Casting Scoops: Freddie Prinze Jr. Joins “24”

Freddie Prinze Jr. is back! The Puerto Rican actor—who starred in teen fare like She’s All That and I Know What You Did Last Summer in the late '90s—(and frequented the covers of teen magazines like Tiger Beat, YM and Teen People) is joining the cast of Fox hit 24 as a series regular when the show’s 8th season premiers on January 17, 2010. In the real-time drama, Prinze Jr. will play Davis Cole, a Marine who idolizes Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland), and heads up the resurrected CTU’s Field Ops Division (whatever that means!). The role signifies a major comeback for Prinze Jr., whose career was presumed dead as recently as last year. After his self-titled ABC sitcom, Freddie, was cancelled by the network in May of 2006, the one-time viable leading man raised eyebrows by accepting a position as a—gasp—writer for World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE). The actor parted ways with the WWE in February of this year, and more bad news came in March when ABC pulled the plug on Prinze's pilot No Heroics (a British remake). 24 has essentially revived Prinze Jr.'s career. Personally, I’m thrilled to see Freddie back in the game, and I think he’s going to do a fantastic job with this action-packed role (I loved him as a butt-kicking undercover FBI agent pretending to be a fashion expert in 2001’s Head Over Heels).

In other casting news, In the Heights writer, creator and star Lin Manuel Miranda, 29, (who I happen to think is one of the most multi-talented people on earth) is set to guest star on at least two episodes of Fox drama House. Miranda will make his first appearance in this fall’s season 6 premiere, and the actor will play Dr. House’s mentally ill roommate (in case you haven’t been watching, House checked himself into a psychiatric facility at the end of season 5). Finally, Mexican actor Michael Trevino (who I loved as badboy Ozzie on the CW’s 90210 last fall) has been cast as a series regular on the new CW series The Vampire Diaries, a show that TV insiders are calling a cross between Twilight and Dawson’s Creek. Trevino will play Tyler Stratton, an attractive and cocky alpha-male who’s a bit of a jerk. Vampire Diaries, based on the series of books by L.J. Smith, premiers this fall on the CW.

I’m excited to see all of these guys take on awesome new roles! How about you: Do you think Lin can pull off crazy? Are you looking forward to seeing Freddie Prinze Jr. kick some butt? Dish in the comments!