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See just how much things have changed since some of Fall TV's veterans were last on the boob tube

Shaun Harrison
1 of 16 Warner Bros./Getty Images; JoJo Whilden/The CW

Sarah Michelle Gellar

Then: Buffy Summers, Buffy, the Vampire Slayer Now: Bridget and Siobhan, Ringer Ringer is full of action, but this time it's not Gellar pulling the punches (and brandishing a stake). Instead, it's Gellar who's doing most of the running, when she plays two sisters trying to get away from their dangerous and complicated lives. Of the twins, the independent, jaded Bridget is slightly closer to Buffy than spoiled Siobhan, but both girls are a far cry from Gellar's TV past.
2 of 16 Everett Collection; Randy Holmes/ABC

Tim Allen

Then: Tim "The Tool Man" Taylor, Home Improvement Now:Mike Baxter, Last Man Standing Trade in Tim's three sons for Mike's three daughters, Patricia Richardson for Nancy Travis as the tough, yet loving wife, and home repair for fishing, and it's 1995 all over again (minus JTT, of course). The biggest difference between the two family sitcoms is the missing mystery component (come back, Wilson!)
3 of 16 Kobal Collection; Trae Patton/NBC

Christina Applegate

Then: Kelly Bundy, Married... with Children Now:Reagan, Up All Night Thankfully for baby Amy, Reagan is almost nothing like the slutty, self-centered, dumb blonde Applegate played for 11 years. Where Kelly was boy-crazy and entirely uninterested in almost anything else, Reagan is happily married and primarily occupied with returning to work and pleasing her unpredictable boss, Ava.
4 of 16 WB/Everett Collection; Michael Tackett/The CW

Rachel Bilson

Then: Summer Roberts, The O.C. Now:Dr. Zoe Hart, Hart of Dixie The South? Ew! That’s what we imagine Summer would say about Zoe's new home, but the two are more alike than you'd think. Both are driven: Summer about boys (and later the environment?) and Zoe about medicine. Both are self-involved: Zoe's biggest issue is her lack of a bedside manner. And both are extremely sympathetic, despite all of the above.
5 of 16 CBS/Landov; Robert Voets/CBS

Ted Danson

Then:Sam Malone, Cheers Now:DB Russell, CSI Sure, Danson's new gig is exactly like his old one: If cutting open dead bodies is like pouring beer and working at a morgue is like working at a bar.
6 of 16 Warner Bros. TV/Kobal Collection; Patrick Harbron/NBC

Maria Bello

Then: Anna Del Amico, ER Now:Jane Timoney, Prime Suspect At Cook County General, Bello's Anna Del Amico constantly stepped on the toes of her male counterpart (Dr. Ross), helped clean up junkies like Carter's cousin and was known for being stuck in her stubborn ways (why did she care so much about Carter's family money?!). Prime Suspect sounds like more of the same: stepping on the toes of her male counterparts and cleaning up the streets of NYC, except instead of admitting them, she's now arresting them! Oh, and did we mention she gets to carry a gun and wear a cool hat?
7 of 16 HBO; Karen Neal/ABC

Cheryl Hines

Then: Cheryl David, Curb Your Enthusiasm Now:Dallas Royce, Suburgatory After years of playing the sweet and diplomatic wife of "social assassin" Larry David, Hines is now the one ruffling feathers as a pushy single suburban mom. Her transformation is made complete thanks to a one-two punch of short skirts and high hair, but behind the Red Bull and SUV is a voice of reason that almost sounds like her former alter ego.
8 of 16

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9 of 16 Cliff Lipson/CBS; Giovanni Ruffino/The CW

Poppy Montgomery

Then: Samantha Spade, Without a Trace Now:Carrie Wells, Unforgettable Same network, same city, same family issues, except now the actress has a very important extra skill on her hand: the ability to remember everything, and we mean everything. Boy, would that have come in handy for five seasons of hunting down missing children.
10 of 16 ABC; Jeffrey R. Staab/CBS

Michael Emerson

Then: Benjamin Linus, Lost Now:Mr. Finch, Person of Interest Just like Dr. Linus took it upon himself to protect the Island and lead the Others, Mr. Finch feels the same need to protect the entire population of New York City after he develops a system to see violent crimes before they happen. While Linus sometimes resorted to cold-blooded measures to get the job done, Mr. Finch's desire to save millions of innocent people makes more sense, even if his real motives remain a mystery (for now).
11 of 16 Scott Garfield/ABC; Jim Bridges/ABC

Emily VanCamp

Then:Rebecca Harper, Brothers & Sisters Now:Emily Thorne, Revenge On the surface, Emily seems just like Rebecca: an outsider with a mysterious past who longs to be accepted. But the innocent act is all just a ruse to hide Emily's much darker and more twisted personal agenda — to get revenge for her father's downfall.
12 of 16 Claudette Barius/HBO; Cliff Lipson/CBS

Kevin Dillon

Then: Johnny "Drama" Chase, Entourage Now:Bert, How to Be a Gentleman The heightened masculinity, the tough New Yorker 'tude, and the bromance themes of both shows makes us question whether CBS actually just hired longtime TV actor Drama to play Bert on the new Thursday night comedy. How meta!
13 of 16 Kobal Collection; Will Hart/NBC

Debra Messing

Then: Grace Adler, Will & Grace Now:Julia, Smash A straight woman and a gay man walk into a bar and... The structure is the same, but the story is very different for these two NBC shows. Grace counted Will as her best friend, her roommate, her lawyer, her (almost) babydaddy and her general emotional rock. Songwriter Julia's relationship with her lyricist is, obviously, much more professional, but equally as important. Also: In contrast to the crazy, big-haired, over-the-top Grace, Julia is much more level-headed and even — gasp — skeptical about the musical's appeal and commercial prospects.
14 of 16 Danny Feld/ABC; Bill Matlock/ABC

Kristin Chenoweth

Then:Olive Snook, Pushing Daisies Now:Darlene Cockburn, GCB Yes, Darlene is a God-fearing woman who goes to church every Sunday, but she's leagues away from the sainthood Olive briefly reached when she fled to a nunnery. And yes, Darlene's heart may be in the right place — she only wants to ruin Amanda's life because Amanda ruined her's first. Too bad she's also materialistic, self-involved and will seemingly resort to every one of the seven deadly sins to take Amanda down.
15 of 16 Mario Perez/ABC; David Moir/FOX

Jorge Garcia

Then: Hugo "Hurley" Reyes, Lost Now:Dr. Diego Soto, Alcatraz Where Hurley was the man with all the numbers, Dr. Soto is the man with all the answers. Garcia returns to island territory to play an intelligent author and Alcatraz expert. While Dr. Soto is much more a voice of authority, both characters serve as all-important comic relief.
16 of 16 20th Century Fox/Everett Collection; Mitchell Haaseth/NBC

Laura Prepon

Then:Donna Pinciotti, That 70's Show Now:Chelsea Newman, Are You There, Vodka? It's Me, Chelsea Donna's sarcasm? Check. Intelligence? Check. Complete lack of tolerance for B.S.? Check, check. However, while Donna resisted her feminine side (see her entire wardrobe of T-shirts and jeans), Chelsea's work at a testosterone-heavy sports bar means low-cut t-shirts and lots of flirting, especially considering she's based on Handler, who goes through men almost as quickly as she goes through cocktails