Fall's familiar faces and TV newcomers, including Kevin James, Issa Rae and others

A rundown of some of the familiar, and new, faces for the fall TV season.

Sarah Jessica Parker

Where you last saw her: As a Vogue editor mentoring Kurt (and occasionally singing) in the fourth season of “Glee,” along with the little-seen rom-com “All Roads Lead to Rome.”  

Where you recognize her: From the boundary-pushing hit HBO series “Sex and the City,” which grew progressively less revolutionary over six seasons and two subsequent movies.

Where she is now: Back on HBO with the dark comedy “Divorce” (Oct. 9), created by Sharon Horgan, Emmy-nominated co-creator of Amazon’s “Catastrophe.”

Kevin James

Where you last saw him: In theaters as a bumbling mall cop or somewhere else in a relative orbit to Adam Sandler, probably.

Where you recognize him: As blue-collar New Yorker Doug Heffernan in the CBS sitcom “King of Queens,” which aired for nine seasons dating back to 1998.

Where he is now: Back where he started with “Kevin Can Wait” (Sept. 19), another New York-set CBS sitcom that features James as a retired cop and family man. 

Kiefer Sutherland

Where you last saw him: Releasing the capable country-rock album “Down in a Hole,” which does not include a cover of the Alice in Chains song.

Where you recognize him: From his adventures saving a post-Sept. 11 world as Special Agent Jack Bauer on the Fox warhorse “24,” which included the 2014 relaunch, “24: Live Another Day.”

Where he is now: Reluctantly leading the free world in the ABC drama  “Designated Survivor” (Sept. 21), which finds Sutherland as a Cabinet member promoted to president after a terrorist attack wipes out the government.

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Matt LeBlanc

Where you last saw him: As “himself” in the Showtime showbiz satire “Episodes,” which ends after five seasons in 2017 and has netted him four Emmy nominations.

Where you recognize him:  From the pop-culture devouring ’90s NBC sitcom “Friends,” which  has ascended to nearly unmatched stature as streamable comfort food for a new generation.

Where he is now: On the CBS family sitcom “Man With a Plan” (Oct. 24) as a contractor who switches to childcare duty after his wife (Liza Snyder) returns to work. 

Damon Wayans

Where you last saw him: Possibly as the father to real-life son Damon Wayans Jr. in an episode of “Happy Endings” in 2011, or in 2000’s ABC sitcom “My Wife and Kids,” 

Where you recognize him: As one of the driving forces behind the revolutionary ’90s sketch comedy series “In Living Color” or a variety of movies since, including the 1991 outsized buddy-cop action-comedy “The Last Boy Scout.”

Where he is now: In the Fox reboot of the outsized ’80s buddy-cop franchise “Lethal Weapon” (Sept. 21) now as the “getting too old for this” half of the equation, Roger Murtaugh. And yes, if seeing Danny Glover say those words rings a bell, the same goes for you.

NEW FACES

Micah Fowler 

Where you can see him: As a non-verbal teenager with cerebral palsy in the ABC family comedy “Speechless” (Sept. 21), which was created by Scott Silveri of “Friends” and co-stars Minnie Driver.

Where you may have seen him: He made his film debut in the 2013 film “Labor Day,” written and directed by Jason Reitman.

Why he matters: Because precious few  TV shows have acknowledged or meaningfully addressed the stories of people with disabilities outside of “Glee” or “Life Goes On,” and that’s not enough.

See the most-read stories in Entertainment this hour »

Kylie Bunbury

Where you can see her: As the first female athlete to break into Major League Baseball in the Fox drama “Pitch” (Sept. 22). Guess which position she plays?

Where you may have seen her: Possibly CBS’ Stephen King adaptation “Under the Dome,” or the ABC Family thriller “Twisted.”

Why she matters: Because despite the uneven track record for sports shows on TV, “Pitch” is generating a fair amount of buzz, particularly for Bunbury’s performance.

Tori Anderson

Where you can see her: Trying to decide whether a free-spirited man she meets is crazy or correct when he says the apocalypse is coming in “No Tomorrow” on the CW (Oct. 4).

Where you may have seen her: If you’re also Canadian, short-lived north-of-the-border shows such as “Killjoys” and “MsLabelled” or the Nickelodeon fantasy series “The Other Kingdom.”

Why she matters: Because an hour-long romantic comedy about the end of the world isn’t conventional, but neither was the CW’s “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.” This has a similar oddball charm.

Clayne Crawford

Where you can see him: As a mullet-free and far less manic version of Mel Gibson’s Martin Riggs on the Fox reboot of “Lethal Weapon.”

Where you may have seen him: Crawford has portrayed bad guys in “24” and “Justified” as well as Teddy on the low-key Sundance drama “Rectify.”

Why he matters: Because for all its action movie bluster, “Lethal Weapon” depends on Crawford as a more haunted, grief-stricken Riggs than the original. And he can pull it off.

Issa Rae 

Where you can see her: Starring in the HBO comedy “Insecure” (Oct. 9), which was co-created by Rae with TV veteran and former “Nightly Show” host Larry Wilmore.

Where you may have seen her: As the star and creator of the Web series “The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl,” which began in 2011 and also led to an essay collection of the same name.

Why she matters: Because the very funny “Awkward Black Girl” proved Rae’s voice deserves a larger platform. Plus, name how many TV comedies center on women of color. Go ahead, we’ll wait.

MORE:

With 'Insecure,' 'Loosely Exactly Nicole' and 'Atlanta,' young black stars are taking charge of their own destiny

Sarah Jessica Parker returns to HBO to mine laughs from 'Divorce'

'Speechless' hopes to be the new family comedy that gets people talking

chris.barton@latimes.com

Follow me over here @chrisbarton.

 

Copyright © 2016, Los Angeles Times

Sarah Jessica Parker

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