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Great Team Players

By RD Heldenfels Published: December 12, 2005

I'm working on a list of great supporting performers on TV shows. Feel free to contribute in the comment section below. (Hello to everyone who has linked over from TV Tattle and from AVS Forum. And thanks to the Forum for recommending your participation here.)

Here are the rules. I'm not interested in lead characters, but supporting ones. So, if a show is called ''Everybody Hates Chris,'' don't suggest the guy who plays Chris.

I'm only interested in characters/actors on shows that premiered this year (for example, Neil Patrick Harris on ''How I Met Your Mother'') or brand-new characters in returning shows (example: Charisma Carpenter on ''Veronica Mars''). Although the people should work well in an ensemble, they get extra points if you're watching a show for them instead of for the lead. (My colleague Alan Sepinwall has an interesting take on that issue, which he calls Herskozwickitis.)

Among the people I've been thinking about are Terry Crews and Tichina Arnold, who play Chris's parents on  ''Everybody Hates Chris,'' Ethan Suplee and Jaime Pressly on ''My Name Is Earl,'' Harris, Jason Segel and Alyson Hannigan on ''How I Met Your Mother'' and Carpenter on ''Veronica Mars.'' Also, everyone on ''Kitchen Confidential'' except Bradley Cooper -- not that he's bad, just that he's the lead.

And yes, I know that there's a ''Buffy'' all-supporting squad there, with Hannigan, Carpenter and Nicholas Brendon from ''KC.'' You might even throw in David Boreanaz, who is very good on ''Bones,'' but is kind of a co-lead (prominently pictured in ''Bones'' promotional material). I'd give more consideration to Michaela Conlin, Eric Millegan and T.J. Thyne on the show.

You can either endorse some of those choices in your comments, or offer suggestions of your own. Please include why you're making your picks. I may then use some of your comments in the story -- duly credited, of course. You can also e-mail ideas to me at

Thanks in advance.

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