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    Deciding the TV fates of the fall season’s free agents

    The cast of “Nashville,” reimagined with the addition of Jack McBrayer (fifth from left).
    Photo illustration by Ryan Huddle/Globe Staff; Bob D’Amico/ABC
    The cast of “Nashville,” reimagined with the addition of Jack McBrayer (fifth from left).

    The bloodletting of the fall season has begun, with cancellation notices going out for some shows — including “The Mob Doctor,” “Last Resort,” “666 Park Avenue,” “Emily Owens, M.D.,” and “Boss” — as well as others that are calling it a day of their own accord, like “Fringe,” “Private Practice,” and “30 Rock.” These departures unleash a torrent of actors into the casting pool.

    Many are faces we’ve enjoyed over the years and will be excited to see in new projects next season. But while they wait to suss out their next moves, we did a little fantasy recasting of our own. While there are far too many free agents to reassign everybody we like, we want to keep these people on our TVs.


    Played for: “666 Park Avenue”


    Proposed trade: Given her deep bona fides playing both fairy tales and fabulous, gorgeous witches (see: “Ugly Betty,” “Desperate Housewives,” and her turn on Broadway in “Into the Woods”) our first inclination was to send the estimable Williams to tangle with the gang in Storybrooke on “Once Upon a Time.” But we like the idea of her moving just one time slot earlier to do battle with Madeleine Stowe on “Revenge” in the Hamptons, maybe as Ashley Davenport’s imperious mom?


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    Played for: “666 Park Avenue”

    Proposed trade: Williams’s devilish husband on the show has already reunited with “Lost” costar Daniel Dae Kim on “Hawaii Five-0,” so now we’d like to send him over to hang out with his old buddy/nemesis Ben Linus, a.k.a. Michael Emerson, a.k.a. Finch, on “Person of Interest.”

    Photo illustration by Ryan Huddle/Globe Staff; Mark Seliger/NBC
    If he joins “Smash,” Taye Diggs (far right) would return to a familiar setting: Broadway.


    Played for: “Emily Owens, M.D.”

    Proposed trade: Now that she is free of the CW’s clutches, Gummer — who we are obligated to note is Meryl Streep’s daughter — is able to return to “The Good Wife,” where she was doing good work as attorney Nancy Crozier.



    Played for: “30 Rock”

    Proposed trade: We’d love to see everyone from the beloved NBC comedy land on their feet. In fact, we’d keep ’em all together if we could. But barring a new premise for the entire cast, we can picture McBrayer popping up on “Nashville” as pop-country diva Juliette’s lovably hapless, country bumpkin cousin/new assistant.


    Played for: “The Mob Doctor”

    Proposed trade: Spiro was so great in “My Boys” that we were sorry to see it go. And although we knew she wouldn’t stay married to the “Mob,” she showed some true grit. Grit that might just come in handy working for the good guys over on “Blue Bloods.”


    Played for: “Last Resort”


    Proposed trade: The former “Felicity” hunk did impressive work as a conflicted patriot on the submarine drama opposite the intense Andre Braugher. Let’s keep him close to a uniform but give him some lighter lifting and ship him off to “NCIS,” shall we?


    Played for: “Private Practice”

    Proposed trade: We want to see the former star of “Rent” get his Broadway groove back and can’t think of a better time to do it than when Jennifer Hudson is doing her guest arc on the returning “Smash.”


    Played for: “Fringe”

    Proposed trade: The delightful doctor already knows a thing or two about alternate universes, so we’re going to send him to help make some sense out of what’s happening over at “Once Upon a Time.”


    Played for: “Last Resort” and “Boss”

    Proposed trade: OK, these two superb TV actors obviously could go a lot of places. But instead of just plugging them into an existing show, we’d rather see them tackle something new. So we propose an exciting new cable drama, network-to-be-determined, called “Gravitas,” in which both men play to their slow-burning strengths.

    Sarah Rodman can be reached at
    Follow her on Twitter @GlobeRodman.