Fall TV preview 2018: 10 stars from Northeast Ohio in new and returning shows

September 9, 2018

Fall TV preview 2018: 10 stars from Northeast Ohio in new and returning shows

CLEVELAND, Ohio – Northeast Ohio will continue to be well-represented in new and returning network, cable and streaming shows airing throughout the 2018-19 television season. Here are just 10 of the people from the area playing major roles in shows you’ll be seeing this season.

Martin Mull, who grew up in North Ridgeville, co-stars with Vicki Lawrence, David Alan Grier and Leslie Jordan in “The Cool Kids,” the new Fox comedy set in a retirement community and premiering at 8:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 28, on WJW Channel 8. Mull’s many previous series credits include “Roseanne,” “Sabrina, The Teenage Witch” and the short-lived Fox comedy “Dads.” He also had the recurring role of pharmacist Russell on “Two and a Half Men” and appeared in episodes of “Community” and “Arrested Development.” TV viewers first got to know Mull as twins Garth and Barth Gimble on the syndicated shows “Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman” (1976-77), “Fernwood 2 Night” (1977) and “America 2-Night”′ (1978).

Terrence Howard, the Oscar nominee (for “Hustle & Flow”) who grew up in Cleveland, returns as Lucious Lyon, the scheming hip-hop mogul on “Empire,” the Fox drama co-created by executive producer Lee Daniels (director of “The Butler” and “Precious”). It begins its fifth season at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 26, on Channel 8. Spoiler alert: After years of fighting and feuding, cheating and double-dealing, Lucious and Cookie (Taraji P. Henson) reconciled with a romantic ceremony that ended the fourth season.

James Pickens Jr., the Cleveland native who played deputy FBI director Alvin Kersh on “The X-Files,” returns for a 15th season as Richard Webber on the incredibly durable ABC medical drama “Grey’s Anatomy.” No actor from Northeast Ohio has had a longer run on a scripted prime-time series, and Pickens is one of only four actors who has been on “Grey’s Anatomy” since its March 2005 premiere (the others are Ellen Pompeo, Chandra Wilson and Justin Chambers from Springfield, Ohio). The series returns at 8 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 27, on WEWS Channel 5.

Nick Gehlfuss, who grew up in Chesterland, begins operating on his fourth season as chief ER resident Will Halstead on the NBC medical drama “Chicago Med.” Set in the fictional Gaffney Chicago Medical Center, executive producer Dick Wolf’s series returns at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 26, on WKYC Channel 3.

Ed O’Neill, the Youngstown native who played Al Bundy on “Married . . . With Children,” begins his 10th and final season as patriarch Jay Pritchett on ABC’s “Modern Family” at 9 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 26, on Channel 5. Fred Willard, who grew up in Shaker Heights, makes regular appearances as ever-upbeat Frank, the father of Phil Dunphy (Ty Burrell).

Kathryn Hahn, who grew up in Cleveland Heights, is in the cast of “The Romanoffs,” the anthology series from writer-producer Matthew Weiner. It premieres Friday, Oct. 2, on Amazon. Hahn, who started performing at the Cleveland Play House when she was 9, played grief counselor Lily Lebowski for the 2001-07 run of NBC’s “Crossing Jordan.” She also co-starred with Hank Azaria (“The Simpsons”) in NBC’s short-lived 2011 comedy “Free Agents.” Her other series include Showtime’s “Happyish” and Amazon’s “I Love Dick.” She also has had recurring roles on NBC’s “Parks and Recreation” (as campaign manager Jennifer Barkley), HBO’s “Girls” and the Amazon series “Transparent.”

Vanessa Bell Calloway, a Toledo native who grew up in Cleveland, has top billing in “Saints & Sinners,” Bounce TV’s steamy mix of deceit, greed, corruption and murder. Set in a small Georgia town near Atlanta, the drama has not been officially renewed, but a fourth season is expected to begin in the spring because, well, this is Bounce TV’s best-performing show.

Carol Kane, the Cleveland native who won two Emmys for playing Simka on “Taxi,” is a regular on Netflix’s “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt,” which is expected to begin its fourth and final season in January.

Drew Carey, who grew up in Old Brooklyn and attended James Ford Rhodes High School, returns as the host of the long-running CBS daytime game show “The Price is Right” (airing at 11 a.m. on WOIO Channel 19). The comedian from Cleveland began his “Price is Right” stint in October 2007, succeeding longtime host Bob Barker.

Steve Harvey, who grew up in Cleveland, will return at midseason with his NBC reality show “Little Big Shots.” A class of 1974 Glenville High School graduate, Harvey also will continue as host of the daytime game show “Family Feud.” And his daytime talk show, the Los Angeles-based “Steve,” has jumped from Channel 5 to WUAB Channel 43, where it is airing at 4 p.m. weekdays.

The behind-the-camera Northeast Ohio connections include: Canton McKinley High School graduate and prolific “Star Trek” writer Brannon Braga (“Salem”) is an executive producer on both Fox’s “The Orville,” a comedy-drama sci-fi series returning at midseason, and “Cosmos: Possible Worlds,” starting at midseason. Executive producer LeBron James’ competition reality show, “The Wall,” returns with a third edition at midseason (he also has the unscripted HBO series “The Shop”); and the CW drama “Black Lightning,” an action series based on the DC superhero created by Cleveland native Tony Isabella, returns for a second season at 9 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 9.

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