17 Famous Actors Will Be Testing Their Luck On New TV Pilots This Year

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TV pilot season has begun! The casting is done and now filming is already underway for dozens of new shows that are desperate to make it onto the fall TV schedule. 

And what’s the best way to get a show recognised and sold to a network? 

By casting already famous actors, of course! 

From those who have only set foot on a TV set for a few short guest stints (Cuba Gooding Jr.) to those who are celebrated veterans of the small screen (Susan Lucci, John Stamos), these successful actors will be gracing your television sets starting in August.

Some of the shows are fairly ridiculous, but many have us invested already. 

Kevin Bacon

Other than guest starring on a few episodes of the 'Guiding Light' soap opera, Bacon has never graced the small screen in a large, starring role--until now.

Logline: A new thriller about an ex-FBI agent, Ryan Hardy (Bacon), who leads the search to catch a diabolical serial killer, Joe Carroll (James Purefoy), who has created a cult of serial killers.

colour us intrigued.

Reba McEntire

Reba McEntire's new show 'Malibu County' sounds... almost exactly like her old show.

Logline: After her 'good 'ol boy' rock star husband cheats on her and burns through most of their money, Reba divorces him and moves her three kids and mum from Nashville to the only asset they have left--a little house in Malibu.

There she'll try to reignite her own singing career and keep herself and her three kids from being corrupted by the materialistic and rarefied Malibu world she now calls home.

The show also stars Lily Tomlin who is a staple on TV with roles in 'Desperate Housewives', 'Damages' and 'The Magic School Bus' where she voiced the one and only Mrs. Frizzle.

Kal Penn

David Arquette

David Arquette comes to television on a show where the real-life bachelor is surrounded by women.

His pilot 'The Smart One' also stars 'Arrested Development' actress and Ellen DeGeneres' other half Portia de Rossi. If the show is half as good as 'Development,' Arquette and de Rossi should have a cult hit on their hands.

Logline: A brilliant and successful woman (de Rossi) who begrudgingly goes to work for her less-brainy but more popular sister--a former beauty queen, weather girl and now big-city mayor.

Mandy Moore

The popstar who lent her voice to Disney's 'Tangled' is coming to TV in a new show as one half of a couple.

Moore's co-star also has some great acting cred: 'The West Wing' star Stockard Channing.

Logline: Newlyweds Annie (Moore) and Ben get the opportunity of a lifetime to run a hip, new restaurant in Annie's hometown bringing her closer to her needy and high-maintenance family.

Susan Lucci

Soap opera's queen bee is making her way to Primetime... with a soap. The show is called 'Devious Maids.'

Logline: Based on the Mexican format, this soap follows four maids with ambition and dreams of their own while they work for the rich and famous in Beverly Hills.

Lucy Liu

Lucy Liu has broken barriers by playing the first Asian crime fighter in 'Charlie's Angels.'

Now she'll break another stereotype by playing Dr. Watson in 'Elementary,' the American TV-remake of the Sherlock Holmes series.

The iconic Holmes will be played by 'Trainspotting' and 'Eli Stone' star Jonny Lee Miller.

Logline: A modern take on the cases of Sherlock Holmes, with the famed detective now living in New York City.

Dennis Quaid

The star of 'The Day After Tomorrow' and 'The Parent Trap' will don some 60s attire in this new period piece that will undoubtedly try to attempt 'Man Men'-esque success.

Logline: Period piece set in the 1960s centered on the true story of Ralph Lamb--rodeo cowboy turned longtime Sheriff of Las Vegas.

The show has no title but also stars 'The Matrix' heroine Carrie-Ann Moss and 'The Shield' star Michael Chiklis.

Roseanne Barr

She made magic once before with 'Roseanne' and she's trying it again with another working class comedy 'Downwardly Mobile.'

And just so we get the full effect of 'Roseanne' deja-vu, the show also stars Roseanne's co-star John Goodman.

Logline: The proprietor of a mobile home park serves as a surrogate mother to all the unique people who live there in a challenging economy.

Martin Lawrence

Lawrence created and stars in this new untitled comedy which has only one other actor attached (excluding himself), P.J. Byrne from 'Horrible Bosses.'

Logline: Lawrence stars as a widowed father of two teenagers who, after losing his job in construction, decides to go to the police academy and become a cop at the age of 46.

Dane Cook

Taking a page out of his comic rival Louis C.K., Dane Cook will be stepping into the TV spotlight this fall. But unlike C.K., Cook will be starring in the sitcom 'Next Caller Please' which is set in a satellite radio station.

Logline: A gender comedy revolving around a brash alpha male DJ and his feminist co-host set in the office of a satellite radio station.

Wonder who's playing that 'brash alpha male DJ.'

Freddie Prinze Jr.

Even though he hasn't been seen much since his 'She's All That' romantic comedy days, Sarah Michelle Gellar's husband Freddie Prinze Jr. will be starring in a new comedy alongside 'American Pie' star Mena Suvari.

Logline: A shy and focused woman leans on her co-workers in a bid to come out of her shell and plot revenge after being dumped by her fiancé.

Phylicia Rashad

She might always be known has Claire Huxtable from 'The Cosby Show' but Phylicia Rashad is looking to make another splash in TV with 'Do No Harm', a new drama that has hints of 'Jekyll and Hyde' in its summary.

Logline: A brilliant neurosurgeon wrestles with his dangerous alter-ego that threatens to wreak havoc on his personal and processional life.

Julia Stiles

She made a real impression playing the rape victim turned revenge-obsessed killer Lumen on 'Dexter' and now Julia Stiles is looking to make some TV magic in her own show.

She stars in the FBI procedural-with-a-twist drama 'Midnight Sun.'

Logline: A thriller in which a female FBI cult specialist begins to investigate the mysterious disappearance of a group commune in Alaska who uncovers a larger conspiracy in the process. Based on an Israeli format.

John Stamos

After hanging up his leather jacket as Uncle Jesse in 'Full House,' it seemed as if John Stamos would never find another great TV character again... until he did a stint on 'E.R.' (and a less memorable one on 'Glee').

Now that his doctor's coat is done, Stamos is back in a starring role and in a comedy called 'Little Brother.'

Logline: A man learns he has a half-brother who happens to be an ex-con.

Cuba Gooding Jr.

Hopefully Cuba Gooding Jr.'s new TV show won't be as terrible as his many movie choices. The Oscar-winning star of 'Jerry Maguire' is co-starring in a new legal drama 'Guilty.'

We have to admit, it sounds pretty fascinating.

Logline: centres on a smart and ethically questionable defence attorney who uses his unique methods to solve cases he's been banned from handling after he's stripped of his licence to practice law after being falsely convicted of fraud.

Donald Sutherland

His son Keifer has had his moment on television with '24' (and may have another one with Fox's new drama 'Touch') so now it's time for his dear old dad to get a turn.

Even though he might be a bit busy playing the villain President Snow in 'The Hunger Games' movies, Donald Sutherland is co-starring in a new comedy 'Living Loaded.'

Logline: A partying blogger is forced to change career plans when he becomes a radio host.

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