Five faces to watch as new fall TV shows roll out this week
So, as an avalanche of news shows begin flooding the networks this week at the start of the fall TV season, who will be the Next Big Thing?
1. PAUL WESLEY, Vampire Diaries (the CW): The tween world is waiting with barely stifled screams for this TV version of the popular young adult novels. Though the series feels like Twilight-lite, Wesley is appropriately hunky as a centuries-old vampire just trying to fit in at high school and get the girl.
2. SARA PAXTON, The Beautiful Life (the CW): High fashion is already a TV hit with Project Runway and America’s Next Top Model. So Paxton’s turn as up-and-coming young model Raina Collins in this nighttime soap about New York’s fashion industry is bound to land her in TMZ’s sights – especially since co-star Mischa Barton is recovering from her own real-life meltdown.3. JOEL McHALE, Community (NBC): Yeah, he’s been making a miniscule cable audience laugh at Jerry Springer clips for five years as host of E!’s The Soup. But McHale strikes a comedy gold mine as a skeevy lawyer forced to attend community college with Chevy Chase.
4. JOHN CHO, Flash Forward (ABC): Forget him as Sulu in the new Star Trek reboot or as Harold going to White Castle. As an FBI agent who gets a glimpse of his future on ABC’s trippy drama — everybody on Earth blacks out and has a similar vision — Cho has the potential to break out like never before.5. NATALIE COUGHLIN, Dancing With the Stars (ABC): Athletes often do well on ABC’s blockbuster dance competition and female Olympians have an amazing track record, including last cycle’s winner, gymnast Shawn Johnson, and cycle 6 winner, skater Kristi Yamaguchi. So Coughlin, who won six swimming medals in last year’s Beijing Olympics, should find this a relative cakewalk.