Last season, Gina Rodriguez, Lucas Black and Viola Davis were among fall's best and brightest to break through the new season clutter as Jane The Virgin, NCIS: New Orleans and How To Get Away With Murder dominated the ratings. This year a new group of celebrities will try their hand at TV, including a large amount of relative newcomers looking to make a big splash on the small screen.
While some of these names may have found previous success on the big or small screens, it was usually in a supporting role. This time around they are squarely in the spotlight and in many cases these shows are relying on their names to succeed. The pressure is on, but here are Screen Rant's 10 Rising TV Stars From The 2015 Fall Season.
10 Melissa Benoist in Supergirl (CBS)
The big red “S” isn’t the only thing you’ll recognize about this new CBS series, as this isn’t Melissa Benoist’s first time in the spotlight. But with her mix of charm and beauty, Supergirl won’t be her last either.
For CBS, the network needed to find just the right Kara Zor-El to win over fans, while also proving capable of headlining a series of this magnitude. Luckily for them, Glee wrapped up its six season run in the spring and this alluring young actress was available for her next big project.
Supergirl is a high profile series and Benoist is going to go a long way in helping them make it a success, but the other part of that is staying true to the character and source material. Produced by the same team behind Arrow and The Flash, we don’t think the show will have a problem, and Benoist seems tailor-fit to lead the series.
9 Priyanka Chopra in Quantico (ABC)
Priyanka Chopra may not be a big name in the U.S. of A., but in her native India, she’s a star.
How big of a star? Well aside from her Bollywood roots, Chopra has also co-starred in a music video with Pitbull, appeared on the first Indian edition of Maxim, hosted India’s version of Fear Factor, was named India’s official UNICEF ambassador and was crowned Miss World back in 2000. Pretty nice resume right?
American audiences are about to get their first look at the actress, as she is the lynchpin of ABC’s new drama Quantico. The ensemble drama, about a rookie team of FBI agents in training, is one of the fall’s buzziest and because of that you’ll be seeing Chopra everywhere. But that's not a bad thing; Quantico needs a strong lead to pull off its premise and Chopra is more than capable.
8 Rachel Bloom in My Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (The CW)
You aren’t looking at the lineup wrong, The CW is only debuting one new show this fall… but it is one they have a lot of faith in. AS large part of that is because of its lead actress. In the pivotal role is Rachel Bloom, who has more of a resume as a writer than as a actress, but completely stole the spotlight in the first footage that was released to fans. The CW hopes Bloom can break through much the same way Gina Rodriguez did last year with Jane The Virgin, and it is not hard to say why.
My Crazy Ex-Girlfriend is about a woman who quits her high paying to job in New York to pursue the “one” that got away in Los Angeles. Bloom, known primarily for her YouTube presence, has a great personality, and she’s said in interviews she sees a lot of herself in her character, which might explain why she seems like she’s having fun in every preview of the show thus far.
7 Jake McDorman in Limitless (CBS)
Jake McDorman started off the year starring opposite Bradley Cooper in American Sniper and he’ll likely end the year starring opposite Bradley Cooper in Limitless.
A continuation of the 2011 film, the series finds McDorman stumbling onto the wonder drug NZT and eventually Cooper’s character from the film who will pop up from time to time in a recurring role. To help keep the story going when Cooper’s not around, the series needed a strong presence and the one-time Greek star seems like a great choice to play off of Dexter star Jennifer Carpenter.
McDorman has long been under-valued, bouncing from one series to another, having appeared on Shameless, Manhattan Love Story and Are You There, Chelsea?. Now, with Limitless, he’s getting his first shot to front a new project that might actually have legs.
6 Scott Michael Foster in Blood & Oil (ABC)
You’ve likely seen Scott Michael Foster around but didn’t actually know what his name was (unless you’re a frequent viewer of ABC Family). Foster’s a big deal to certain younger demographic after his turn in Greek and most recently Chasing Life.
In between, Foster’s also tried more mainstream fare with The River, Californication, Zero Hour, Halt and Catch Fire and Once Upon A Time, but throughout, he’s lacked crossover appeal. In Blood and Oil he plays the villainous deadbeat son of star Don Johnson, which should get him a lot more exposure.
Foster will also have the benefit of working alongside a younger cast that includes Gossip Girl’s Chace Crawford, Rebecca Rittenhouse (Red Band Society), Adam Canto (The Following), Miranda Rae Mayo (Pretty Little Liars) and India de Beaufort (Jane By Design). Together, they should be one of TV’s more photogenic ensembles, and he’s in a good position to be front and center.
5 Philip Winchester & Sullivan Stapleton in The Player and Blindspot (NBC)
This is one that’s cool for a separate reason. Philip Winchester and Sullivan Stapleton just wrapped their run on Cinemax’s Strike Back, and now both are coming to NBC with a high profile series. While they're not in the same series, fans of the action series may get a kick out of seeing both of them in network shows this September.
