This is the 19th year for the creation of this list of actors who have such interesting roles in new fall TV shows that they have the potential to find stardom. Most have little experience and those who have a longer résumé have landed a part that is bigger than any in their careers.
Some of my past predictions have been on target, such as the 2007 selection of Jim Parsons on “The Big Bang Theory.” Keri Russell, Kevin James, Jeremy Piven and Sean Hayes were on my first list, too.
At the top of my list last year were Melissa Benoist, star of “Supergirl,” and Rachel Bloom, star of “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.”
Here’s this year’s “10 to watch” list.
Tori Anderson, “No Tomorrow,” CW: On any other channel, this show would not last long enough to give the audience time to fully appreciate the energy and passion Anderson brings to this tale of an impending apocalypse. The upside of being on the CW is the show will get a longer time to prove itself.
Because the show looks at the potential end of life on Earth, Anderson has been looking at life a little differently.
“I’m a pretty go-with-the-flow person, but this show has definitely made me look at the way I live my life and think about things that I have been putting off and the reasons why I’ve been putting them off. I’ve created my own sort of bucket list that I have a few things that I really want to accomplish, and I will make plans to do them,” Anderson says.
Kylie Bunbury, “Pitch,” Fox: The young actress, last seen in “Under the Dome,” moves into the spotlight with this series about the first woman to pitch for a major league baseball team. She spent months before filming trying to perfect her pitching form.
She was her toughest critic during that time.
“I sometimes become a slave to my negative thoughts, but I don’t let them consume me. I definitely know it was a challenge, which was intriguing. I really believe in myself and I grew up in a family where my mom always told us we could do anything. So I knew that it was going to be a challenge and I just really focused and trained as hard as I could,” Bunbury says.
Mike Colter, “Luke Cage,” Netflix: The South Carolina native got a jump on playing the Marvel Comics character. He made a few appearances on “Jessica Jones.”
Now, he’s at the center of the action and Colter shows that he can be just as warm and sensitive as he can be tough and destructive. He has found the balance to make this one of the best TV series based on a Marvel Comics publication.
Micah Fowler, “Speechless,” ABC: The audience will initially look at Fowler and judge him on how he’s dealing with the challenges brought on by cerebral palsy. It doesn’t take long to realize that the young actor brings such energy to the role that he should be looked at no differently than his fellow cast mates.
He’s got a wicked sense of humor. When Fowler is asked to name his favorite TV comedy, he says, “this show.”
Maggie Geha, “Gotham,” Fox: The producers of the series based on DC Comics characters wanted to age the Poison Ivy character, so Geha has been brought in to be the garden variety seductress.
The actress has made a few appearances in TV and film. This role is her biggest to date because it gives her a recurring role on a network series and puts her in the comic book world.
Alfonso Herrera, “The Exorcist,” Fox: Although he’s a household name in Mexico, he’s not had much exposure here except for a role in “Sense8.” His role as Father Tomas in this series based on the classic film will correct the spotlight imbalance.
Herrera is very happy with the role because he can blend parts of his heritage into the work.
“Sometimes there’s a stereotype, a very clear stereotype of what people from Latin America look like, what they what they show. I’m very, very happy to portray a Mexican, a guy from Latin America that is not just a guy with a sombrero and mustache,” Herrera says. “ I really feel very happy that this is happening.”
Christine Ko, “The Great Indoors,” CBS: The young Chicago actress is getting to play one of the office-bound millennials in the new CBS comedy. She’s proud to represent.
“As millennials, we represent the positive side, which is that we are so into diversity and we are the most inclusive generation. And that gives a voice for millennials,” Ko says. “I think the best part from a millennial standpoint is that we get to make fun of the Gen Xers without any apologies, and that’s a great thing.”
Chrissy Metz, “This Is Us,” NBC: Any actor would be stressed about a scene where they have to strip down on camera and stand on a scale. That was a very tough sequence for the plus-size model in the new NBC series about family.
The fact she did the scene and the way she looks at her weight reflect a very real-world viewpoint on those who aren’t pencil thin.
Lucas Till, “MacGyver,” CBS: The Texas native was only 2 when the original “MacGyver” TV series went off the air. But he knew when he auditioned for the role that he would be playing a guy with a great knack for improvising his way out of danger.
His task with the series will be to deal with those crazy gimmicks while making sure he keeps the character as caring and charming as the one played by Richard Dean Anderson.
Phoebe Waller-Bridge, “Fleabag,” Amazon: British audiences have seen her work, but this new streaming series will show more of the world her talent.
Not only did Waller-Bridge create the show based on her award-winning play of the same name, but she stars in almost every single scene and wrote every single word.
“This character, this very naughty, dark-hearted character, came out very quickly which I think was sort of the shadow of how I was feeling at the time,” Waller-Bridge says.