Talkback: Which Movie Actress's New TV Show Will Fare Best?

new_girl_ver2.jpgLast week I asked you which Emmy nominee deserved a bigger movie career, and I decided that you answered Julie Bowen, because I want to like you. (P.S. Congrats to the madly talented Ms. Bowen on her win!) Now I'm asking a related, but opposite question: Which movie actress's new TV show has the best shot of survival? We rank the five most promising nominees after the jump. Please tell me where I go wrong.

1. Zooey Deschanel, New Girl

Can't deny ratings: Zooey Deschanel's new show about a quirky girl who moves in with three nondescript dudes launched big even after debuting its first episode as a free iTunes download. Nothing about the pilot is particularly novel: Zooey is likable, the guys are likable, and the show works - but it's more a trifle than a triumph. Oh, and also? A beautiful girl with pristine hair, perfect vintage outfits, and a feigned coquettishness is better described as "cloying" than "adorkable," Fox.

2. Kat Dennings, 2 Broke Girls

Make no mistake, I love that female-led comedies are working in primetime. Dennings is just right as one half of 2 Broke Girls's titular duo, and her role is a somewhat natural extension of her character in Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist. For now, she's one of the brightest spots on CBS.

3. Sarah Michelle Gellar, Ringer

You might not consider Gellar a formal movie star, but she seems to dominate our Bad Movies We Love canon, so let it go. Gellar's new series Ringer has garnered an inordinate amount of buzz for its pilot and sci-fi premise -- and Gellar herself transcends the Whedon wheelhouse and has great mainstream appeal.

4. Maria Bello, Prime Suspect

Forgiving Prime Suspect's rather staid premise (and the fact that Helen Mirren's original series is unforgettably great), Bello is a marvel as Det. Jane Timoney - self-assured, unflinching, and compellingly overreactive. The show debuted soft in the ratings, but I suspect a second-wind is coming for this solid new show.

5. Christina Ricci, Pan Am

Ricci wins my unconfident fifth-place vote, and it's mostly because I adore her. Wednesday Addams forever, am I right? Pan Am may be a flashy period drama -- a genre that seems more bankable than it is thanks to Mad Men and Boardwalk Empire -- but I'm not sensing a real hook in the story of Pan Am. Flight attendants live glamorous lives in a misogynistic work setting? I believe it, but is there anything else we need to know? Because if we're talking about the cosmopolitan world of international aviation in the '60s, I'll just watch The V.I.P.s again.

Unranked: Taraji P. Henson in Person of Interest, Minka Kelly (of The Roommate!) in Charlie's Angels, and Madeleine Stowe in Revenge

So, let's hear it. Who's your pick for a cinematic success on the small screen?


  • J.R. says:

    I just watched the pilot for Revenge and I'm all in! Revenge story + class warfare + Madeleine Stowe dialing the bitch up to 11, it's the perfect primetime soap. And I swear I felt a little Manchurian Candidate vibe between Victoria and the son. A little too Oedipus.
    Two things that disappointed though was the whole thing starting at the end, now I'll be sad every time the cute rich boy shows up on scene. Also, the annoying tech millionaire is very annoying. I know he's supposed to be but the performance seems kinda clunky, even for this kind of show.

  • Dennis says:

    I watched it,but I won't be watching it again. I didn't laugh even once. No offense to Zoey. It was the writing that sucked.

  • Tommy Marx says:

    I think Zooey nailed it by far. Even I am not stupid enough to think the pilot episode was perfect (sorry, wtf Alexa), but it was really good. It reminded me of Cougartown once it found its groove near the end of the first season. And the whole thing with the one guy asking his ex-wife why she left him, and her telling him she never realized he even liked her until after she left him? And then his "oh" reply, where he understood exactly how he had messed up and knew exactly why she left him? I want to see where the show goes from there. Maybe it will fall flat on its face. But I'm hoping it won't.

  • Hey Ringer has my vote. You just can't ignore the appeal of Sarah Michelle Gellar.

  • Morgo says:

    Wednesday Addams Forever! But Pan Am doesn't interest me for any other reason. I think Ringer looks really good and I would definitely watch the new girl. Not in the US so havent seen anything of all the other shows

  • voodoocookie says:

    Loved New Girl. Could not stand to watch more than 5 mins of 2 Broke Girls. Writing is awful and jokes were cliche and lame.
    Ringer is off to slow start but curious to see more.
    Excited to see Pan Am

  • S.T. VanAirsdale says:

    I would have said Ricci, but holy Christ, did anyone see Pan Am? It was like a nightmare about a bad Halloween party come to vivid, putrid life as an ADD nighttime soap. Even the girl I watching with wanted to change back to the Steelers/Colts game.

  • Tommy Marx says:

    Loved The New Girl. But I totally agree that no one can deny the wonder that is SMG.

  • Kelly says:

    I'm torn between New Girl, Ringer, & Revenge. None of which are off to a perfect start but all of which I think are getting better with each episode.