Who's the Most Underutilized Actor on TV?

By TV.com Staff

Jan 21, 2010

The big news out of ABC today is that Rob Lowe wants to leave Brothers & Sisters because he feels "underutilized," according to Deadline Hollywood. He's been released from his contract, but ABC is trying to work something out to keep him on the network.

It's tough to get enough camera time for everyone in an ensemble cast, and Brothers & Sisters is loaded with talent. If Lowe wants to leave, it's his prerogative—and probably not a bad idea.

But his decision got us thinking: Who else should leave their big ponds for smaller fish bowls? T.R. Knight recently said goodbye to Grey's Anatomy, and is working in theater now. Is that a win? Who knows.

Here's our quick list:

Lance Reddick, Fringe
We love Broyles, but Reddick is such a commanding actor, we can't help but feel a little cheated that most of his time is spent merely chewing out the Fringe Division.

Everyone, entire Law & Order franchise
The stars of each episode are the suspects, not the people trying them. Imagine Mariska Hargitay as the lead on a show like The Good Wife.

Kevin Rahm and Tuc Watkins, Desperate Housewives
They can be more than just the gay guys on the block.

Katherine Heigl, Grey's Anatomy
Yeah, this one's obvious. And yeah, you can say she brought it on herself by throwing so many tantrums. But she's the closest thing to a movie star the show has, and they're letting her bump uglies with a ghost?

Ken Leung, Lost
Seriously, why is Miles on the show anyway? Give this guy some importance! Ditto for Caesar and Ilana (though I have a sneaking suspicion they'll be huge in Season 6).

Help us fill out our list! Who else do you think is underutilized on TV?

  • Comments (59)
Add a Comment
In reply to :
  • plohvm Feb 11, 2010

    thanks, I needed that

  • plohvm Feb 11, 2010

    NCIS LOS ANGELES. Is it just me or do these episodes ring totally unbelievable?NCIS stories, cast are believable. Los Angeles doesn't even have a medical examiner, and not lab. Just computers. How do you investigate without a lab?

  • andrego1692 Feb 09, 2010

    Allison Mack from smallville, and Leinghton Meester from gossip girl, those shows just get worst and worst, those girls should leave them before is too late,

  • rpscrubsfan Feb 07, 2010

    Jasika Nicole on Fringe, Ron Rikin on Brothers&Sisters;, Emilie de Ravin on Lost for far too many seasons has been underused and underrated. Corbin Berson on Psych.

  • ginaodegaard Feb 06, 2010

    I think Brian Dietzen, who plays Jimmy Palmer on NCIS really should be on-screen more : )

  • Citronjaune Feb 02, 2010

    Nobody knew Ken Leung before… He'll have plenty of time to get a lead role once Lost is finished… in a few month.

  • katme3 Feb 01, 2010

    Actually, I would also put Jasika Nicole and Joshua jackson (yes, him too) from Fringe on this list as well. The show has spent so much time on Olivia and Walter that Peter and Astrid do not a reason to be there.

  • ThoreauHD Jan 31, 2010

    I really see any of those actors as top notch. And honestly those shows suck. I have to say that them being underutilized is probably a good thing. I don't mean to be all negative, but wow, you know how to pick'em. My eyes would bleed watching those shows.
    Why not try watching Caprica or Legend of the Seeker or 24 or well, anything else.

  • angelandspike Jan 31, 2010

    I agree with those who said Enver Gjokaj. He's a fantastic actor and I also hope he finds something very good now that Dollhouse is over.

  • genadoll Jan 31, 2010

    The actor on Fringe is just fine the way he is. He is a good actor, he doesn't push his facfe into every scene. Thats why I like him. The most over utilized actor is Lawrence Fishbourne. He takes up the whole screen....that is why I stopped watching the program where he replaced the main character. I did not enjoy his acting. I guess the networks can''t get the message. The Mentalist is getting a replacement and just couldn't leave well enough alone, so I will stop that one too.

  • See More Comments (49)