Recurring roles are a strange beast in the television industry. By its very definition, a recurring role means that the character could appear in thirty episodes or three. It all depends on how popular or important the character turns out to be, and oftentimes that has a lot to do with the actor playing the role.
ABC has a drama series prepared for midseason entitled Zero Hour, starring ER's Anthony Edwards as the long-time editor of a skeptic magazine who finds himself wrapped up in one of the most compelling conspiracies in human history. Sounds like an intriguing concept, kind of similar to the Mel Gibson movie Conspiracy. Cast in a recurring role on the new show, Amy Irving will portray a seemingly innocent and ordinary mother who turns out to be something quite different.
A beloved philanthropist who married into money, she has deep connections to the community as a result of the charity she runs, but her true plans are both mysterious and dangerous. Also tapped for a recurring role on Zero Hour is Ken Leung, best known as the hotheaded and sarcastic Miles Straume introduced in the fourth season of ABC's Lost. He will play an enigmatic priest named Father Reggie who, in the spirit of most enigmatic priests in television and film, knows more than we are led to believe.
Over on ABC's medical drama Private Practice, Charlie Hofheimer has signed on for a recurring role as a father whose daughter goes missing from Seaside Wellness hospital. Hofheimer recently finished filming a couple of movie roles, one in Robert Luketic's Paranoia and the other in the independent production Orchard House.
Another recurring role that has been filled is on the new Cinemax drama Banshee, set in a small town in Pennsylvania's Amish country. The series, executive-produced by Alan Ball (True Blood, Six Feet Under), revolves around an ex-con and martial arts expert who poses as a murdered sheriff to mete out his own brand of justice while serving his own interests. Harrison Thomas (Locke & Key) will appear as Jason Hood, a young man who has some familial connection to the main character.
For my money, Seinfeld had the best recurring characters. Who are some of your favorites?