Actors/Actresses Who Made A Good TV Show BetterPublished on November 30, 2017. Updated July 14, 2020
There have been a lot of good TV shows over the years with fantastic casts and great storylines, but even the best shows have been made better thanks to what one actor or actress brought to their character. In some cases, the loss of these stars in the series is when fans really noticed how important they were to the show, and other times fans just know the show wouldn’t be nearly as good without a certain person. Many actors and actresses auditioned for these roles, and the shows would be extremely different if the right one wasn’t cast! Here are 10 actors and actresses who made a good TV show even better:
10. Simon Helberg – The Big Bang Theory
The Big Bang Theory has one of those cast ensembles that is hard to come by. Despite there being so many central characters, each one is given the screen-time they deserve and each has endeared themselves to fans. Since Jim Parsons and Johnny Galecki have always stood out as the two main male stars, Simon Helberg has been largely overlooked for just how much he brings to the series. On paper, Helberg’s character Howard Wolowitz would be creepy and repulsive but the actor has made the character charming and beloved. It also cannot be ignored how many of his lines actually bring out the “laugh out loud” humor for fans. Despite the strength of the entire cast, it is guaranteed The Big Bang Theory would not have been nearly as funny without Simon Helberg as Howard Wolowitz.
9. Michael Rosenbaum – Smallville
As one of North America’s longest-running science fiction series, Smallville did a lot of things right. Through 10 seasons, a lot of the cast shined but, as the story of Superman is once again being revisited by Marvel on the big-screen, there is one character that still stands out as being better on the small screen. Michael Rosenbaum’s portrayal of Lex Luthor on Smallville has gone down as one of the best representations of the iconic super-villain of all time, and the point has only been driven home more by the questionable casting of Jesse Eisenberg in the role in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. While some actors and actresses struggled at times on the show, Michael Rosenbaum brought nothing but his best in every scene and through every season that he took on the role of Lex Luthor, making him one of the best and most valuable parts of the superhero show.
8. Matthew Perry – Friends
Every Friends actor and actress made the show special and the chemistry between them all is a major factor in why the show did so well, but over time and as fans rewatch the series again and again, Matthew Perry has become the biggest fan-favorite from the series. His comedic timing was extremely impressive, but it was more than just the sarcasm that he brought to the role of Chandler Bing that made Friends just that little bit better. Along with his incredible delivery, Perry gave his all to the physical comedy, especially facial expressions, and also easily convinced fans he could be serious and sweet, especially when it came to Monica.
7. Kim Cattrall – Sex and the City
Although it seems like Kim Cattrall doesn’t want anything to do with Sex and the City anymore, she was an integral part of the series’ success during its six-season-run. With Sarah Jessica Parker’s Carrie Bradshaw at the center of the show and each of the other leading ladies bringing something different and important to the table, it was Kim Cattrall as Samantha Jones that gave the candid lines and humor that elevated the series. While each character had their own weaknesses and strengths as well as their own fanbases, Sam stood out the most, even for the wrong reasons sometimes and Kim Cattrall made the character simply iconic.
6. Kyle Chandler and Connie Britton – Friday Night Lights
Friday Night Lights might be one of the most critically acclaimed teen series, but that doesn’t mean all of the stars on the show were particularly strong. Despite some lackluster deliveries by some of the younger actors, fans could always count on Kyle Chandler and Connie Britton as Coach Eric Taylor and Tami Taylor to elevate the show. Individually, both stars are amazing, but together they were unstoppable and it would be impossible for the show to achieve the acclaim it did if it weren’t for those two in the central roles.
5. Sterling K. Brown – This Is Us
NBC’s This Is Us has put together one of the most incredible cast ensembles that audiences have seen in a long time, but when it comes to the Big Three, one actor has stood out above the rest. While every star is incredible, Sterling K. Brown as Randall Pearson has impacted viewers with his powerful performances through each and every episode. Brown has the kind of presence where you hang off his every word and sometimes it seems every one of his scenes is Emmy worthy. This Is Us works so well because of the talent and passion each actor brings to their role, but there is no denying that Brown demands extra attention when he is on the screen.
4. Misha Collins – Supernatural
Of course, Supernatural was doing just fine with Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki leading the show, but the addition of Misha Collins as a main cast member has given a little something extra to the already great show. Collins as Castiel first appeared in the fourth-season premiere, and what started out as only a six-episode role quickly transformed into regular character status all thanks to the fans. Any series, no matter how good, that goes on for several seasons always could use someone new to bring a breath of fresh air to the storylines and Misha Collins was exactly what Supernatural needed.
3. Sophia Bush – One Tree Hill
Out of One Tree Hill‘s five core characters, Sophia Bush’s Brooke Davis was the only one not in the pilot episode, and the difference that was made when her character appeared was incredible. Sophia Bush’s presence on the show quickly became the driving force behind many fans’ interest, and there is no denying that Brooke Davis underwent one of the most incredible character developments on the show. Bush was, of course, gorgeous yet hilarious and smart and those qualities combined brought a strength to the character and the entire series that was very much needed. One Tree Hill fans are intensely passionate, but things would have been a lot different without Sophia Bush.
2. Sandra Oh – Grey’s Anatomy
When Grey’s Anatomy first began it automatically intrigued fans, and while a lot of stars have come and gone, there is one in particular whose absence has had a lasting effect on the show, and we aren’t talking about Patrick Dempsey’s McDreamy. While Ellen Pompeo was always the lead female character as Meredith Grey, it didn’t take long for Sandra Oh to steal the show. Christina Yang brought wit and humor to the show like no one else, and no one could have done it better than Sandra Oh. Grey’s Anatomy has now carried on for several seasons without Oh, but all fans will agree the series lost some of its magic when she departed.
1. Cole Sprouse – Riverdale
The CW was in desperate need of a new hit teen drama series, and it definitely found it with Riverdale. No one expected the success that the series was going to have, and although it is most certainly a popular show — the problems with it are obvious. The young and relatively unknown cast has brought to life the iconic Archie comics’ characters, and it is clear that some of the stars are stronger than others, and one thing that elevates the show is Cole Sprouse as Jughead Jones. There is no denying that Sprouse has the most experience out of the younger actors and his veteran abilities are so obvious that it wouldn’t be a stretch to say he carried the first season. Riverdale is entertaining and intriguing, but it would be a lot harder to bear without Sprouse.