Fall 2016 TV Rookies To Watch

It’s day two of Back To TV Week, and just like Back To School week, there are plenty of new and wonderful people to meet! After a few lean years, the 2016 fall tv schedule is jam-packed with new series that we can’t wait to watch – and although tv will always have a bit of gimmicky stunt casting, many of this year’s most anticipated shows star relative newcomers and unknowns. Our picks for the fall 2016 TV rookies to watch include some actors who are almost brand-new to the industry and others who have been around for decades. They all have one thing in common: none has household name recognition right now, but they’re all talented and poised for success – our predictions for the rookies of the year.

Chrissy Metz {This Is Us}


Previous Work: American Horror Story, Huge, My Name Is Earl, Entourage

Why You Should Watch Her: Chrissy’s character Kate is going into her 36th birthday not in the best of spirits, as she’s plagued by doubts of self-esteem, appearance and a general ‘what the fuck am I doing with my life’ feeling. AKA what everyone feels. Chrissy plays the part with honesty and a genuine spirit that makes your heart break for her, and root for her success as the show goes on.

When You Can Watch Her: Tuesday, September 20th @ 10pm on NBC

Kylie Bunbury {Pitch}


Previous Work: Under the Dome, Tut, Twisted, The Sitter

Why You Should Watch Her: There’s a lot of weight on your shoulders if you’re the first female pitcher in the MLB. But there’s also a lot of weight on your shoulders if you play the first female pitcher in the MLB on TV. Kylie not only had to zero in on her baseball skills, but give depth to her performance outside of the mound, and it looks like she’s doing just that.

When You Can Watch Her: Thursday, September 22nd @ 9pm on FOX

D’Arcy Carden {The Good Place}


Previous Work: Broad City, Comedy Bang! Bang!, Inside Amy Schumer, CollegeHumor videos, The To-Do List, UCB, Twitter

Why You Should Watch Her: She is funny. She’s a UCB performer who I know of because of her hilarious tweets and random podcast appearances, like on the Gilmore Guys. For some reason, if someone like D’Arcy or Ben Schwartz or DC Pierson (all Internet folk who I’ve seen at UCB), get a great gig in a movie or major TV show, I root for them as if we’re friends. We’ve never met. She has no idea who I am. I just know I’ve laughed at her, and in the good way. And The Good Place is a very good place to start.

When You Can Watch Her: Monday, September 19th @10pm on NBC

Micah Fowler {Speechless}


Previous Work: Labor Day

Why You Should Watch Him: Hollywood doesn’t have a great track record for developing complex, layered characters who have disabilities – and it has an even worse track record for casting actors with disabilities to play those characters. Yet Speechless includes both a ‘Wednesday ABC sitcom’ premise (Minnie Driver plays the mom of a family moving from a middle-class area to a tonier town), and a character, JJ, who has cerebral palsy and is nonverbal. Based on the trailers and pilot reviews, Fowler, who has cerebral palsy himself, plays JJ with a lot of warmth and enthusiasm – no simple acting gig for an 18-year-old in his breakout role.

When You Can Watch Him: Wednesday, September 21 @ 8:30pm on ABC

Brian Tyree Henry {Atlanta}


Previous Work: Vice Principals, The Knick, Boardwalk Empire

Why You Should Watch Him: If the three names didn’t tip you off, Brian Tyree Henry comes to the tv world by way of Broadway (The Book of Mormon) – and that’s after earning an MFA from Yale. In his off time, Henry likes to collect pins – so he’s adorable, too. You would expect someone playing a rapper to be well-versed in hip hop, it’s still a lot of fun to see him discuss the genre. We always have a soft spot for Broadway actors, but something tells us we won’t be the only ones talking about Brian Tyree Henry in a few weeks.

When You Can Watch Him: Tuesday, September 6 @ 10pm on FX

Pamela Adlon {Better Things}


Previous Work: Louie, Californication,

Why You Should Watch Her: Pamela Adlon is very much NOT a TV Rookie – except, as we discussed above, we think this role may mark a turning point in her public career. 90s kids will know Pamela’s voice from Recess (Spinelli), King of the Hill (Bobby) and Pepper Ann (Moose), and comedy fans will recognize her from Louie, where she’s proven to be a natural at the understated, non-hammy genre of offbeat sitcoms. Like Louie – on which Adlon was a recurring character and consulting producer – Better Things is loose, observant and semi-autographical (Adlon is also a creator and executive producer on the project).

When You Can Watch Her: Thursday, September 8 @ 10pm on FX