Winchester will team with Wesley Snipes for The Player while Stapleton pairs off with Jaimie Alexander in Blindspot. Ironically, while both are the leads in their respective shows, it is their co-stars that more well known, but that shouldn’t be the case past the first episodes.
To launch a new series you need a charismatic lead and NBC’s got a strong pair. Based on early buzz, these are names you’ll remember in the fall as these are two actors who you can look at and see “leading man appeal.”
4 Jaimie Alexander in Blindspot (NBC)
If you’re fan of the Marvel movies (and let’s be honest… if you’re reading us you probably are) then Jaimie Alexander really needs no introduction. She’s Lady Sif in the Thor films and she's just plain amazing. Now, Alexander is getting her own series and something tells us she’s going to be just as fun to watch every week.
Granted, nobody said getting your own show would be easy, and the role requires Alexander to get hours of make-up every day to complete her tattoo transformation… that’s dedication. In Blindspot, she plays a woman who wakes up naked in a duffel bag in Times Square, with no memory and a body covered in tattoos. One of those tattoos is the name of an FBI agent, who soon becomes her partner (the previously mentioned Sullivan Stapleton)in tring to figure out what happened to her.
Before she got into acting, Alexander started the female wrestling team at her high school. The actress has always wanted to give women an equal opportunity to learn self-defense. Looks like some of those moves are about to pay off.
3 Krysten Ritter in Jessica Jones (Netflix)
First thing’s first: no, she’s not related to the late comic genius John Ritter, but we can see why you might think so if you watched her short-lived ABC sitcom Don’t Trust The B---- in Apartment 23. However, Ritter is about to make a different kind of mark with her role on the upcoming Netflix series Jessica Jones, which premieres in November.
The second of four Marvel series on Netflix, many think this could see the same level of success as Daredevil, which launched earlier this year to great acclaim. Here, Ritter plays a woman who opens a detective agency after a tragic, failed attempt at being a superhero. Yet the character is still tough, raw and can hold her own… all traits associated with Ritter herself.
While the actress has co-headlined a series before, and guested on shows like Gilmore Girls and Breaking Bad, this time around she’s the main focus and should rise to the occasion. At least we hope she will, considering how many hardcore comic fans watching.
2 Stark Sands in Minority Report (Fox)
Stark Sands may not be a household name across America, but he is a name in the theater community, which spawned such small screen stars as Lea Michele, Matthew Morrison and Kristen Chenoweth. Yet here Sands isn’t up for a role where he’s singing or dancing… he’s just trying to save lives.
Sands is headlining Fox’s re-boot of Minority Report which finds him playing one of the future-predicting "pre-cogs" from the film, who was left unemployed after the events of the film. However, that doesn’t last long when he teams up with a detective (Deception’s Megan Goode) with the hope of putting his special ability to see crimes before they happen to good use.
This isn’t Sands first time on a series, but it is first time as the lead. Previously, the actor had roles on HBO’s mini-series Generation Kill and CBS’ (very) short-lived cop drama NYC-22 but it’s clear the actor recognizes this is the big time and he’s ready for the opportunity. Sands seems like a good fit for the character and we’ll be anxious see how audiences respond to the show.
1 Honorable Mentions
The Heroes Reborn Rookie Cast (NBC)
While you may know the names Jack Coleman, Masi Oka and Sendhil Ramamurthy, you may not know the names Robbie Kay, Danika Yarosh and Judith Shekoni. Those are just three of the new actors joining the returning stars in the Heroes universe, along with Chuck star Zachery Levi. The original Heroes helped launch a number of now bigger name celebrities, like Hayden Panettiere and Zachary Quinto, the odds are good this one could do the same.
Denise in The Muppets (ABC)
When it was (brilliantly) announced on Twitter that Kermit and Miss Piggy had split up, nobody was really thinking it was because Kermit had found another girlfriend so soon. Yet he did, and her name is Denise and she’s a marketing executive at ABC and (of course) she’s also a pig. Admit it: no matter how old you are, you know want to watch how this turns out.
Trevor Noah in The Daily Show (Comedy Central)
Jon Stewart completely re-invented the world of political satire and left at the top of his game, which might cast a big shadow over new Daily Show host Trevor Noah. But Noah seems like he knows how to handle the pressure and so far (with the exception of a few pre-fame Twitter comments that came back to haunt him) he’s maneuvered the spotlight pretty effortlessly. While nobody can replace Stewart, Noah looks to be up to the task of carving his own niche and many people may be surprised with the results.
Which celebs do you think will be breakout stars this fall? Are you excited about watching the names on our list? Hit the comments and let us know.