With the premiere of Zero Hour airing on ABC tonight, ER star Anthony Edwards returns to a drama series in a starring role. It's the actor's first big TV role since ER, which prompted a bit of 90s nostalgia among some of us at TV Blend, after which, we had no trouble coming up with a list of beloved 90s TV stars that we'd love to see back on TV in a starring role.
We narrowed down our list with some basic criteria. Our ten picks are all actors who had a series regular role in a popular and successful 90s scripted TV show, and have not starred in a successful (more than one season) scripted, live-action TV show in the last ten years. So, while you may have seen (or heard) some of our picks on television in recent years, we're hoping to see them back as series regulars, either in a comedy or drama on television. We also tried to leave out actors that are on the rise in feature projects, like Michelle Williams or Joseph Gordon-Levitt, since the likelihood that they'll return to a starring role in television anytime soon probably isn't especially high, no matter how awesome it would be.
With the above in mind, here are ten 90s TV stars we'd love to see back on television in a starring role.
Even though, or perhaps because, they starred in one of the most successful sitcoms of all time, it has taken a lot of time for any of the Seinfeld cast to find purchase in their post show about nothing pursuits. Not for lack of trying. And Curb Your Enthusiasm doesn't count, no matter how funny they are were in various appearances. Michael Richards hit, uh, a more than a few bumps in the road as did Jason Alexander (very different bumps) and it took a few tries for Julia-Louis Dreyfus to findVeep, a truly great HBO comedy that allowed her to finally shake Elaine Benes.
Now, there probably is no return in sight for Richards but it's past time the former George Costanza found a series to showcase his comedic or dramatic skills. Since he's had such trouble getting a new sitcom off the ground in the years since Seinfeld, perhaps Alexander should choose a project that requires him to draw on his serious side, something like Kelsey Grammer's Boss. There must be a new cable show coming that could use a zombie survivor? Or a tough-talking cop or criminal in a period piece? Of course, It would be absolutely hilarious if he turned up as the as yet unseen president in Veep but looking for a true fresh start is probably the only way to go.
Neve Campbell was one of the best-known faces of the 90s, and she made a major entrance into our lives with her role on Party of Five. While some of of her castmates have continued on to successful starring roles on TV (notably Jennifer Love Hewitt and Matthew Fox), Neve Campbell fell off of the television map, and we want her back.
Campbell’s realistic portrayal of a teenage girl facing all the difficulties of being young while dealing with the death of her parents and the needs of her younger siblings won us over. She then threw off some of that good-girl image and made us see her differently in movies like Wild Things and The Craft. Since then she’s done a wide variety of film and guest roles including the recent mini-series Titanic: Blood and Steel, proving her acting ability and making us certain there’s a great adult role for her on TV today.
As an actress who made her biggest television impression as a teenager, Neve Campbell would be the perfect choice to take on a lead role as a mother in a drama now that she’s older. It would be almost the ideal full-circle television comeback – from the teenage orphan to a maternal role. She’d also do well in a thriller, perhaps something along the lines of American Horror Story, what with her horror flick background in the Scream films. Whatever she chooses, the time seems right for a Neve Campbell comeback on TV, and we are ready.