Fall TV Preview: Returning Favorites

They’re back!

These always-ready-for-primetime players get back in the game, and as the new fall TV season prepares to kick-off, we rave about our faves!

Returning Favorites


Player: Rebecca Romijn

Rebecca Romijn (ABC)

Rebecca Romijn (ABC)

Previously On:Ugly Betty‘ as Alexis ‘She’s a Man, Baby!’ Meade

New Project: Leading a spellbinding trio of witches, including ‘Lipstick Jungle’s’ Lindsay Price and Jaime Ray Newman, in ABC’s seductive drama ‘Eastwick

Premise: Based on the novel ‘The Witches of Eastwick’ by John Updike and first adapted as the 1987 film starring Michelle Pfeiffer, Susan Sarandon, Cher and Jack Nicholson, in which three women battle temptation–and develop supernatural powers–when handsome devil Darryl Van Horne (played here by popular Canadian actor Paul Gross) moves to town.

Guest-Casting a Spell: Cybil Shepherd will appear in a multi-episode arc playing one of the original (and very powerful) witches first suckered in by the mysterious and devilishly charming Darryl Van Horne.

Witches, Trannies and Mutants, Oh My!: “This character is probably the closest character to myself in real life that I’ve ever played,” says Romijn. “It’s nice just to play a woman again after trannies and mutants, it’s refreshing.”

Why We Love Her: Viewers have been ‘Bewitched‘ with sorceresses ever since Samantha wiggled her nose, and this satisfying chick-flick pick plays like ‘Charmed‘ meets ‘Desperate Housewives.’ Plus, any woman that can pull off playing a tranny (‘Ugly Betty’); beat-up bad guys while wearing nothing but blue body paint (‘X-Men’); and gets back to work just eight weeks after giving birth to twin girls (Dolly and Charlie) is a superhero to us.

Premiere Date: Wednesday, Sept. 23 at 10 p.m. on ABC

Player: Julianna Margulies

Julianna Margulies (CBS)

Julianna Margulies (CBS)

Previously On: ‘ER’ in the enviable role as George Clooney’s dream girl Nurse Carol Hathaway and as a hard-edged lawyer in last year’s short-lived ‘Canterbury’s Law’

New Project: Playing ‘The Good Wife,’ a perplexing breed of woman who stands by her guilty man. Here we’ll see Alicia Florrick dust herself off and return to her law career after a shocking sex scandal lands her politician hubby (Chris Noth) in jail. But Margulies is no doormat. She’ll turn the conceit on its side by asking, ‘Just how ‘good’ is she?’

She’s Still a Hit Maker: “There was no other way to do it,” says Margulies, who gets to slap around her ‘Big‘ costar in the pilot. “And Chris Noth is so great. He’s like, ‘Oh, please, I’ve been hit so many times.’ So we did it three times. The first time I didn’t hit him hard enough, apparently. The second time was good, but the camera was off. And the third time was perfect.”

Why We Love Her: We’d follow this classy TV vet to just about any new series, since Margulies pulls off an unusual actress trifecta: She’s inherently likable, a thinking woman’s star and outrageously stunning!

Premiere Date: Tuesday, Sept. 22 at 10 p.m. on CBS

Player: Dominic Monaghan

Dominc Monaghan (Getty Images)

Dominc Monaghan (Getty Images)

Previously On:Lost‘ as doomed hero/castaway/rock star Charlie Pace

New Project: Monaghan has a new date with destiny in another mind-bending mystery. An unexplained ‘FlashForward‘ during a global two-minute blackout gives everyone a snippet of their lives six months in the future–and the torment of whether or not their fates can–or should–be altered.

Getting ‘Lost’ in a New Hit: While pursuing the desirable actor for a part in the ABC drama, producers asked Dom what his own ideal role would be–and then created it for him. “And, you know, then all we needed to talk about was money,” jokes Monaghan.

Why We Love Him: He’s simply irresistible, between his boyish looks and his knack for making us laugh, combined with an impressive legacy on both the big screen and small, in the exalted ‘Lord of the Rings’ trilogy and the masterpiece that is ‘Lost.’

Premiere Date: Thursday, Sept. 24 at 8 p.m. on ABC

Player: Jorja Fox

Jorja Fox (CBS)

Jorja Fox (CBS)

Previously On: CSI: Crime Scene Investigation

New Project: Um … ‘CSI: Crime Scene Investigation’

You Can Go Home Again: “We’re thrilled for Jorja’s return to ‘CSI,'” said executive producer Carol Mendelsohn. “The viewers and longtime ‘CSI’ fans will be excited to discover where life has taken Sara Sidle and what brings her back to the ‘CSI’ team in Las Vegas in our premiere episode.”

Follow the (Ratings) Evidence: Looks like the addition of Laurence Fishburne hasn’t satisfied viewers as much as producers had hoped, who acknowledge the drop in ratings and claim to be ‘listening’ to fans who haven’t gotten over last year’s departure of three original cast members. Said fans were probably hoping for Grissom, but will more than likely happily ‘settle’ for Sara.

Premiere Date: Thursday, Sept. 24 at 9 p.m. on CBS

Player: Chris O’Donnell

Chris O'Donnell (CBS)

Chris O

Previously On: ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ as Meredith’s McLikable former boyfriend Dr. Finn Dandridge and on Fox’s ill-fated ‘Head Cases’

New Project: The highly anticipated spinoff of CBS’s gentle giant ‘NCIS

What’s Special About These Agents: With the headquarters of ‘NCIS: Los Angeles‘ set in a Spanish-style mission, you can expect more action from the new chemistry-fueled tag-team of Chris O’Donnell and LL Cool J–and every bit of the comedy and banter you love from the original ‘NCIS’ crew.

Spinoff Strategy: Heading into the crowded prime-time arena, with the heavy weight of high-expectations on his back, O’Donnell seems to be taking a tip from the wisdom of ‘Gladiator’: Win the crowd.

“My biggest concern is to please the current ‘NCIS’ fans first and foremost because there are very loyal fans and a huge following … I feel more pressure to live up to their expectations than I do maybe to the network or the studio expectations, to be honest with you.”

Why We Love Him: O’Donnell charmed us in ‘Scent of a Woman,’ survived a stint in tights as Clooney’s caped wingman, and reminded us he existed with his winning turn on ‘Grey’s.’ Bonus: Who doesn’t love a guy who has never dated an actress and has five kids with his elementary school teacher wife?!

Premiere Date: Tuesday, Sept. 22 at 9 p.m. on CBS

Get more of Fancast’s Fall Preview Goodies–like a look at this season’s wave of ‘Supernaturally Sexy Stars.’

The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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