My prediction for the fall 2011 season: record-breaking heat, with a 100% chance of sexy. Well, on TV anyway. See, even as the weather begins to cool down, the small screen will be heating up as a mixture of hotties both established and up-and-coming will grace our TV sets in the quickly-approaching crop of fall shows.
From fairytale princes and teenage witches to supernatural hunters and ‘60s playboys, this fall season offers up a titillating assortment of hunky new characters – all of them brought to life by a group of fetching performers who will no doubt have us drooling at our TV screens come September. Below I’ve compiled a list of 12 to get your tongues wagging.
Note: The 2011 fall season is also lamentably short on performers of color, which is sadly reflected in the following list. Nevertheless, while only three of the twelve actors I highlight below belong to a racial minority, that still surely represents a far better percentage than what you’ll see on TV this fall.
Joshua Bowman, Revenge (ABC)
Former rugby player Joshua Bowman would be a stone-cold hunk no matter what profession he chose, but luckily for us he turned to acting, recently catching our attention with his role as bisexual rugby player Max on ABC Family’s Make It Or Break It.
Now the dark-haired British thesp is turning up in this fall’s new ABC series Revenge as Daniel Grayson, the unsuspecting boyfriend of vindictive Hamptons hell-raiser Emily Thorne (Emily VanCamp).
Though he unfortunately won’t be playing a bisexual character this time around, we have it on good authority that a (possibly) gay, Tom Ripley-esque friend of Daniel’s will be showing up later in the season. In other words, keep your fingers crossed for another man-on-man liplock.
Eddie Cibrian, The Playboy Club (NBC)
Best known for his roles on shows like Sunset Beach, Third Watch, and Invasion, dimpled hottie Eddie Cibrian is best remembered by GLBT audiences for his role as secretly-gay beefcake Rock in the cult film But I’m a Cheerleader.
Unlike that character, you probably won’t be seeing the actor donning cut-off jean shorts in this fall’s The Playboy Club, but nevertheless he’ll be getting plenty of screen time in his role as ‘60s D.A. hopeful Nick Dalton.
As such, he should provide a stimulating alternative for gay viewers looking for a little man candy to balance out all the breasts and bunny tails.
Joshua Dallas, Once Upon a Time (ABC)
Though he hasn’t been around for long, Indiana native Joshua Dallas is rising quickly through the ranks of mythical characters, both with his role as Fandral in this year’s Thor and now as Prince Charming in ABC’s Once Upon a Time.
With his reddish-brown hair, stunning green eyes and chiseled features, Dallas is a perfect embodiment of the fairytale character, who here has been banished from his own mythical land to the town of Storybrooke, Maine by an Evil Queen.
Along with the rest of his fairytale companions he’s also been afflicted with amnesia, so look for plenty of adorable looks of puzzlement going forward.
Thomas Dekker, The Secret Circle (CW)
With his androgynous good looks and soft-spoken demeanor, it seemed inevitable that Thomas Dekker would eventually be questioned by the press about his sexuality.
The actor’s coy answers on the subject in the past have given him an air of mystery that make him perfect for his latest role as male witch Adam Conant in the new CW series The Secret Circle.
If the show proves a hit on the order of, say, The Vampire Diaries, the former Sarah Connor Chronicles star could very well receive his biggest career boost to date. In any case, his emo-boy persona will doubtless win the hearts of young girls and boys across the country.
David Giuntoli, Grimm (NBC)
Yes, David Giuntoli appeared on Road Rules way back in 2003, but he’s since transcended the label of “reality star” to become a bona fide actor. And thank god for that – the dark-haired hunk is definitely easy on the eyes, so I for one am happy to see him working. (Note: he memorably guest-starred as the boyfriend of a gay soldier in a 2008 episode of Grey’s Anatomy).
This fall he landed the coveted lead in the new NBC series Grimm, in which he plays homicide detective Nick Burkhardt, who discovers that he descends from a long line of hunters tasked with fighting evil supernatural forces.
Mido Hamada, Terra Nova (FOX)
Last seen on television as terrorist Samir Mehran on Fox’s 24, this fall the alluring Mido Hamada is back on the network in the heavily-hyped sci-fi series Terra Nova. Here Hamada plays Guzman, the security head of a time-traveling colony that’s established 85 million years in the past in order to escape a “present” (2149, specifically) where human beings are threatened with extinction.
