Ted Danson 311.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
As I blithely surf the channels and my many program choices on HOT, I see a lot
of familiar faces frozen in time in rerun perpetuity. Old standards like Gilmore
Girls, Sisters, That ’70s Show, Friends, Party of Five and Babylon Five keep
their cast forever young in that recurring TV space-time continuum.
know that the actors have long moved on to greener pastures.
some of these actors can be seen simultaneously in more current TV shows, while
others have ascended to the bigger and more silver screen.
for example, the consummate mother, Lorelei, on Gilmore Girls, has moved on to
star in the TV show Parenthood (which we don’t get yet on HOT, but I look
forward to seeing whenever it finally does hit our airwaves). Meanwhile, Melissa
McCarthy, who plays Lorelei’s best friend Sookie on Gilmore Girls, can also be
seen as Molly in the sitcom Mike and Molly. And she is starring in the comedy
film Bridesmaids. Playing her mother on Mike and Molly is Swoosie Kurz who, in
another time slot, can be seen on Sisters in the role of Alexandra
It’s an interesting juxtaposition, as on Sisters she plays an
elegant socialite, while on Mike and Molly she’s a lowerclass, beer-swilling
A very familiar – and very handsome – face can also be seen on
Sisters. George Clooney plays detective James Falconer, and we all know how high
Clooney’s star has risen since that show first aired in 1991-1996. His love
interest on the show, Teddy Reed, is played by Sela Ward, who recently joined
the cast of CSI:NY as assistant supervisor Jo Danville.
And speaking of
sisters, the TV show Brothers and Sisters is not in reruns, but there are so
many familiar faces on the show that the cast really does feel like family. Nora
Walker, the matriarch of the five siblings, is played by the award-winning Sally
Field, whose career has spanned movies and television for decades.
daughter Kitty is played by Calista Flockhart, aka Ally McBeal, while her other
daughter, Sarah, is played by Australian actress Rachel Griffiths, whom we once
knew as Brenda on Six Feet Under.
The actors who play the sons are not so
familiar on other screens, but the man who plays Nora’s brother, Uncle Saul, is
Ron Rifkin, whom we all knew and hated as the dastardly Arvin Sloane on the TV
spy drama Alias. A face on the show that would be familiar to viewers of a
certain age is that of Richard Chamberlain, who has made an appearance on
several episodes but whom some of us will always identify as heartthrob Dr.
Kildare of early TV fame.
Another actor who drops into the show is
Michael Gross, who played Steven Keaton, the father on Family Ties, for its
seven-year run. And lest I forget, real-life couple Patricia Wettig and Ken Olin
also have key roles in the show as Holly Harper and David Caplan, but we can
also remember them as the mates of other spouses in the TV series
Thirtysomething. And yet another familiar – and very handsome – face was that of
Rob Lowe, who played Kitty’s politician husband Sen.
until his untimely demise (on the show). What a TV family reunion! And speaking
of families, while the ubiquitous Party of Five features the young avatars of
Matthew Fox, Scott Wolf (Bailey), Neve Campbell, Sarah Love Hewitt and Jeremy
London, who have all gone on to do bigger and better things, we can see Wolf on
the current sci-fi series V. He plays TV reporter Chad Decker. He co-stars with
Elizabeth Mitchell, who plays FBI counterterrorist agent Erica Evans. But for
fans of Lost, Mitchell still holds a special place in our hearts as Juliet, one
of Dr. Jack Shephard’s (Matthew Fox) love interests on the show.
actress who has risen to stardom from her early TV beginnings is Mila Kunis.
While she graces our screens as Jackie Burkhart in reruns of the sitcom That
‘70s Show, the Ukrainian-born Kunis was nominated for several awards for her
role in the film Black Swan and co-stars with Justin Timberlake in the new film
Friends with Benefits.
And speaking of friends, Jennifer Aniston, who
plays Rachel Green on the perennially repeated Friends, costars with Kevin
Spacey in the recent film comedy Horrible Bosses.
As for familiar faces
to look for in the future, James Spader, who did such a good job as outrageous
attorney Alan Shore on the TV series Boston Legal, will replace Steve Carell
(Michael Scott) in the sitcom The Office. And Ted Danson, who played the
womanizing Sam Malone on Cheers, the surly Dr. John Becker in the sitcom Becker
and the villainous Arthur Frobisher in the legal drama Damages, is in the comedy
series Bored to Death and has joined the forensic team on CSI: Crime Scene
Investigation as a supervisor.
And so it goes........