1 Busy Philipps (Kim Kelly)
Freaks’ menacing meanie reunited with her onscreen target, Linda Cardellini, by joining NBC’s ER as the born-again Dr. Hope Bobek. In the ”Who knew?” department, she also nabbed a ”story by” credit for the Will Ferrell comedy Blades of Glory.
2 James Franco (Daniel Desario)
As evidenced by the Spider-Man trilogy, Hollywood loves Freaks’ brooding bad boy: He’ll play a sergeant in Paul Haggis’ war drama In the Valley of Elah (Sept. 14) and costar as a pothead with Seth Rogen in Pineapple Express (‘08).
3 Linda Cardenellini (Lindsay Wweir)
McKinley High’s reluctant mathlete is entering her fifth season as nurse Samantha Taggart on ER. Later this year, Cardellini will also go country as lovelorn Clara in CBS’ miniseries Comanche Moon, a prequel to 1989’s Lonesome Dove.
4 Jason Segel (Nick Andopolis)
After a memorable turn as one of Rogen’s raunchy buds in this summer’s hit Knocked Up, the How I Met Your Mother star will headline Forgetting Sarah Marshall (yet another Judd Apatow production), a comedy Segel wrote about a heartbroken guy who escapes to Hawaii only to run into his ex (Kristen Bell).
5 Seth Rogen (Ken Miller)
Having already Knocked Up Katherine Heigl, the ‘fro-ed out deadpanner is currently slaying critics with Superbad, which he co-wrote with Evan Goldberg. Next year he’ll star in Pineapple (another Goldberg-Rogen script) and lend his voice to Horton Hears a Who.
6 John Francis Daley (SAM Weir)
His last TV series, Kitchen Confidential, sank like a soufflé, so Daley is taking a turn on an established show: He has a recurring role as a young psychiatrist on Fox’s Bones this fall. New Line also recently purchased his comedy spoof The $40,000 Man.
7 Martin Starr (Bill Haverchuck)
Capitalizing on his Apatow connection, Starr delivers gross-out laughs in both Knocked Up and Superbad. Now it’s on to the fanboys: He just shot a role opposite Edward Norton in next year’s The Incredible Hulk.
8 Samm Levine (Neal Schweiber)
The resident wisecracker continues his perpetual geek streak in the movie Sydney White (Sept. 21), a college-set riff on the beloved Snow White fairy tale, also starring Amanda Bynes, Sara Paxton, and Matt Long. Levine plays a guy named Spanky. ‘Nuff said.