The German-Egyptian actor’s unabashed Middle Eastern looks have of course led to him being cast as a succession of villains in American TV and film projects, but thankfully Terra Nova won’t see his character planning any dirty bomb attacks in NYC (at least as far as we know).
Honestly, I’d much rather see the handsome thesp bathing in lagoons or fighting off dinosaurs.
Steve Jones, The X Factor (FOX)
Standing at 6’2”, with chiseled leading-man features and dark hair, former model Steve Jones is definitely in the Rock Hudson mold of male sex symbols.
The Wales-born British TV personality appeared as the presenter of Channel 4’s weekend entertainment series T4 for seven years, before landing high-profile hosting duties on the upcoming U.S. version of The X Factor.
If the hype pays off for the reality competition show, expect Jones to ride the wave of its success and position himself as the next breakout TV host. It’s an eventuality that would no doubt leave Ryan Seacrest is shaking in his designer boots.
Dylan McDermott, American Horror Story (FX)
I never much thought about Dylan McDermott during his days on ABC’s The Practice, which I saw as just another humdrum network legal drama. And then I saw him – a lot of him, if you catch my drift – in the pilot for the new FX series American Horror Story, and all of that changed. I am now unequivocally a fan of Dylan McDermott.
The Ryan Murphy-created show stars the actor as Ben Harmon, a husband and father who moves with his wife and daughter to Los Angeles from the East Coast after an extramarital affair threatens to break the family apart.
Unfortunately, the old Victorian house they move into has plans of its own – one of which apparently involves stealing McDermott’s clothing on a regular basis. Not that I’m complaining.
Anson Mount, Hell on Wheels (AMC)
First gaining major notice as the male lead in the critically-panned 2001 Britney Spears vehicle Crossroads, dark-haired Southern boy Anson Mount has since moved on to relatively more prestigious fare.
Scoring perhaps his biggest career coup to date, the actors snagged the lead role in this fall’s AMC western Hell on Wheels as Cullen Bohannon, a former Confederate soldier hunting down the Union men who raped and killed his wife.
While it looks as if Mount’s beautifully open face will be covered by a scruffy beard at least in the early going, the look actually suits the actor well, giving him a rough edge we haven’t seen so much in his previous roles. Of course, no “modern” Western is complete without some sort of outdoor nude bathing scene, so keep your fingers crossed that the series follows through.
Ramon Rodriguez, Charlie’s Angels (ABC)
The sole Latino on the list, Puerto Rican-born Ramon Rodriguez stars as the new John Bosley on ABC’s reboot of Charlie’s Angels. While David Doyle was no doubt a memorable part of the original series, in the “looks-good-stepping-out-of-a-pool” sense Rodriguez undeniably gives him a run for his money.
But it’s also nice to have the role filled by a minority actor, a pretty rare phenomenon in a fall TV season that’s about as lily-white as they come.
His inclusion can also be viewed as an intentional lure to pull in gay male audiences, both for his obvious physical attributes and due to his previous role as Omar’s boyfriend Renaldo in the critically-acclaimed HBO series The Wire. Not a bad strategy, at that.
Henry Simmons, Man Up! (ABC)
NYPD Blue fans have probably already seen Henry Simmons naked (he played Detective Baldwin Jones for five seasons of the show), and in the new NBC comedy Man Up! they’ll be happy to know that he continues the skin-baring trend.
Playing Grant, Simmons’ character is essentially every man’s worst nightmare – the Adonis-like new boyfriend who never misses an opportunity to show off his perfect physique.
In other words, expect to see Simmons shirtless in the very first episode.
Believe me, his gym-perfected bod ranks right up there with Old Spice guy Isaiah Mustafa. In fact, with his talk show-host vocal cadence and rock-hard abs, his performance may just be inspired by the legendary cologne pitchman.
Patrick Wilson, A Gifted Man (CBS)
Best known for his roles in high-profile films like Little Children, and Watchmen, Patrick Wilson actually began his career as a lead actor in several Broadway musicals. He also captured the attention of TV audiences in 2003 when he starred as sexually-confused Mormon lawyer Joe Pitt in the acclaimed HBO miniseries Angels in America.
Now Wilson has his first series regular role on television with CBS’ A Gifted Man, which sees the hunky actor starring as Michael Holt, a wealthy, self-absorbed New York plastic surgeon. After being visited by the ghost of his ex-wife, he then goes on a journey to become a better person.
Whether the series will venture too far into weepy Ghost Whisperer territory remains to be seen, but the gorgeous and talented Wilson is at least reason enough to give it a try.