CURRENT GIG: Co-star of Strong Medicine, Lifetime's hit medical drama series, now in the midst of its third season. As Luisa Delgado, a compassionate yet tough doctor with inner-city clinic roots, balancing life in the hospital wards with raising a teenage son as a single mom, Blasi offers a multidimensional, multicultural caregiver portrayal. In the process, she has raised the awareness level of women's health issues depicted regularly on the series, from breast cancer to holistic alternatives.
BIG BREAK: Landing a recurring role on CBS's soap opera The Bold and the Beautiful
during the late 1990s. Shortly thereafter, she quickly graduated to guest shots on Frasier, The Drew Carey Show
and Beverly Hills 90210, before securing a crucial supporting role in Noriega: God's Favorite, Showtime's docudrama about the former Panamanian dictator.
CURRENT GIG: Anchor of Connie Chung Tonight, Cable News Network's weeknight primetime newscast. After three decades and multiple Emmy awards as one of broadcast network television's most-noted newscasters and correspondents, Chung took the cable plunge on CNN last spring. Her hour-long program faced heated competition off the bat from Fox News Channel's The O'Reilly Factor
and later, Donahue
at MSNBC. The first few weeks were rough, but Chung has smoothed down the edges since with a solid mix of interview exclusives and unique takes on topical news stories.
BIG BREAK: Covering George McGovern's 1972 quixotic Democratic presidential campaign for CBS, a year after joining the network's Washington, D.C. news bureau. She entered the journalism field in 1969 as copy person with Washington independent (now Fox affiliate) WTTG-TV. First daily anchor shift: NBC News at Sunrise
CURRENT GIG: A ground-breaking role on Queer as Folk, Showtime's controversial drama surveying gay and lesbian lives and lifestyles in Pittsburgh, Pa. Her playing of Melanie, one of the series' two lead lesbian characters, is like everything else on the show: frank, gritty and a pulls-no-punches portrayal for viewers. Neither is it cookie-cutter or a haven for stereotypes. Clunie's character always shows, often in surprising ways, the price to pay—deserved or not—for pursuing life's course as she does.
BIG BREAK: Appearing in The Usual Suspects, the Oscar-winning example of modern film noir. Stage was her favorite medium prior to Suspects, with a resume that includes performances in Antigone
and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.
CURRENT GIG: Co-hosting weeknight editions of SportsCenter, ESPN's flagship scores-and-information hub. A fixture on ESPN since 1992, Cohn may not have coined the catch-phrases fellow SportsCenter
colleagues Dan Patrick, Chris Berman or Stuart Scott have. But solid presentation, natural humor and sensitivity go farther, and Cohn's work shows off all that and more. Moreover, as regular host of the show's 1 a.m. edition, which ties up the day's action, her work gets additional exposure to ESPN viewers the following morning and early afternoon, thanks to numerous replays. Outside of SportsCenter, she contributes to other ESPN series and serves up "Extra Point" commentary weekly on ESPN Radio.
BIG BREAK: Served double duty on both the local and national level in 1988-1989, as reporter/host for SportsChannel America and reporter with News 12 Long Island, both managed by Rainbow Media Holdings Inc. During part of that period, she also anchored sportscasts on ABC Radio Network, plus talk/update segments for its main New York affiliate, WABC-AM.
CURRENT GIG: Host of Trading Spaces, The Learning Channel's mega series hit. Adapted from the British series Changing Rooms
(carried on Discovery U.S. Networks sister channel BBC America), Spaces
has one couple turning the tables on the living quarters of another, helped by home-improvement and decorating experts. The results, revealed near the end of each episode, provoke glee, gasps or some combination of emotion in between. Davis joined the show in its second season, and her earthy yet glib addition to the proceedings, plus Saturday primetime and daily afternoon runs, have catapulted Spaces
to unparalleled ratings for a series of this ilk.
BIG BREAK: Two-and-a-half years touring in the national company of Beauty and The Beast. A Broadway tour of duty in Chicago
and some concert time with The Beach Boys came earlier.
CURRENT GIG: The toast of the tween set watching Disney Channel, or ABC's Saturday morning lineup, as Lizzie McGuire.
At times, Duff is charming, at other times brassy as the title character of Disney's two-year-old comedy. In the process, she has turned into a cottage industry. A show soundtrack (with her singing several tunes) turned gold last fall; Cadet Kelly, a Duff-starring original film became Disney's highest-rated movie ever; and Lizzie
will be turned into a feature film this spring. On top of all that, Duff was up for a 2002 Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Award as favorite TV actress and her show brought home the favorite series trophy.
BIG BREAK: A co-star shot in the movie Soul Collector, earning a Young Artist Award for best supporting actress.
