You’d think that fronting a new TV show with a well known cast would equal a hit. Especially in the sci-fi sector. There are a few actors who are rolled out for several shows, the most obvious is Summer Glau. However, if the show behind them isn’t great then people will still switch off. 666 Park Avenue is the latest example of that. With an all star cast including Terry O’Quinn (Lost), Vanessa Williams (Desperate Housewives), Dave Annable (Brothers & Sisters) and Rachel Taylor (Charlies Angels, Grey’s Anatomy) the show just couldn’t rake in the viewers. Even the daughter of the most incredible actress of our time (Mamie Gummer, daughter of Meryl Streep) can’t keep a show on TV (Emily Owens M.D.).
Looking at the recent successes, pepper a show with a few familiar faces seems to be more than enough to drawer in enough viewers to give the show a chance. Lost, Heroes, Arrow, Revenge, Once Upon a Time to name but a few of past and present have all worked, resulting in a large hit ensamble cast.
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I agree with you. I think the odd star helps a show purely to bring in viewers to watch the pilot. Sadly there are many people that won't even glance at a show unless it has someone they are remotely interested in seeing in it.
Saying that an all star cast is anathema to the success of a show is the wrong conclusion to draw. The key to success is good writing. Besides there are many successful shows with well known stars. 666 Park Ave has poor writing. American Horror Story (already green lit for season three) has good writing and an all star cast.