10 Breakout Stars for the New TV Season

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We define breakout stars as actors who are about to make the big leap from relative obscurity to basking in the spotlight, and this year's new fall TV shows are brimming with them. Here are the ten who have the best shot at becoming household names.

Billy Gardell

Mike on Mike & Molly
Though you may only recognize him from those Round Table Pizza ads, Gardell has been on the comedy circuit for some time now. But for as large as he is, he's never been the one we were supposed to see. That's about to change now that he's landed his first major starring role in Chuck Lorre's new CBS sitcom.


Jon Michael Hill

Det. Damon Washington on Detroit 1-8-7
Jon is a native of the stage who is getting his big break on ABC's new cop show. He's got a knack for comedic timing and that subtle physical comedy that really fleshes out a character, and that's on full display in his role as Damon. But what makes him a potential star is an immediate likability; this is a guy you just want to hang out with.


Boris Kodjoe

Steven Bloom on Undercovers
Not to take anything away from his acting skills, but the main reason Kodjoe makes this list is apparent just from looking at him. He's big, he's got model good looks, and his smile makes women swoon. He's best known from Showtime's Soul Food, but should soon be catapulted to A-List thanks to his starring role.


Carter MacIntyre

Leo Nash on Undercovers
Becoming a star sometimes involves a lot of luck, and MacIntyre certainly had karma on his side when he landed the role of Leo Nash, a hilarious smart-mouthed agent on one of fall's highest-profile shows. Previously, his biggest role was on a MyNetworkTV show, so being cradled by J.J. Abrams and NBC should easily put him on the map.


Alyson Michalka

Marti Perkins on Hellcats
She's already a star to 'tweens, but among older folks, Michalka is still relatively unknown. Reinventing herself from her earlier image (she and sister Amanda were child pop stars Aly & AJ), she's now anchoring the CW show and growing up before our eyes.


Maggie Q

Nikita on Nikita
Unless you're hardcore into the Hong Kong action movie scene, you've probably only heard the name Maggie Q in passing. Her biggest splash in America came in Mission: Impossible III, and her ass-kicking (while looking very sexy) will continue with Nikita.


Michael Raymond-James

Britt Pollack on Terriers
We all knew the guy could act; we were just waiting for someone to hire him. He dazzled us as Rene Lenier in the first season of True Blood and is showing a playful range as Britt. He reminds us of a young Benicio Del Toro, and has an incredibly bright future ahead of him.


Peter Serafinowicz

Fa'ad Shaoulin on Running Wilde
He's a star in his native England, but to most Americans, Serafinowicz is just another guy who talks funny. That'll change if Running Wilde takes off, because he's a scene stealer who, when matched up against Will Arnett, robs one of the industry's best.


Ben Schwartz

Bill Hoyt on Undercovers
This improv genius is best known as Jean-Ralphio from Parks and Recreation, but he'll soon get a chance to be more than just a bit player thanks to his sycophantic role in Undercovers. Let's just hope he gets the material to blossom.


James Wolk

Bob/Robert on Lone Star
Where has this guy been all our lives? Wolk completely inhabits his role, and has the difficult task of playing a character who we're supposed to root for even though he does despicable things. And you know what? He pulls it off masterfully. Wolk's boyish good looks will draw the female crowd, and his "aww shucks" charisma make him a beer buddy to guys. He'll go far.


Who are your picks to break out this year?


Follow TV.com writer Tim Surette on Twitter: @TimAtTVDotCom

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