Women We Love on TV

It’s a big year for women on TV—especially for these 16 returning favorites who are tackling new series after long runs in previous hits.

Images loading...

Christina Applegate

Then: Married…with Children (1987-1997), Jessie (1998-2000), Samantha Who? (2007-2009).


Now: Plays a 40-something first-time mom and working woman on Up All Night, costarring Will Arnett and Maya Rudolph. 


Starts Sept. 14, NBC, 10 p.m.

Photo by: Colleen Hayes/NBC

Rachel Bilson

Then: The O.C. (2003-07).


Now: Plays a New York doctor who inherits a small-town practice from a mysterious benefactor in the CW’s Hart of Dixie.


Starts Sept. 26, CW, 9 p.m.

Photo by: Jordon Nuttall/The CW

Maria Bello

Then: ER (1997-98 season during its 1994-2009 run).


Now: Stars in this Americanized version of Prime Suspect, the award-winning U.K. crime series that won Helen Mirren two Emmy Awards.


Starts Sept. 22, NBC, 10 p.m. (same timeslot as ER)

Photo by: Gavin Bond/NBC

Connie Britton

Then: Friday Night Lights (2006-11)


Now: Stars with Dylan McDermott as a couple who buys a haunted house in American Horror Story.


Starts Oct. 5, FX

Photo by: Robert Zuckerman

Claire Danes

Then: My So-Called Life (1994-95, short lived but brilliant).


Now: Stars as a volatile CIA officer in the psychological thriller Homeland.


Starts Oct. 2, Showtime

Photo by: Kent Smith/Showtime

Sarah Michelle Gellar

Then: Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997-2003).


Now: Plays a witness to a crime who is hiding out as her twin sisters in Ringer.


Starts Sept. 13, CW, 9 p.m.

Photo by: Jordan Nuttall/The CW

Ginnifer Goodwin

Then: Big Love (2006-2011).


Now: Plays two roles—a storybook princess and a modern-day school teacher in Once Upon a Time.


Starts Oct. 23, ABC, 8 p.m.

Photo by: Kharen Hill/ABC

Minka Kelly

Then: Friday Night Lights (2006-09).


Now: She is one of Charlie’s angels in the new reboot of the 1970s action-detective series.


Starts Sept. 22, ABC, 8 p.m.

Photo by: Robert Zuckerman/ABC

Debra Messing

Then: Emmy winner for Will & Grace (1998-2006).


Now: In Smash, she plays a wife, mother and Broadway songwriter creating a musical based on the life of Marilyn Monroe.


Starts Feb. 6, NBC

Photo by: Will Hart/NBC

Poppy Montgomery

Then: Without a Trace (2002-09).


Now: Stars in Unforgettable as a former cop with the gift of total recall who is recruited to help the NYPD.


Starts Sept. 20, CBS, 10 p.m.

Photo by: Robert Ascroft/CBS

Jennifer Morrison

Then: House (2004-2010).


Now: Plays a woman with a troubled past in the dark fantasy, Once Upon a Time.


Starts Oct. 23, ABC, 8 p.m.

Photo by: Kharen Hill/ABC

Rosie O’Donnell

Then: The Rosie O’Donnell Show (1996-2002).


Now: The one-time Queen of Nice stars in a new talkathon, The Rosie Show.


Starts Oct. 10, OWN

Photo by Robert Trachtenberg and courtesy of OWN

Laura Prepon

Then: That ‘70s Show (1998-2006).


Now: Plays the title character in Are You There, Vodka? It’s Me, Chelsea (based on the Chelsea Handler’s bestseller (while the late-night talk-show host plays her own sister).


Starts mid-season, NBC

Photo by: Mitchell Haaseth/NBC

Jaime Pressly

Big Hit: Emmy winner for My Name Is Earl.


Now: In I Hate My Teenage Daughter, she plays a mom who realizes the daughter she raised is a mean girl, just like the ones who tormented her in high school.


Starts Nov. 30, Fox, 9:30 p.m.

Photo by: Frank Micelotta/FOX

Nancy Travis

Then: Becker (2002-2004).


Now: Plays Tim Allen’s hard-working wife in Last Man Standing.


Starts Oct. 11, ABC, 8 p.m.

Photo by: Craig Sjodin/ABC

Emily VanCamp

Then: Everwood (2002-06); Brothers & Sisters (2007-10).


Now: She seeks Revenge among the elite in the Hamptons.


Starts Sept. 21, ABC, 10 p.m.


Related: 20 TV Shows to Watch this Fall


Don’t miss out on MORE great stories like this one. Click here to sign up for our weekly newsletter!

Photo by: Craig Sjodin/ABC

First Published September 22, 2011

Share Your Thoughts!


Post new comment

Click to add a comment
Member Voices
Shoes & Accessories
Woman of Style and Substance
Swim & Lingerie