Tag Archives: Connie Britton

Power Rankings: Friday Night Lights, Part 2

19 Aug

All your favorite Lions/Panthers

Part two of the 16-actor long Friday Night Lights power rankings.  Check out part 1, along with the introduction here.

9. Minka Kelly (as Lyla Garrity) – She had a spot role in (500) Days of Summer right after leaving FNL’s main cast.  She was in The Roommate, Just Go With It, and appeared in nine episodes of Parenthood. She starred in the short-lived and ill-conceived Charlie’s Angels remake and plays Jackie O in current movie The Butler. She’ll costar in Fox sci-fi crime drama series Almost Human this fall with Karl Urban and Lili Taylor.

8. Grey Damon (as Hastings Ruckle) – The only main character who only appeared in the fifth and final season, Damon appeared as a main cast member on ABC’s Family’s one season The Nine Lives of Chloe King. He was in six episodes of The Secret Circle and five of Twisted.  He appeared in this year’s Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters (with or without the Olympians, we’ll never know).  He’ll recur in this season’s American Horror Story edition, Coven, will be in the American remake of Oldboy and is set to appear aside Aimee Teegarden in CW midseason replacement series Star-Crossed.

7. Jurnee Smollett (as Jess Merriweather) – The unfortunately named Smolett starred in controversial Tyler Perry movie Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor (she was said marriage counselor).   She was a regular on one season Jim Belushi – Jerry O’Connell legal show The Defenders (somehow, it was not on TNT), She was in two episodes of The Mob Doctor and two of Do No Harm, participating in the two shortest-lived doctor shows of the past season and was most recently in 8 episodes of True Blood as Sam Merlotte love interest Nicole this season.

6. Gaius Charles (as Brian “Smash” Williams) – He has small roles in The Messenger, Salt, and Taken.  He was on individual episodes of NCIS and Necessary Roughness.  I had honestly through Charles would be much lower in these rankings, and he would be if he hadn’t become a recurring character on Grey’s Anatomy in season nine who will be bumped up into the main cast in this upcoming tenth season (crazy, right?) as Dr. Shane Ross.  While Grey’s Anatomy isn’t exactly in early season form when it could send songs to the top 40, it’s still quite a popular show, and that’s a really good get for Smash, as I value main cast roles on successful shows quite highly.

5. Scott Porter (as Jason Street) – He voices Cyclops on the dub of Marvel Anime: X-Men.  He was a recurring character in the second season of The Good Wife as investigator Blake, appearing in fourteen episodes.  He played Aubrey Plaza’s love interest in this summer’s The To-Do List.  He was in Nicolas Sparks-based weeper Dear John and was in eight episodes of Sci-Fi’s Caprica.  Currently, he is a main cast member in Hart of Dixie on CW, entering its third season this fall.  Obviously Hart of Dixie is not as noteworthy as Grey’s Anatomy or True Blood, but hell, he’s going into his third season, and he has a nice little profile outside of that show.

4. Jesse Plemons (as Landry Clarke) – He appeared in alien comedy Paul, blockbuster Battleship, as as the titular character’s son in The Master.  He was in an episode of Childrens Hospital and appeared as a regular cast member in failed but actually not terrible midseason replacement Amanda Peet comedy Bent.  He currently appears as wannabe-meth-maker protégé Todd as a regular cast member on the fifth and final season of Breaking Bad. It’s a very solid resume for one of the non-obvious actors to breakout, but let’s not kid ourselves – his being placed above cast members with similar resumes is due to his role on Breaking Bad.  Todd’s so polite!

3. Taylor Kitsch (as Tim Riggins) – Hollywood saw a leading man in Kitsch and chose him to star in what ended up as two of the biggest flops of 2012, alien action pictures John Carter and Battleship.  He appeared in Oliver Stone’s Savages, and will appear this year in The Last Selection and Lone Survivor, from FNL creator and Battleship director Peter Berg.  Next year, he’s been cast to appear in Ryan Murphy film The Normal Heart.  In a couple of years, if his career doesn’t work out so well he may fade, but still starring in two blockbusters is a pretty big deal, even if they weren’t exactly successes.

2. Michael B. Jordan (as Vince Howard) – Of course this doesn’t count here, but I’d be remiss without a quick reminder that he played Wallace in The Wire. He’s been trending gradually upwards since FNL ended.  He was in an episode of House as well as 16 of Parenthood. He was in Red Tails and surprise hit Chronicle in 2012. He voiced Victor Stone in animated kids video Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox and will be appearing in rom com Are We Officially Dating? This year he drew rave reviews for his portrayal of a real life murder victim in Fruitvale Station and may get some love come award time.   The recency and acclaim of his role in Fruitvale is what positioned him over the failed blockbusters of Kirsch or everyone else’s television roles.

1. Connie Britton (as Tami Taylor) – Mrs. Coach jumped right from FNL into a starring appearance in the first season of American Horror Story, which went on to be a major success. She currently starts in ABC first season success story Nashville as a country singer undergoing a mid-career crisis, one of the most successful and acclaimed new network shows of the past year.  She appeared in Seeking a Friend for the End of the World as well as this summer’s Aubrey Plaza starring The To-Do List and is set to appear in next year’s This is Where I Leave You.  She wins top honors for getting top star billing (or included among two equal top stars in each) in two shows that were both relative critical and commercial successes.

