Laid off TV stars: Who's joining Charlie Sheen
Charlie Sheen isn’t the only high-profile actor who’s out of job next season.
Networks chased after a slew of stars during pilot season, then left a bunch out in the cold once they decided which series were making their schedule. Among the survivors are Tim Allen (Last Man Standing), James Van Der Beek (Apartment 23), Christina Applegate (Up All Night) and Sarah Michelle Gellar (Ringer). But for every name that made the cut, there’s at least two that are back to pounding the pavement for work.
One of the biggest names left in the cold is Ethan Hawke, whose Fox action pilot Exit Strategy was passed over. There’s still a chance it could get retooled or salvaged, but chances seem slim.
Another big get, Angela Bassett, was expected to make ABC primetime in her police drama Identity, but the network picked up 13 other projects instead.
Lost actors Jorge Garcia and Henry Ian Cusick may have found safe havens in Fox’s Alcatraz and ABC’s Scandal, respectively, but former co-star Terry O’Quinn’s Hallelujah was passed over at ABC.
Michael Chiklis seemed to land on his feet when No Ordinary Family was cancelled by landing a starring role in the CBS’ Vince Uncensored, but the comedy from Conan O’Brien’s production shingle didn’t make the grade.
Becki Newton had her choice of projects after NBC’s Love Bites imploded, yet her CBS sitcom wasn’t one of those tapped for a slot.
After Jimmy Smits’ CBS drama Cane and NBC’s Outlaw had short-lived runs, he ended up in NBC’s Traffic style crime-and-politics drama Special investigations L.A. But that, too, was a no-go.
And finally we come to Adrianne Palicki, who arguably had the roughest ride this pilot season. While most pilots come and go without drawing much attention beyond Hollywood and dedicated fan sites, the Friday Night Lights star was cast in the hugely buzzed-about Wonder Woman that received national press. Then NBC turned it down. This wasn’t Palicki’s fault, of course: The project already had enormous challenges (starting with that costume). Going through all that would make anybody want to take off in an invisible jet.
Other notable names: Robert Knepper, Robby Benson, Kristin Kreuk, Paula Marshall, Katie Cassidy, Rob Riggle, Annie Wersching and Rob Schneider (though he still might get picked up for CBS’ midseason).