Israelis Starring In the United States Of America TV Shows

The following is a list of new broadcast network TV shows that premiere through September 22 and have a Jewish cast member(s) in an important role.

KAT DENNINGS, 25, co-stars in the CBS comedy “2 Broke Girls.” She plays one of a pair of waitresses working at Brooklyn greasy spoon who hope, one day, to open their own eatery (Starts Monday, Sept. 19, at 9:30 p.m., “special time” right after “Two and a Half Men.” Thereafter, Mondays at 8:30 p.m.); Starting the same night, on NBC, at 10 p.m., is “The Playboy Club.” Set in 1963, it’s a largely fictional take on the first Playboy Club in Chicago. DAVID KRUMHOLTZ, 33, co-stars as “Billy Rosen,” the club’s manager. Krumholtz has many films credits and was one of the co-stars of the long-running CBS show, “Numb3ers.”

Starting on Tuesday, September 13, is “Ringer,” a drama starring SARAH MICHELLE GELLAR, 34 (CW network, 9 p.m.). Gellar plays a woman who, after witnessing a murder, goes on the run and assumes the life of her rich identical twin sister — only to learn that her sister’s life is very complicated and very dangerous. (When Gellar was starring in the big TV hit, “Buffy, the Vampire Slayer,” many asked me if both her parents are Jewish. The answer is “yes,” but the actress very rarely talks about being Jewish).

Starting on Tuesday, Sept. 20 is “New Girl,” a sit-com starring Zoey Deschanel as a nice girl who moves in with three single guys after a romantic break-up. One of them, “Schmidt,” a “Casanova,” is played by MAX GREENFIELD, 30 (Fox, 9 p.m.).

Starting on Wednesday, Sept. 14, at 8 p.m. is the NBC comedy, “Up All Night.” Christina Applegate stars as a successful businesswoman, with Will Arnett as her stay-at-home husband/baby caregiver. MAYA RUDOLPH, 39, co-stars as Applegate’s boss and best friend. Starting on NBC right after “Up All Night” is “Free Agents,” a workplace comedy. HANK AZARIA, 47, plays Alex, a newly-divorced public relations executive. He has a one-night stand with his gorgeous co-worker (Kathryn Hahn), but she really just wants to be friends. His co-workers, including “Dan” (played by stand-up comic MO MANDEL, 30) try to get Alex to date again.

Mandel grew up in Boonville, California (population 1,000), a pretty little town in the redwoods, about a hundred miles north of San Francisco. Once a logging town, now it’s an odd mixture of “sort-of” rednecks, aged hippies, wine growers, and boutique beer brewers. Mandel, who was a bar mitzvah and went to Israel via Birthright, told the San Francisco Jewish paper in 2007 that his was one of only four Jewish families in Boonville: “We had a shrink, a real estate broker and a doctor. It was like they just imported Jews to improve the town.” That description amused me, as did this line Mandel tells on-stage: “I’m Jewish in kind of a weird way. Check it out – [my] face and hair are just excessively Jewy; then I got, like, the muscular jock’s body. Kind of in between a Jew and a guy who drives by in a truck and yells, ‘Jew.’ A little bit dreidel, a little bit methamphetamine.”

Starting on Wednesday, Sept. 21, at 8 p.m., is the talent competition show, “The X-Factor,” in which the judges scour the country for vocal talent (solo and groups), with a $5 million prize package for the winner. The show re-unites, as judges, PAULA ABDUL, 49, and Simon Cowell (who found out a few years ago that his late father was Jewish). As I’ve written before, Abdul’s father is a Syrian-born Jew. Her mother is Canadian-born Ashkenazi Jew.

Finally, the new season of ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars,” begins on Monday, Sept. 19, at 8PM. The celebrity dancers include actress and talk show host RICKI LAKE, 42. Also dancing is actor David Arquette, whose late mother was Jewish. Long story short: while Arquette is proud of his Jewish background; I’d have to call or label him a non-denominational Christian. I say this based on his fairly recent interview statements about religion.

The co-host of “Dancing,” model BROOKE BURKE, 39, finally (!) married actor DAVID CHARVET (“Baywatch”), also 39, on August 11, 2011. Burke, whose mother is Jewish, had been engaged to Charvet for five years and they have two young children together (the children, at last report, were attending a Jewish pre-school). Charvet’s original last name is “Guez,” and his father, Tunisian/French Jewish businessman PAUL GUEZ, is most famous for founding the Guess Jeans Company.