looking at the rosters of all the TV shows to debut every year and all the additions to existing casts and adding any names to the list that I personally recognize. Of course, that makes this all very subjective. I recognized Annie Potts and Leslie Bibb from the GCB cast list because I recognized them from Ghostbusters and Talladega Nights, respectively, but you might recognize Jennifer Aspen from her role on Rodney or a 4-episode stint on Glee (which I didn't).

If they're a movie star and primarily known as that (Anjelica Huston, Dustin Hoffman, and Jessica Lange were making their TV debuts but there was no way I was leaving them off this list), I label them as such and if they're known only for one movie (again, that's subjective), I list that one movie with an (M) around it.

I try to note when their last project was and the year beside the project means when they're last show went off the air. A * means recurring role, an (A) means animated, a (TR) means a talk or reality show, and a (C) means creator. An animated role is far-less demanding then a live action role and often doesn't preclude them from further projects. Also, keep in mind, a person doesn't have to have left a previous show project to work on a new show like Stephen Merchant and Rickey Gervais adding "Life's Too Short" to their talk show on HBO.
I try to document just when their last TV gig was too:
Amanda Peete, Bent (Studio 60 2007)
Amber Head, Playboy Club (Hidden Palms, 2007, Zombieland [M])
Annie Potts, GCB (Ghostbusters (M), Dangerous Minds, Law and Order SVU* 2009)
Anjelica Huston, Smash (M)
Ashton Kutcher,  Two and a Half Men (Movies, That 70s Show 2006)
Brittany Snow, Person of Interest (American Dreams 2004)
Catherine Tate, The Office (Catherine Tate Show 2004 [C])
Chelsea Handler, Are You There, Vodka? (Chelsea Lately [TR])
Christina Ricci, Pan Am (M)
Claire Danes, Homeland (My So-Called Life 1995, Temple Grandin 2010)
Colm Meany, Hell on Wheels (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine 1999)
Connie Britton, American Horror Story (Spin City 2000, Friday Night Lights 2011)
David Hornsby (A), Unsupervised-Creator (It’s Always Sunny*)
Dylan McDermott, American Horror Story (The Practice 2004, Big Shots 2008)
Debra Messing, Smash (Will and Grace 2006, The Starter Wife 2008)
Dennis Farina, Luck (M)
Dianne Ladd, Enlightened (M)
Diedrich Baker (A), Napoleon Dynamite (Drew Carey Show, Outsourced 2011)
Dustin Hoffman, Luck (M)
Garrett Morris, 2 Broke Girls (SNL, Jamie Foxx Show 2001)
Hank Azaria, Free Agents (Simpsons [A], Movies, Huff 2006)
Hector Elizondo, Last Man Standing (Monk 2009)
James Spader, The Office (Boston Legal 2009)
James van der Beek, Don’t Trust the B---- in Apartment 23 (Dawson’s Creek 2003)
Jason O’Mara, Terra Nova (Life on Mars 2009)
Jessica Lange, American Horror Story (M)
Jill Hennessy, Luck (Crossing Jordan 2007)
John Goodman*, Community (Roseanne, Normal Ohio, Damages* 2011)
Jonah Hill (C), Allen Gregory (M)
Jeffry Tambor, Bent (Arrested Development 2006, Welcome to the Captain 2008, Archer* [A])
Jessica St. Clair, Best Friends Forever (Best Week Ever)
Jon Heder (A), Nepoleon Dynamite (M) 
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep (SNL, Seinfeld, New Adv. Of Old Christine, 2010)
Justin Long (A), Unsupervised (M)
Kat Dennings, Two Broke Girls (Nick and Nora's Infinite Playlist [M])
Katherine McPhee, Smash (American Idol [TR])
Kathryn Hahn, Free Agents (Movies, Crossing Jordan 2007)
Kathy Bates, Harry’s Law (The Office 2011)
Kelsey Grammer, Boss (Frasier, Back to You, Hank 2011)
Kiefer Sutherland, Touch (24 2010)
Kristin Chenowith, GCB (West Wing, Pushing Daisies 2009, Sit Down Shit Up, 2010, Glee* 2011)
Laura Dern, Enlightened (M)
Laura Prepon, Are you There, Vodka? (That 70’s Show 2006)
Leslie Bibb, GCB (Talladega Nights [M])
Leslie Mann (A), Allen Gregory (M)
Luke Wilson, Enlightened (Movies)
Maria Bello, Prime Suspect (Movies)
Matt Walsh, Veep (Upright Citizens Brigade, Dog Bites Man 2006)
Mandy Patinkin, Homeland (M)
Maya Rudolph, Up All Night (SNL 2008)
Maulick Pancholy, Whitney (30 Rock 2011)
Nancy Travis, Last Man Standing (Almost Perfect, Becker, Bill Engvall Show 2009)
Nick Nolte, Luck (M)
Rachel Bilson, Heart of Dixie (The OC 2006)
Regnald vel Johnson, Heart of Dixie (Family Matters 1998) 
Ricky Gervais (C), Life's Too Short (Extras, Ricky Gervais Show [TR])
Stephen Merchant (C), Life's Too Short (Extras, Ricky Gervais Show [TR])
Ted Levine, Luck (Monk 2009)
Tim Allen, Last Man Standing (Home Improvement 1999)
Will Arnett, Up All Night (Arrested Development, 30 Rock, Running Wilde 2011)
Will Forte (A), Allen Gregory (SNL 2010)
Zooey Deschanel, New Girl (M)

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