We didn't shed many tears during the series finale of the CBS sitcom "How I Met Your Mother," because we knew the show's ending came with a silver lining: star Neil Patrick Harris finally would have time for Broadway. ( Hedwig and the Angry Inch, with Harris in the title role, opens April 22.) And it's not just NPH who is leaving a career on the small screen for a stint on the Great White Way: "Breaking Bad" star Bryan Cranston ( All The Way), "Dexter" star Michael C. Hall ( The Realistic Joneses) and "Psych" star Dule Hill ( After Midnight) have all marked the end of their long-running TV shows by stepping onto Broadway stages. In fact, it's a career move we think would work just as well for these television stars, too.
Click through to see which TV stars we'd like to see come to the Broadway stage.
Cloris Leachman, "Raising Hope"
Though the octogenarian might not be the first veteran from the delightfully absurd, if low-rated, Fox comedy to hit Broadway following the show's end (we're guessing that will be Broadway staple Martha Plimpton), we'd still love for Leachman to make a return to Broadway, where she was last seen in 1959's Masquerade. As the dementia-riddled grandmother on "Raising Hope," the 87-year-old Leachman still proved she still has those comedic instincts. We could easily see her stealing the show in the style of Elaine Stritch in A Little Night Music. And just imagine the standing ovation Leachman would get as grandma Berthe in Pippin.
Alyson Hannigan, "How I Met Your Mother"
NPH isn't the only "How I Met Your Mother" alumnus who seems overdue for Broadway; Alyson Hannigan seems to have been preparing for this moment for years. We could see her headlining a show with another of her former HIMYM co-stars, Broadway alum Josh Radnor (The Graduate, She Loves Me). Don't you think they'd be perfect together in an Edward Albee comedy?
Kelly Rowland, "The X Factor"
We actually thought the former Destiny's Child was excellent on the "American Idol"-esque singing competition. It also made us think a Broadway turn wouldn't be a bad idea. And while a short run in the celebrity-heavy Beyond Midnight could show off her talent, we think a major role in a traditional musical is a better challenge. How about another all-black version of Hello, Dolly! After all, you need a diva to tackle "Before the Parade Passes By."
Margaret Cho, "Drop Dead Diva"
The comedian-turned-burlesque performer-turned actress hasn't been on a New York stage since 2007's The Sensuous Woman. With her otherworldly Lifetime comedy over — and a potential Tina Fey pilot on the horizon — why not stretch those acting chops on Broadway? And we're not just talking a David Henry Hwang revival, either — the playwright shouldn't be the only reason for bringing diversity to Broadway stages. Cho's got the perfect comedic timing, and the necessary insanity, to take on Christopher Durang.
David Duchovny, "Californication"
David Duchovny's sexaholic dramedy on Showtime just started its final season, and we'd love to see him return to the New York stage after it wraps. (He starred in in Neil Labute's The Break of Noon Off-Broadway in 2010.) In fact, we'd love to see him channel his pre-"X-Files" roots in something off-kilter. Remember when he played a crossdressing FBI agent in "Twin Peaks"? How about Ansel in that planned revival of Tracy Letts' Killer Joe?
|Photo by Joseph Marzullo/WENN|
Melissa Leo, "Treme"
Since winning an Academy Award for her ferocious turn in "The Fighter," Melissa Leo has continued on the path to EGOT status with an Emmy for her guest work on "Louie." And now that her work on David Simon's ode to New Orleans, "Treme," is over, Leo should head to the stage. She won a Drama Desk Award for Neil Labute's The Distance From Here and isn't shy about taking on complicated, emotional characters that garner awards nominations. She should challenge herself with a one-or-two character play like Samuel Beckett's mostly one-woman show Happy Days.
|Photo by Craig T. Mathew/Mathew Imaging|
Stephen Moyer, "True Blood"
Like the rest of the world, we only knew of the British actor as a brooding Southern vampire before his turn in last winter's The Sound of Music Live! on NBC. But now that we know Moyer has the vocal talent we want to see what else he can do with it. And what better timing? His long-running Gothic soap "True Blood" comes to an end this summer, just in time for the new Broadway season. He's perfect to replace the now departed Hugh Jackman in Stephen Schwartz‘s upcoming Houdini musical. Or how about another work by Rodgers and Hammerstein?
Jennifer Love Hewitt, "The Client List"
Were you a fan of Jennifer Love Hewitt's 2002 album BareNaked, too? Well, even if you weren't, you should know that the former cast member of "Party of Five" has a side career as a musician — which we totally think she should totally revisit in a Broadway musical. Think she's too old to play Eliza Doolittle?
Elijah Wood, "Wilfred"
It baffles us that, for some reason, Elijah Wood has not appeared on Broadway in anything other than the 24 Hour Plays benefit — not even during his days starring in films like "North" and "The Good Son." And now that his FX comedy "Wilfred" — the one where he speaks to his dog — is ending after its fourth season, why not rectify the error? He can even continue his interest in low-budget horror flicks by replacing Daniel Radcliffe in The Cripple of Inishmaan. If it's good enough for Harry Potter, it should be good enough for Frodo Baggins!
Sandra Oh, "Grey's Anatomy"
Even during her 10-year run on the ABC drama "Grey's Anatomy" — she's leaving after this season — Sandra Oh managed to sneak off to New York and garner a Drama Desk Award nomination for her 2007 role in Diana Son's Satellites. We can't wait to welcome her back to the stage now that her television commitment is over. Her acerbic wit is perfect for the next Shakespeare revival; she would make a killer Kate or Beatrice.
Danny McBride, "Eastbound and Down"
Nothing about Kenny Powers screams "Broadway." But herein lies the genius in putting Danny McBride on stage following his run in the HBO baseball comedy "Eastbound and Down": His un-PC characters are the perfect basis for the next Neil LaBute antihero. Already a consummate scene stealer ("Pineapple Express," "This is the End"), McBride's unexpected Broadway debut could easily become the talk of the town.