5 TO WATCH WHO'S HOT THIS FALL.Byline: DAVID David, in the Bible
David, d. c.970 B.C., king of ancient Israel (c.1010–970 B.C.), successor of Saul. The Book of First Samuel introduces him as the youngest of eight sons who is anointed king by Samuel to replace Saul, who had been deemed a failure. KRONKE
With all the new shows each fall, the number of ensemble casts, the few episodes of each we've seen, it's nearly impossible to predict who might be the season's breakout stars.
Last year, two out of our five choices -- America Ferrera of "Ugly Betty Ugly Betty is an Emmy-winning American television comedy-drama series starring America Ferrera, Eric Mabius, Rebecca Romijn and Vanessa Williams. The series premiered on September 28, 2006, on ABC in the United States and on Citytv in Canada. " and Masi Oka of "Heroes" -- hit it big. The shows of the other three didn't make it.
But that won't stop us from trying again. After all, if this were baseball, we'd be leading the league in hitting. So here are five actors we think should emerge from the the fall season and endear en·dear
tr.v. en·deared, en·dear·ing, en·dears
To make beloved or very sympathetic: a couple whose kindness endeared them to friends. themselves to audiences.
David Kronke, (818) 713-3638
Zachary Levi, "Chuck"
8 p.m. Mondays on NBC/Channel 4; premieres Sept. 24.
Levi, who plays the title character in NBC's new action-comedy series "Chuck," describes the show quite nicely when he calls it " 'The 40-Year-Old Virgin' meets 'The Bourne Bourne, town (1990 pop. 16,064), Barnstable co., SE Mass., crossed by Cape Cod Canal; settled 1627, inc. 1884. Bourne Bridge (1935), across the canal, made the town an entry point to Cape Cod and a resort and commercial center. Identity."'
Levi's character is a bit of an underachiever, reduced to working as a member of the tech-savvy "Nerd Herd" at a big-box store called Buy More. When the government's intelligence database is downloaded into his cerebral cortex cerebral cortex
Layer of gray matter that constitutes the outer layer of the cerebrum and is responsible for integrating sensory impulses and for higher intellectual functions. (hey, it could happen to anyone), he's considered a security risk, and the CIA CIA: see Central Intelligence Agency.
(1) (Confidentiality Integrity Authentication) The three important concerns with regards to information security. Encryption is used to provide confidentiality (privacy, secrecy). dispatches operatives to seek his cooperation on cases -- or eliminate him. Naturally, he chooses the former scenario.
"It's a little bit of a leap," Levi drolly notes of his show's concept, "but then, it is an action comedy."
As Chuck, Levi is wryly and winningly shambling sham·ble
intr.v. sham·bled, sham·bling, sham·bles
To walk in an awkward, lazy, or unsteady manner, shuffling the feet.
A shuffling gait. , a guy who knows he's in way over his head but also realizes there's not much he can do about it so he can only go with the flow.
"That's been the thing about finding our feet in this show," Levi says. "In the beginning, you need to find the rhythm and the style. Sometimes, anyone can forget what we need to achieve, and the first thing we need to remember in any scene, whether it's dramatic or has heart, is this is an action comedy. That's what you need to do, and if you can bring both at the same time, even better. No matter how scary it gets."
Levi enjoys channeling his inner geek A technically oriented person. It has typically implied a "nerdy" or "weird" personality, someone with limited social skills who likes to tinker with scientific or high-tech projects. The origin of the term dates back to the late 1800s. . "I always play fight scenes with a lot of fear, in Chuck's 'Duh -- duh' way," he says. "He's not cool in any way, shape or form. He's never had a gun to his head; he's not a super spy. This is all really scary, awkward, what-the-hell-is-going-on kind of stuff. If he's too cool in this thing, we're missing the point -- he's a fish out of water, an ordinary guy in extraordinary circumstances. Those two worlds colliding is where the fun exists."
So don't expect Chuck to morph into Jason Bourne anytime soon.
"The writers have sworn to not put a gun in Chuck's hand for the whole first season, so I'm screwed there," Levi says. "First time he has a gun, maybe he hits a guy, maybe he doesn't -- probably, it'll go off by accident."
From the pilot on, the producers have invited Levi to do a lot of improvising within scenes.
"Within every actor, there's that writer as well -- I'm constantly looking at lines and asking, 'Is there something more we can do to take it to another level?'" he admits. "Sometimes what I come up with works, sometimes it falls on its face."
One thing the producers kept was a take in which Levi's Chuck takes some defensive pride in being a member of the Nerd Herd.
Indeed, at one point in the conversation, Levi went off on a little bit of a wonky won·ky
adj. won·ki·er, won·ki·est Chiefly British
1. Shaky; feeble.
2. Wrong; awry.
[Probably alteration of dialectal wanky, alteration of wankle tangent, delivering a little soliloquy soliloquy, the speech by a character in a literary composition, usually a play, delivered while the speaker is either alone addressing the audience directly or the other actors are silent. about the technology of today (what is the iPhone, he pointed out, but a rough draft of the computer screens moved about by hand in the sci-fi film "Minority Report"?), and what technology will look like and how it will affect society in the future (laptops for all in schools means the end of note-taking!).
Hey -- this guy really is Chuck!
"Sorry about that -- got a little carried away," he says sheepishly sheep·ish
1. Embarrassed, as by consciousness of a fault: a sheepish grin.
2. Meek or stupid.
But lest you peg Levi as too Chuck-ian, be aware he's capable of channeling his inner macho stud, as well. "I look forward to the day I get a role to play the cool guy who carries the gun," he admits.