CURRENT GIG: An Emmy-nominated/Golden Globe-winning turn in Six Feet Under, HBO's drama tracking the trials and tribulations of a family running a funeral parlor. "Every time I've ever believed in a happy ending, I've gotten severely f——d," wails Griffiths as Brenda Chenowith, the romantic interest of family member Nate Fisher. Griffiths' acting challenge is formidable—make the product of one dysfunctional family, out to love someone from another family off the beaten track, more than just a wallflower or spirit to be pitied. Griffiths offers a character with strength where you least expect it.
BIG BREAK: Her supporting role for Muriel's Wedding
in 1994, which won several awards in her native Australia and major attention overseas. Five years later, she received a best supporting actress Oscar nomination for Hilary and Jackie.
CURRENT GIG: Update anchor and reporter on Best Damn Sports Show Period, the nightly two-hour mix of news, roundtable talk and humor on Fox Sports Net. Guerrero's forte is sports interviews, often getting reaction from a question her subjects don't expect. On Best Damn Sports Show, her subjects have included Kobe Bryant, Alex Rodriguez and Barry Bonds, and lately, such entertainment celebs as Matt Damon and Pierce Brosnan. Guerrero's versatility is also on display, as her role on Best
now includes her matching "Hot Topic" banter at the start of each show with co-hosts Chris Rose, Tom Arnold, John Salley, John Kruk and Michael Irvin.
BIG BREAK: Weekend sports reporter for KCBS-TV in Los Angeles (1998-1999), followed by gigs with various Fox Sports Net programs and anchor/reporter duties on Fox's Rocky Mountain and Sports West regional services.
CURRENT GIG: Quizmaster on Friend or Foe?, Game Show Network's competition of wits, skill and trust—especially the latter. Her program, where contestants team up for cash, then risk their winnings on whether each player trusts the other, can be a cruel deal in some hands. Not so with Kennedy. She's got a humorous bite, but not when the outcome of a trust round leaves one or both players empty-handed. What's more, her overall energy, tone and ease with a game format should have GSN's producers working overtime to develop a straight, entertaining brainbuster for her talents. Alex Trebek, look out.
BIG BREAK: Her mid-1990s turn as MTV video jockey, graduating over time to host of Alternative Nation, the popular series devoted to music off the beaten path.
CURRENT GIG: Cable's videogame equivalent of Casey Kasem, hosting Filter, the weekly countdown show on Comcast-owned G4. Mizota displays knowledge, enthusiasm and passion—without going overboard—in her review of the top 10 titles viewers play each week. Yes, being one of the Fook twins in Austin Powers in Goldmember
brought her and the channel a burst of summer notoriety. Although tempting to go elsewhere, Mizota has stayed put, giving herself and the fledgling G4 a shot at enduring fame.
BIG BREAK: Co-starring role on Undressed, MTV's late-night Gen X dramedy, vignette-style, supervised by Roland Joffe (The Killing Fields).
CURRENT GIG: Member of MTV's news team, and host/co-host of various network specials. An MTV member for five months, Pak won attention for her set of reports in the aftermath of Sept. 11, particularly segments on Muslim-American women and relief efforts organized by young people. With a level demeanor not masking a drive to enlighten her audience, Pak has taken her reports into a variety of subjects, including encounters with Mariah Carey, George Lucas, Mary J. Blige and Jane's Addiction. At one point, she co-hosted Bangin' The Charts, a weekly look at the stories behind hit songs.
BIG BREAK: Co-hosting Newton's Apple, the weekly public TV science showcase, while attending University of California at Berkeley. That experience led to a year reporting for Internet Tonight
on TechTV (ZDTV at the time).
CURRENT GIG: Black Entertainment Television's news maven. As anchor for BET Nightly News
since its inception last year, Reid presents newscasts that balance coverage of major developments with trend pieces affecting African-Americans. No-nonsense and stylish, she tackles both story categories with aplomb. Moreover, Reid is at the top of her game in a unique position—anchoring both the only nightly newscast directed to African-Americans, and the only late-night national newscast outside of the all-news channels.
BIG BREAK: Morning anchor shifts at CNN Headline News. First broadcast journalism tour: WBSG-TV, Brunswick, Georgia as a reporter.
CURRENT GIG: Co-star of Stargate SG-1, cruising through its first season on Sci Fi Channel after a quintet on Showtime. Tapping has been aboard the hit series adaptation of the movie from the outset as Samantha Carter, an Air Force astrophysics expert who joins the SG-1 team to move back and forth between Earth, other worlds and/or other dimensions. Rugged as soldiers get, Tapping's character nevertheless shows sensitivity as well as sensibility when the adventures go awry. There'll be more ahead with Sci Fi taking Stargate
into a seventh season.
BIG BREAK: A guest shot on The Outer Limits
revival, running on Showtime and produced by some of the off-camera talent behind Stargate.