Every true television fan likes to be ahead of the curve. When the fall pilots are first announced, within an hour you already have predictions on which shows will make it and which ones will get the axe. You take bets on which shows will get canceled after 2, 5, or 10 episodes. Pilot season is your football season and you need to know your stuff. You know which of your favorite stars are jumping from movie screen to TV screen and you absolutely need to know the newcomers that everyone will eventually be talking about come September.
Last year, we made a few 2013 Fall TV Star predictions that totally came true. Nicole Beharie of Sleepy Hollow has undeniable chemistry with Tom Mison. Adelaide Kane is ruling it (hah!) over on the CW’s Reign. A new pilot season is right around the corner, and with it, the promise of some great actors and actresses ready to made their big break.
So, TV fans! Welcome to our helpful guide to all the 2014 Fall Television Stars you need to know. If I ever come to your office and find you hangin’ around the ole water cooler discussing the latest twists and turns on ABC’s How To Get Away With Murder, I expect you to know the name of the show’s young star. And if you don’t, I’ll plaster the walls of your cubicle with this article. Read up, fans!
1. Ben Feldman
(Photo: Nikki Nelson/WENN.com)
If you’re a Mad Men fan, you’ve probably been on the Ben Feldman train for a few years now. Or maybe, you’ve seen this fresh face on more than half the episodes of Drop Dead Diva on Lifetime. Feldman is finally moving on to a lead role on a network comedy, and we have a feeling he’ll find a nice home on NBC’s new comedy A to Z.
He’ll be sharing the screen with the mother that all HIMYM fans waited a lifetime for, Cristin Milioti. Feldman seems to be the perfect cross between rom-com cutie that works at an internet dating site and regular human, who is endearing, flawed, and looking for love. With Milioti as the Zelda (Z) to Feldman’s Andrew (A), we’re sure to stick around until the end of this one, to see if these two crazy kids can make it work.
He doesn’t tweet, but I can see NBC Execs pressing him to start up come this fall.
A to Z premieres on Thursday, October 2nd 9:30 on NBC.
2. Genevieve Angelson
(Photo: Ivan Nikolov/WENN.com)
It’s hard to find a fresher face than Backstrom’s Genevieve Angelson. She has only a handful of acting credits under her belt, her most well known being on House of Lies with Don Cheadle. Her fresh face is a gorgeous one, making me think that she may just become a FOX television darling later this year.
In Backstrom, Angelson plays the hard-working and optimistic Detective Nicole Gravely (Irony!) against the prickly genius of Rainn Wilson’s Backstrom, a detective who has ruffled more than a few feathers in his day and is back to run Portland’s Special Crimes Unit. Wilson will most likely be hilariously unlikeable, though brilliant, and will certainly give Angelson’s Gravely a run for her money while trying to tame and work with him. If she can hold her own against Wilson’s comedic timing on screen, she won’t have to work too hard to become one of our faves.
Her Twitter has a small following now, but within a year I predict the followers on @Movieve will rise dramatically. Start placing your bets now.
Backstrom premieres in early 2015 on FOX.
3. Marcus Scribner
(Photo: Adriana M. Barraza/WENN.com)
Only 4 years after making his television debut in Castle, 14-year-old Marcus Scribner is heading to ABC, which is more than basically anyone you know can say they did before they hit high school.
As the eldest son of Anthony Anderson’s suburban and wealthy black family, Scribner is just trying assimilate with the rest of the white kids in his school, which means throwing a Bar Mitzvah even though the family isn’t Jewish. Anderson desperately tries to hold onto his ideas of black culture, clashing with his family who are very happy the way they currently are. Black-ish is throwing some diversity into the situational comedy world with a show that will make you think about race in America as much as you’ll be thinking about how funny the last joke was.
Keep up with this young LA native actor at @MarcusScribner.
Black-ish premieres Wednesday, September 24 at 9:30 on ABC.
4. Lauren Lapkus
Lauren Lapkus has been working in movies and television since 2010, but I’d be willing to bet one night’s stay in Litchfield prison that you didn’t know who she was until you saw her as a correctional officer on Netflix’s hit show Orange Is The New Black.
