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Posted on Wed, Feb 6, 2013 : 10:38 a.m.

Lots of U-M grads showing up on prime time TV this season

By Jenn McKee


Lucy Liu


Those who dabble in Wolverine-spotting—that is, taking note of University of Michigan grads who appear in recurring roles on prime time television shows—have had lots to chew on lately.

Looking beyond the obvious, marquee stars - "Elementary"'s Lucy Liu and "Glee"'s Darren Criss—here's a current snapshot of U-M grads now appearing on television dramas and comedies. (And if we've missed one, please add your contribution in the comments.)

Jon Glaser, "Parks and Recreation": Slimy Pawnee dentist and Councilman Jeremy Jamm, Amy Poehler's new arch nemesis, makes deals behind the scenes, then doesn't see them through and uses the tagline, "You just got Jammed!" Glaser also appeared regularly in sketches on "Late Night with Conan O'Brien."

Hunter Foster, "Bunheads": This Tony Award nominated star of "Little Shop of Horrors" as well as "Urinetown" on Broadway plays brother to, you guessed it, his real-life sister, two-time Tony Award winning star of "Thoroughly Modern Millie" and "Anything Goes," Sutton Foster, on this show about a Vegas showgirl who ends up teaching dance classes in a small town.

Matt Letscher, "The Carrie Diaries": Letscher, who got his start at Chelsea's Purple Rose Theatre, plays Tom Bradshaw, who's trying to raise young Carrie and her sister on his own, after the death of their mother.

Brian Letscher, "Scandal": Matt's brother, who got an economics degree from, and played football for, the University of Michigan, plays Tom, a secret service agent.

Christine Lahti, "Hawaii Five-O": Lahti plays Doris McGarrett, who abandoned her family years ago in order to protect them, and then showed up on her son's doorstep at the end of last season.

Miriam Shor, "The Good Wife": This past fall, Shor appeared in a multiple-episode arc playing a Chicago-based journalist with info about Alicia's affair.

Bernardo de Paula, "Shameless": De Paula plays Beto, a druglord's henchman.

Barrett Foa, "NCIS: Los Angeles": Foa plays Eric Beale, a geeky NCIS technical operator and intelligence analyst who likes surfing and social networks.

Yuri Sardarov, "Chicago Fire": Sardarov plays a firefighter named Otis, who's often the comic relief.

Andy Mientus, "Smash": Mientus plays Kyle, "a poor kid from Brooklyn with dreams of writing for Broadway." He's best friends with Jimmy, another new character, played by 2012 Tony Award nominee Jeremy Jordan ("Newsies"). A sneak peek at Mientus' first appearance on the show is online. (Of course, as recently noted, "Smash" will also be using some songs written by U-M grads Benj Pasek and Justin Paul this season.)

Jenn McKee is the entertainment digital journalist for Reach her at or 734-623-2546, and follow her on Twitter @jennmckee.


Jenn McKee

Thu, Feb 7, 2013 : 2:01 p.m.

For those who saw U-M grad Brynn O'Malley on the "Smash" season premiere this week - she's also currently starring in "Annie" on Broadway - and wondered if there are plans for her to be on more episodes this season, her response to my Facebook inquiry was: "Not as of yet. But you never know!"

Jenn McKee

Thu, Feb 7, 2013 : 5:04 p.m.

No, you're right. After we posted about Benj Paul and Justin Pasek having a song featured on the "Smash" season premiere, I learned O'Malley being featured on the episode, too, and added a note for that story in the comments. O'Malley is, in fact, a Saline native.


Thu, Feb 7, 2013 : 4:51 p.m.

Wasn't there something on here yesterday stating that Brynn was from Saline? I can't seem to find that info now. Or was is just ARM - Attack of Random Memory?


Thu, Feb 7, 2013 : 12:02 p.m.

Selma Blair - Anger Management with Charley Sheen!

Jenn McKee

Thu, Feb 7, 2013 : 2:05 p.m.

Ah - thanks! I did not know Blair was a U-M grad. Thanks for contributing this.


Thu, Feb 7, 2013 : 12:13 a.m.

And then there is Ann Coulter, ever on FOX news during prime time, to the everlasting shame of our law school.


Thu, Feb 7, 2013 : 12:49 a.m.

Really? Ugh. Gross.


Wed, Feb 6, 2013 : 9:06 p.m.

And while he isn't in front of the camera, a new series based on UM grad Dr. Sanjay Gupta's book Monday Mornings has premiered recently on TNT.

Pete Cunningham

Wed, Feb 6, 2013 : 8:05 p.m.

Do yourself a favor and check out Glaser's hilarious Adult Swim series, "Delocated." You will not be disappointed, and if you are...I am disappointed.

Jenn McKee

Thu, Feb 7, 2013 : 4:16 a.m.

I admit to being unfamiliar with the show, but you're the second person now who's pointed me in its direction. I'll have to check it out! He's absolutely perfect for the "Parks and Rec" role.


Wed, Feb 6, 2013 : 7:54 p.m.

Don't forget the Monday night reality show "Ann Arbor City Hall Meeting" staring UM graduates Stephen Kunselman and Christopher Taylor. Its always a real scream.


Thu, Feb 7, 2013 : 1:42 p.m.

A subtle joke right? Meaning City Council is anything but a theatrical show, and the CTN Monday Night broadcast of the City Council meeting with UM talent is not even close to be being considered entertainment. Not a joke? Whoa ! Got it. Okeydokey. Going back to my little spaceship now. My deepest apologies for poking fun at government and the commercial sitcoms staffed by highly educated UM actors debasing the lesser humans stuck in a cruel, sarcastic society desperate for the escape opiate of television entertainment (besides City Hall).


Thu, Feb 7, 2013 : 12:17 a.m.

And this sarcasm isn't really necessary in an otherwise entertainment-based article...


Wed, Feb 6, 2013 : 8:15 p.m.

Unfortunately that show isn't fiction just a few bad reality show.

Jason Stoops

Wed, Feb 6, 2013 : 7:22 p.m.

You forgot to include Matt Oberg who was most recently on "30 Rock", and starred previously on Comedy Central's "Ugly Americans" and "The Onion Sportsdome".


Thu, Feb 7, 2013 : 12:15 a.m.

Matt Oberg is my comedy muse....he also is the new Macy's commercial "spokesman" in those commercials with the other celebrities...and he starred in that classic McDonald's Mccafe commercial where he and his hipster friend celebrate being able to wear his turtleneck again...

Kellie Woodhouse

Wed, Feb 6, 2013 : 5:35 p.m.

Being a Good Wife fan, I had no idea Miriam Shor was a U-M graduate. Very interesting!

Jenn McKee

Thu, Feb 7, 2013 : 4:12 a.m.

She's an early graduate of U-M's BFA program, I believe...