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See which actors we're most excited about watching every week this fall

Shaun Harrison
1 of 17 Michael Lavine/Fox

Jason O'Mara, Terra Nova

O'Mara proved he could play a time-travelling cop on ABC's short-lived Life on Mars, but what really works for him in Fox's dino drama is his balance of stoic strength and a sense of humor. (He ain't so bad to look at either!) O'Mara is relatable and grounds the story in reality — or at least as much reality as a show that features time warps and dinosaurs can hope for.
2 of 17 Matt Carr/Getty Images

Kat Dennings, 2 Broke Girls

In a TV season full of talk about "empowered women," it's at least nice to see one actress owning and controlling her character. Dennings' Nick and Nora brand of dry wit is often put to good use in her role as a cynical diner waitress, but we're more drawn to the character's self-assured drive and the warm heart beneath the sometimes icy exterior.
3 of 17 John Russo/NBC

Amber Heard, The Playboy Club

Heard turned into the walking dead in Zombieland, but she's far from brainless in this '60s era-set drama, which chronicles the lives of the first Playboy bunnies and the men who adored them. As the newest Bunny on the block, Heard's portrayal offers a sense of innocence unseen in the other characters, while still emanating a thirsty drive to get ahead.
4 of 17 Mitchell Haaseth/NBC

Whitney Cummings, Whitney

On NBC, Whitney can't go quite as far with the raunchy comedy we've come to expect from her stand-up act and Comedy Central's roasts. But she makes up for it with innocent charm and truly sweet chemistry with her co-star.
5 of 17 Patrick Ecclesine/Fox

Zooey Deschanel, New Girl

We've seen the younger sister of Bones star Emily Deschanel play the quirky girl next door in movies like Yes Man and (500) Days of Summer, but it's her vulnerability as a newly dumped twentysomething who moves in with a gaggle of guys that really captures our hearts in the Fox comedy. Extra incentive to watch: If you're already a fan of Deschanel's band She & Him, her character, Jessica, is known to break out into song every now and then.
6 of 17 Craig Sjodin/ABC

Jane Levy, Suburgatory

Following a short-stint as Mandy Milkovic on the Showtime drama Shameless, Levy's career is about to become anything but. In the ABC comedy, Levy plays a sardonic-yet-vulnerable teen who moves with her dad from New York City to the suburbs. She's not too happy about it, and Levy's cynical running commentary about her new surroundings — soccer moms and mall girls, beware! — is funny without being forced.
7 of 17 Mitchell Haaseth/NBC

Kathryn Hahn, Free Agents

Having starred in a number of romantic comedies, Hahn is usually the hilarious second banana to the leading lady. We're happy to report that even though she's moved into the No. 1 slot via her complicated relationship with co-worker Hank Azaria, she's just as quick-witted and endearing as ever.
8 of 17 Art Streiber/CBS

David Hornsby, How to Be a Gentleman

Hornsby has always been a standout as the quirky Rickety Cricket on It's Always Sunny, but he makes for an even better straight man on this new CBS comedy. In other hands, Alan would come off as pretentious, arrogant and plain old no fun, but Hornsby's dry wit and self-effacing charm is winning. While his humor is a perfect match for comedy vet and co-star Dave Foley, Hornsby and Kevin Dillon share a surprisingly convincing odd-couple chemistry.
9 of 17 TVGuide.com

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10 of 17 Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

Jim Caviezel, Person of Interest

Caviezel made a pretty convincing Jesus in Passion of the Christ, and that same serious, straight-laced demeanor serves him well in Person of Interest, in which the actor plays a former CIA agent enlisted by a mysterious billionaire (Michael Emerson) to help stop crimes. Reminiscent of Lost's Ben and Locke, Caviezel and Emerson's on-screen back-and-forth brings an equal amount of mystery and intrigue.
11 of 17 Jordon Nuttall/The CW

Phoebe Tonkin, The Secret Circle

The Australian actress has come a long way from her days playing a mermaid in H2O. As the resident bad witch of Secret Circle, Tonkin could go over the top, but instead she displays a perfect blend of entitlement, sweet seduction and devilish stare. Shivers!
12 of 17 Craig Sjodin/ABC

Lana Parrilla, Once Upon a Time

Playing the Evil Queen could be intimidating , but Parrilla embodies Show White's vain and jealous antagonist with a restrained yet steely sense of purpose. She doesn't need to scream for us to know that at any minute she'd love to shove an apple down the throat of White's long-lost daughter, Emma Swan (Jennifer Morrison).
13 of 17 Phil McCarten/NBC

David Giuntoli, Grimm

Giutoli has already had small roles on Grey's Anatomy, Nip/Tuck and Veronica Mars — and is a former Road Rules contestant to boot! — but in Grimm he's a believable good guy thrown a curve as a detective who learns he's living in a world populated by fairytale characters both good and bad.
14 of 17 Craig Sjodin/ABC

Joshua Bowman, Revenge

In ABC's darky and sudsy drama, Bowman is a fun, frat boy type that makes us wish he didn't have to die within the first few minutes of the series. But fear not! His romance with Emily VanCamp's revenge-seeking Emily Thorne will play out in flashbacks — and we're sure it will be steamy based on their rapport in the premiere.
15 of 17 Jordon Nuttall/The CW

Scott Porter, Hart of Dixie

In a world where Rachel Bilson is a doctor — my how you've grown, Summer Roberts — the Friday Night Lights star has the cred to play the boy next door whose Southern sensibility is just shy of cocky (read: charming!) We will say that the chemistry between he and Bilson is ten times what she had with Adam Brody in The O.C. — too bad his character is engaged.
16 of 17 The CW

Ioan Gruffudd, Ringer

Superhero no more, the Fantastic Four star is an emasculated man whose showmantic relationship with wife Siobhan (Sarah Michelle Gellar) is always thisclose to imploding. What remains to be seen is who is really in control in their marriage — and Gruffudd certainly leaves us wanting to know more.
17 of 17 Tom Zuback/CBS

Patrick Wilson, A Gifted Man

As an arrogant neurosurgeon who suddenly finds compassion after his dead wife pays a visit, Wilson helps the audience believe the unbelievable. His hot shot veneer cracks just enough to warm our hearts — especially knowing that as a procedural, he's bound to eventually come out of his shell completely.