Ray Wise, "The Reaper reaper, early farm machine drawn by draft animals or tractor and used to harvest grain. Its historical predecessors were the sickle and the cradle scythe, which are still used in some parts of the world. "
9 p.m. Tuesdays on The CW/Channel 5; premieres Sept. 25.
"The Reaper" is similar in concept to "Chuck":
Slacker/big-box-store employee receives special powers to battle bad guys. In "The Reaper," however, Ray Wise plays the ultimate bad guy: the devil, who charges lowly Sam (Bret Harrison) with capturing souls who have escaped hell and returning them to their fiery fates.
Wise's devil promises to be a comic classic: Unctuously menacing, he's like a lounge singer who has grown to hate his gig.
A veteran of Hollywood for 37 years, Wise heretofore may be best-known for his role as the equally menacing Leland Palmer in the '80s cult series "Twin Peaks." He has plenty of experience cooking up evil incarnations.
"I've seen devils like Peter Cook in 'Bedazzled,' pretty much remembering every devil that's ever been done on the screen," Wise says. "Doing my devil is a combination of probably me and every other character I've ever played, from Caligula Caesar, the mad emperor of Rome, to Leland Palmer, to a variety of villainous and terrible people."
Katee Sackhoff, "Bionic Woman"
9 p.m. Wednesdays on NBC/Channel 4; premieres Oct. 3.
When Katee Sackhoff was cast in the remake of the '70s sci-fi show "Battlestar Galactica," fans of the original were outraged: How dare they replace a womanizing wom·an·ize
v. woman·ized, woman·iz·ing, woman·iz·es
To pursue women lecherously.
To give female characteristics to; feminize. character with -- a woman?"
But Sackhoff soon won them over, matching the male characters' bravado with plenty of her own. She similarly steals the show in another '70s sci-fi remake, "Bionic Woman."
Sackhoff appears only briefly in the pilot, but she takes the upper hand in the most memorable scene, a protracted pro·tract
tr.v. pro·tract·ed, pro·tract·ing, pro·tracts
1. To draw out or lengthen in time; prolong: disputants who needlessly protracted the negotiations.
2. catfight cat·fight
1. A fight between or among cats.
2. Informal A vociferous dispute: a catfight between farmers and the government over subsidies. between her sinister character and Jamie Sommers (Michelle Ryan). She introduces herself thusly thus·ly
adv. Usage Problem
Usage Note: Thusly was introduced in the 19th century as an alternative to thus in sentences such as Hold it thus or He put it thus. : "Without being too overly melodramatic ... I'm the original bionic woman," she declares, adding with a bitterly world-weary wit, "Ta- dahh!" that might have viewers realigning their allegiances.
In John Milton's "Paradise Lost," the devil (not Ray Wise) was a more interesting character than God. If the producers of "Bionic Woman" aren't careful, Sackhoff's bionic bitch could outshine out·shine
v. out·shone , out·shin·ing, out·shines
a. To shine brighter than.
b. To be more beautiful, splendid, or flamboyant than.
2. Ryan's bionic babe.
Anna Friel, "Pushing Daisies"
8 p.m. Wednesdays on ABC/Channel 7; premieres Oct. 3.
Here's yet another standout performance by an actor playing a character named Chuck: In the fanciful "forensic fairy tale" "Pushing Daisies," Friel stars as Charlotte "Chuck" Charles, a sheltered young woman killed while on a cruise but resurrected by a touch from Ned (Lee Pace), her childhood sweetheart, in order to solve her murder.
After all these years, Ned and Chuck still share a powerful frisson, but Ned's powers to revive the dead come with a caveat:
Should he touch someone a second time, they return to the great beyond.
"Pushing Daisies" is winsomely win·some
Charming, often in a childlike or naive way.
[Middle English winsum, from Old English wynsum : from wynn, joy; see wen-1 eccentric, and the British actress' performance is suited to such a sensibility: She's sweet yet spunky spunk·y
adj. spunk·i·er, spunk·i·est Informal
spunki·ly adv. , and her yearning for Ned is palpable.
Friel realizes she must continue to deliver the goods Verb 1. deliver the goods - attain success or reach a desired goal; "The enterprise succeeded"; "We succeeded in getting tickets to the show"; "she struggled to overcome her handicap and won"
bring home the bacon, succeed, win, come through on the show:
"I've behaved myself extremely well on the set," she quips, "because a simple touch and I'm out of the series."
Adhir Kalyan, "Aliens in America Aliens in America is an American situation comedy created by David Guarascio and Moses Port. Guarascio and Port also serve as executive producers of the show alongside Tim Doyle. Luke Greenfield directed the pilot. "
8:30 p.m. Mondays on The CW/Channel 5; premieres Oct. 1.
If anyone can coax Red-state America into embracing a Pakistani Muslim, it's Adhir Kalyan. In "Aliens in America," Kalyan plays Raja, a foreign exchange student transported to a small Wisconsin town to the initial dismay of his adoptive family: The parents were hoping for a strapping Austrian boy to make their nebbishynebbish son, Justin (Dan Byrd), nominally cool.
A Muslim -- in Wisconsin -- is the last thing they were expecting.
But Raja just might be the person to bring Justin out of his shell.
Kalyan imbues Raja with a deadpan yet soulful innocence. Kalyan was born and raised in South Africa (and is not Muslim), but is nonetheless a quick study when it comes to parodying America foibles:
"The only thing I found difficult to deal with, coming to the States, is the size of the portions of food," he says. "Really, do we need portions that big?
"Africa doesn't need Bono. Africa doesn't need Geldof. Africa needs a Denny's grand-slam breakfast."
(1 -- color) Zachary Levi
(2 -- color) Ray Wise
(3 -- color) Katee Sackhoff
(4 -- color) Anna Friel
(5 -- color) Adhir Kalyan