In an age when entertainment has become the new religion, and celebrities the new deities, the power for big budget fiction to influence people is staggering. Often, this isn't viewed as a good thing -- and often, that would be correct.
You may not know his name, but if you've watched the NBC show Heroes over the last four seasons, you definitely know who James Kyson Lee is. As Hiro's best friend Ando, Lee has often been the voice of reason to Hiro, the "normal" sidekick friend to the guy with the superpowers.
Greg Grunberg may not be a name that you can place, but you most likely know his face and his work. For years playing supporting characters -- including co-starring on his friend JJ Abrams' shows Felicity and Alias -- Grunberg finally got a starring role in the NBC series Heroes, playing Matt Parkman, the L.A. cop who could read minds.
Three sitcoms from the same comedy block; two medical dramas quite different from each other; a couple hour-long comedies looking at opposite ends of the social spectrum; some mysterious people with super powers; a critically-acclaimed but ratings-starved drama; and of course, a serial killer who's actually kind of endearing.
With scripted television winding down for the year, and no end in sight to the writers' strike that will likely keep new episodes of old favourites off of television for quite some time, there are very few things to look forward to.