Must List 2009: TV

Joel McHale
Must TV Mocker

AGE
37
WHY HIM
McHale's deadpan delivery on E!'s cult hit The Soup has garnered him a loyal fan base thanks to five years of mocking Tyra Banks' ego and Ryan Seacrest's height. And he recently landed the lead in NBC's new fall comedy Community, as a lawyer forced to earn his degree from a local community college.
PUBLIC ENEMIES
''I've never met Tyra,'' admits McHale. ''Her death squad would kill me for all the things that I've said. And I know that David Hasselhoff is not a big fan. But if I see a reality-show person on the street — and they're usually selling their bodies — no matter what I said about them, they want to be on the show and they want to be made fun of. It's crazy.''
FAMILY MATTERS
McHale still manages to find time for his wife, Sarah, and two sons, Isaac, 1, and Eddie, 4. ''Having the little munchkins — I'm not talking about Seacrest — really makes it that much busier,'' jokes the comedian. ''I don't want to be a neglectful father and in 10 to 15 years my kids are like, 'Dad, I'm going to take this out on you. Now, buy me a sports car. I'm going to crash it. It's time for some rehab.' I'm trying to avoid that.''
NEXT
In addition to The Soup and Community, McHale will share screen time with Matt Damon in the upcoming dark comedy The Informant, in theaters Sept. 18.
ON HIS MUST LIST
''Let the Right One In. It is the greatest Swedish vampire children's movie you will ever see. It makes Twilight look like an episode of Saved by the Bell.''

Olivia Munn
3 Things I've Done For Geek Love

The 26-year-old host of G4's Attack of the Show! isn't adored only for her looks. Here are just a few of the stunts Munn's done to impress the nerd herd.

1. I love pie. I told viewers if we got 5,000 signatures to create National Pie Week, I would jump into a giant chocolate pie dressed as a French maid. We got 60,000 signatures in three days. There's still chocolate pie filling where there shouldn't be — I'll just leave it at that.
2. I dress up as geek icons in skits. I've dressed as Wonder Woman, Slave Leia, Sailor Moon... Hmmm, question: Why are all geek icons dressed in tiny shorts or spandex?
3. I competed on the Japanese game show Ninja Warrior and ran an obstacle course alongside Olympic athletes. Twice. I was sore in places I didn't know I could be — again, I'll just leave it at that.
ON HER MUST LIST
Baby wipes. ''To use for everything, and I mean everything. (Wink, wink.)''

Miranda Cosgrove
Must Teen Superstar

AGE
16
WHY HER
Her Nickelodeon sitcom iCarly regularly trounces much-hyped Disney counterparts such as Hannah Montana and JONAS in the ratings.
NEXT
Cosgrove will release her debut album in September.
ON HER MUST LIST
Hannah Montana herself, Miley Cyrus: ''I've seen every episode of her show!''

Nick Cannon
Must Reality Replacement

AGE
28
WHY HIM
He's the new host of NBC's America's Got Talent (following in the footsteps of Regis Philbin and Jerry Springer). ''I'm taking on the title of Pop Culture Ambassador,'' Cannon explains.
NEXT
AGT premieres June 23.
ON HIS MUST LIST
''I'm loving Kristinia DeBarge. That record is knocking in the club.''

January Jones
Must Ice Queen

AGE
31
WHY HER
With each season of Mad Men, Jones digs ever deeper into Betty Draper's 1960s suburban ennui.
BATTLE OF THE SEXES
''After the episode where Betty kicked Don out of the house, women were so excited!'' Jones recalls. ''But men were disappointed, like 'How could she?'''
BABY LOVE
Mad Men's sexist '60s dialogue doesn't shock Jones. ''I'd rather be called 'honey' or 'baby' than have someone say 'She has nice tits' behind my back.''
NEXT
Mad Men returns to AMC Aug. 16. Jones also has a small part in The Boat That Rocked (in theaters Aug. 28), a period comedy set in...the 1960s.
ON HER MUST LIST
British singer Natasha Khan, a.k.a. Bat for Lashes. ''She's got a beautiful look and an amazing voice.''

MORE TV MUSTS

Project Runway
Must Long-Awaited Return

The beloved sartorial competition's legal woes — which delayed the airing of season 6 on Lifetime for almost a year — are all sewed up, meaning Runway is free to strut back into our lives on Aug. 20.

Joan Rivers
Must Celebrity Roast

And she thought Annie Duke was tough! Now Celebrity Apprentice winner Rivers has to hear it from her fellow comics, who are sure to lovingly eviscerate the comic (and plastic-surgery) legend when The Comedy Central Roast of Joan Rivers airs Aug. 9. And for those looking for even more Rivers, she'll also be grilling the wealthy on TV Land's new reality show, How'd You Get So Rich? Aug. 6.

J.K. Rowling: A Year in the Life
Must TV Special

On July 16, hardcore Harry Potter fans will get a peek inside the one and only J.K. Rowling's head with ABC's all-access documentary chronicling her life. Cameras follow the author during the year leading up to the publication of the seventh and final tome Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

Dylan McDermott on Dark Blue
Must Undercover Cop

Since The Practice went off the air in 2004, TV fave McDermott has struggled to land his next big thing (damn you, Big Shots!). But lo and behold, here it is: This TNT police drama (from überproducer Jerry Bruckheimer) puts the indomitably handsome McDermott undercover — and, thankfully, back in your living room — on a weekly basis, starting July 15.

Gordon Ramsay
Must Hothead

Who's ready for a double shot of angry? Season 4 of Ramsay's F Word just kicked off on BBC America, while the celebrity chef's Hell's Kitchen returns to Fox on July 21. Isn't that @#&!ing awesome?!?

Today's Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb Must Awesomely Crazy Morning-TV Personalities

As The View slipped into a more snoozy cadence, a funny thing happened: The fourth hour of NBC's Today show swooped in as the go-to place for morning-TV insanity. We'd call sparring, madcap hosts Gifford and Kotb a guilty pleasure, but we don't even feel guilty about it.

Written by Benjamin Svetkey, Jeff Jensen, Dan Snierson, Ken Tucker, Lynette Rice, Chris Nashawaty, Karen Valby, Dave Karger, Adam B. Vary, Missy Schwartz

Originally posted Jun 19, 2009 Published in issue #1053-1054 Jun 26, 2009 Order article reprints
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