You’ll get a chance to watch Lapkus on TV and not just on your computer screen in Buzzy’s, a TBS comedy about people who all ran in very different high school crowds that find themselves now working together in a barbershop in Massachusettes. Lapkus will be rubbing shoulders with Disney alum Ashley Tisdale and George Wendt, from a little show called Cheers from back in the day. And when I say little, I mean HUGE.
Lapkus is adorably endearing in OITNB, and I think a stint on a TBS sitcom will go nicely with her role in another small franchise later this year. Just kidding, she’s going to be in Jurassic World with our new favorite Marvel Superhero, Chris Pratt. Get it, Lapkus!
Become one of Lapkus’ over 34k Twitter followers at @LaurenLapkus
Buzzy’s premieres in 2015 on TBS.
This post has been changed to reflect that Lapkus has been working in movies and television since 2005 and only started working in Hollywood in 2010.
5. Cristela Alonzo
Cristela Alonzo is a stand-up comic with more writing credits under her belt than starring roles, but one look at the Cristela trailer and you’ll wonder what was keeping her in the writer’s room for all these years. Alonzo has appeared on Conan, Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson, and Last Comic Standing.
As the titular Cristela, Alonzo is a sassy 6th year law student who is finally making it big…with an unpaid internship at a prestigious law firm. The show focuses on her and her Mexican-American family, showing that ABC is really getting some very welcomed diversity this year. She’s brash and hilarious, giving the audience a fun and very different version of a sitcom leading lady. And the show is allllll Cristela because in addition to starring in it, she also created it.
If you can’t wait for her to make you laugh on ABC, you can get a few chuckles from @cristela9.
Cristela premieres on Friday, October 10 at 8:30 on ABC.
6. Matt Ryan
Please join me in welcoming the first Brit to our fall TV stars list. If Matt Ryan’s trench coat wearing anti-hero John Constantine doesn’t get you, his accent certainly will. You may have caught Ryan in a few of his earlier roles on The Tudors, mini-series Collision or Mrs. Pettigrew Lives For A Day.
Based on the Hellblazer comic book series, Ryan’s Constantine has a lot to live up to. He needs to be intense, sarcastic, funny, cynical, and heroic, and somehow make it easy to follow along with the supernatural plot points. He has a hard road ahead of him considering the fan base that already exists that he needs to please. The show saw some early shakeups, switching out female cast members for Ryan to play off of, which we’re hoping bodes well for the strength of the series.
Ryan just joined Twitter @mattryanreal so you can tweet at him if you ever need some help getting rid of a demon.
Constantine premieres Friday, October 24 at 10:00 on NBC.
7. Jussie Smollett
(Photo: Nikki Nelson/WENN.com)
There are 2 super important Jussie Smollett factoids you should know. In 1992 he was in The Mighty Ducks and he’s the older brother of Friday Night Lights and True Blood actress Jurnee Smollett. Have I got your attention? Good.
I have a feeling I’m going to add factoid #3 “he was crushing it in Empire” in a few months because I have a feeling he’s totally going to CRUSH IT in Empire. Smollett is playing Jamal Lyon, the shy musical prodigy who happens to be gay. He’s one of Terrance Howard’s sons — sons who are going to be feuding over who’s going to take over the father’s music empire after he gets diagnosed with a fatal disease. This show is even set to it’s own original soundtrack written and produced by Timbaland, so we’ll all have the songs stuck in our heads until the next episode.
Start gearing up for your inevitable Jussie love by following him at @JussieSmollett.
Empire premieres this fall on Fox.
8. Grant Gustin
First you fell in love with Grant Gustin on Glee, then on 90210, and then you probably lost your mind when this talented cutie was cast as Barry Allen aka The Flash on CW’s Arrow. I’m assuming everyone lost their minds because his superhero cameo got him his very own CW show and we are very excited.
Gustin plays a scientist that suffers an accident that turns him into a super fast superhero, because weird accidents are always turning out superheroes these days. Oh, and his mom was mysteriously murdered when he was younger, so that also spurs him on to his heroics. He has a cute moment in the trailer a la 2002’s Spider-man when he realizes that OMG the accident gave him abs! Abs that run fast! Combine abs that run fast with a cute face and an even cuter personality, and you’ve got a young superhero that will surely turn you into fan.
Get prepared for Gustin to run right into your heart by following him at @GrantGust.
The Flash premieres Tuesday, October 7 at 8:00 on The CW.
Continue to the next page to see more stars that are sure to become household names this Fall…