Buffy as twisted identical twins! The O.C.'s Summer, now with a license to practice medicine! A smoking and drinking 1960s playboy sure to give Don Draper a run for his money! Some of my favorite TV vets give me the inside scoop on the new characters we'll start meeting in September.
The Playboy Club (NBC)
HIS CHARACTER Chicago Playboy Club founding member Nick Dalton is a lawyer who smokes, drinks and, ahem, socializes just as much as Mad Men's Don Draper. And that's just fine by Eddie (CSI: Miami), who is ready for the comparisons. "I'm not going to shy away from it," says the actor, who believes he shares Nick's self-confidence and slick style. "The Playboy Club is probably where the Mad Men ad execs would go after work. So it would be a perfect crossover!"
SHOW SCOOP "We'll learn Nick has mob ties, which threaten his aspirations to become district attorney," teases Eddie. "I have to dump off the body of a mob boss and take one of the Playmates to my apartment to shower off the blood."
HER CHARACTER The former Without a Trace star plays Carrie Wells, a woman with hyperthymesia, an extremely rare condition that allows her to remember every detail of her life with perfect clarity. "It's both a blessing and a curse," Poppy says of her character, who helps solve crimes with a detective (Dylan Walsh) she once romanced. "I'm nothing like that, but I can look at a script page just once or twice and know all my lines."
SHOW SCOOP "The first time you see the special effect when I walk back into my own memory and watch myself is incredible," she says. "And I can't wait to play out the romance with Dylan's character. They want to be together, but they can't." Poppy adds that Taxi vet Marilu Henner, who has hyperthymesia in real life, has been asked to consult on the series.
Sarah Michelle Gellar
Ringer (The CW)
HER CHARACTER "I believe there is duality in everyone," muses the former Buffy the Vampire Slayer star. She plays twins Bridget and Siobhan, both in big trouble with the law and secretly plotting against each other. The pull between good and bad is "something I have always been fascinated by," Sarah adds. "Now I multiply that by two characters."
SHOW SCOOP "Just when you think you know where something is heading, we take a 180-degree turn," Sarah says. "No one is who they appear to be." Plus, she quips, "You'll meet the missing triplet who happens to be a guy... OK, just kidding."
Hart of Dixie (The CW)
HER CHARACTER New York doctor Zoe Hart, who moves to a conservative Southern town after she inherits a medical practice and takes on the local snobs, most notably the conniving Lemon (Jaime King). Rachel (The O.C.) admits she has no medical knowledge and is picking the brains of two docs in her family — but she does relate to "how Zoe uses sarcasm to deal with uncomfortable situations."
SHOW SCOOP Zoe gets drunk after learning the town hates her. And, "I love the story line with Scott Porter [Friday Night Lights], whose character, George Tucker [Lemon's fiancé!], catches her eye."
Once Upon a Time (ABC)
HER CHARACTER After spending five seasons in Big Love's polygamous household, Ginnifer will now be living with seven little men as Snow White and also play a nun in an alternate, modern-day universe. Like Snow, who's mourning the loss of her Prince Charming, Ginnifer isn't letting her recent broken engagement stand in the way of her fairy-tale dreams. "I'm a hopeless romantic. I have to say Snow White is a little more cynical than I am."
SHOW SCOOP "You're going to meet the Evil Queen, Pinocchio, the Blue Fairy and Rumpelstiltskin," she teases. "And we're telling the story [with flashbacks], so I look forward to finding out how Snow met Prince Charming."
HIS CHARACTER There's no smoke monster, but Jorge has once again found himself exploring a mysterious isle where people disappear from one time period and appear in another. But in this new series from Lost creator J.J. Abrams, which premieres in January, it's an island where the inmates and guards of Alcatraz prison all vanished in 1963. Like his geeky character, Diego "Doc" Soto, who operates a San Francisco comic-book store while tracking down the M.I.A. prisoners when they suddenly begin resurfacing, Jorge can't get enough of titles like Captain America.
SHOW SCOOP Jorge reveals, "There's a cool scene when we break into a secret room on Alcatraz." (And discover John Locke's bound-and-gagged father?)