Fall 2012 Previews and Predictions: ABC

13 Sep

(In order to meld the spirit of futile sports predictions with the high stakes world of the who-will-be-cancelled-first fall television season, I’ve set up a very simple system of predictions for how long new shows will last.  Each day, I’ll (I’m aware I switched between we and I) lay out a network’s new shows scheduled to debut in the fall (reality shows not included – I’m already going to fail miserably on scripted shows, I don’t need to tackle a whole other animal) with my prediction of which of three categories it will fall into.

These categories are:

1.  Renewal – show gets renewed

2.  13+ – the show gets thirteen or more episodes, but not renewed

3.  12- – the show is cancelled before 13)

ABC next.  The network sits pretty and in the middle of the pack, and has five new shows on offer this fall.

666 Park Avenue – 9/30 

An evil apartment building.  Yes, that is what the show seems to be about.  Already, the season grows less exciting.  Lost veteran Terry O’Quinn (John Locke) portrays the evil owner of the building, married to Vanessa Williams.  The series premise is set when a couple, not  presumably knowing the evil nature of this building, moves in and takes over roles as co-managers of the building.  The building is filled with a bunch of supernatural shit, and it’s goal is probably to be something like Lost meets Revenge (high class trashy soapy fun of Revenge with the supernatural aspects of Lost).

Verdict:  13- Revenge against some odds worked both critically and commercially, but I’m taking the under on lightning striking twice.  I have no idea what to expect in terms of the quality of this program, but but I don’t have a lot of faith; while hardly a crazy obvious cancellation (where are you, Allen Gregory?) some shows have got to go.

Last Resort – 9/27

The Shield’s Shawn Ryan (yes, I know I need to go back and watch The Shield – it and Dr. Who are my top 2 long term big TV projects that hopefully will happen one day) brings us this kind of cool set up about a US Navy submarine which gets an order to set off a nuclear bomb, and defies it, setting up at an island until they can figure out how to get back home without being considered traitors.  I’m calling this Crimson Tide meets Lost (yes, nearly every new ABC hour long program can be described as something meets Lost).  It starts the estimable Andre Braugher of Homicide and Men of a Certain Age and Scott Speedman of many Underworld films as the top two in command of the sub.

Verdict:  14+  I almost put renewal.  I really wanted to, but  these high concept shows have so much going against them that lower their chances of success.  Without quickly picking up both a huge amount of critical buzz (which is enough to initially give concepts juice on premium cable, but not so much on networks) and a minimum of commercial interest, grand high concept serial series (which I think this is?) have a difficult go of it (Lonestar, anybody).  I’m only picking 14+ over 13- now because of the Shawn Ryan name.  I hope it will be good though.

The Neighbors – 9/26

Classic that-guy (and Zeljko Ivanek Hall of Fame member) Lenny Venito and ‘80s semi-brat pack actress Jami Gertz are a couple who move into a New Jersey housing complex, and find out their neighbors are aliens who name themselves after American sports legends and have weird Conehead-like alien tendencies.  I’m honestly not sure what to think; it sounds ridiculous and cartoonish, but there’s a number of different tones the show could be going for here; out and out silly, corny, absurdist, cheeky and over the top.   It’s easy to lean towards this show being bad, but it’s hard to say for sure.

Verdict:  14+  I have no fucking clue.  This could be a classic 13-, it’s honestly one of the more obviously 13- sounding shows on this list.  However, I’ve briefly come across articles that the show is better than I expected it to be, and there’s this off and unlikely chance it could be a weird quirky success.  I’d still bet against it, but compromising here.

Nashville – 10/10

One of the shows I’m most excited about, it sounds like Country Strong the show (actually that’s not the comparison I should be making right after saying I’m excited about the show) on the surface, about a middle aged female country superstar (played by the great Tammy Taylor FNL actress Connie Britton) and an up and comer who wants the spotlight on her, played by Heroes’ Hayden Panettiere.  Plus, there’s I don’t know, a bunch of country music?  I don’t know what the natural arc of this show is, and maybe that’s a bad thing, but also maybe that’s why it’s interesting.

Verdict:  Renewal – This and Last Resort were probably the two shows that sounded most promising to me from the basic descriptions.  Last Resort, well, I’m a sucker for at least being interested in all shows like that, but few are better than mediocre, and most fail.  Nashville, however doesn’t fit that pattern.  I don’t care all that much about country music, so it’s not that angle, and I’m not sure what my good reason for interest aside the fact that it stars Connie Britton and it sounds, well, different.  I think we’ll know within a few episodes whether this show is sticking around.

Malibu Country – 11/2

Reba is back, baby.  You knew TV couldn’t be without her for too long.  Reba, a Nashville resident, naturally, and playing a character named Reba, finds her husband cheating and moves from Nashville to, you guessed it, Malibu, California.  Her mom is played by Lily Tomlin, which tells you how old Lily Tomlin is.  Oh, shocker, Reba plays a one-time country music singer, who is now trying to reignite her career.

Verdict:  13- This looks like the type of predictable utterly forgettable sitcom Then again, Reba ran for six seasons (wow, is the right answer), so who am I to say it can’t happen again.  I’ll say it though.  It’s probably not going to happen again.  This would be high up for me on the most likely 13 or less choices this year, though the relative success of Last Man Standing proves that I know nothing.