Empire fans have two additional reasons to look forward to the Fox blockbuster’s second season. News broke recently that a pair of popular recurring characters were being upped to series regulars: Lucious Lyon’s kick-ass right hand woman Becky (Gabourey Sidibe) and Cookie’s smartphone-addicted sidekick, Porsha (Ta’Rhonda Jones). We here at Yahoo TV heartily endorse both of these promotions and want to seize this opportunity to advocate for nine more recurring characters we love. (Warning: Potential spoilers ahead!)
Reg E. Cathey (House of Cards)
Recurring Character: Freddy Hayes, reluctant confident of Congressman-turned-President Underwood and former purveyor of the Beltway’s finest lip-smacking ribs.
Why He Deserves a Promotion: Freddy merits main cast status — plus a million-dollar retainer — for putting up with Underwood’s jawing alone. Besides, one of the best developments of the show’s third season was adding him to the White House groundskeeping crew. Just think of how much better Season 4 would be if Freddy suddenly becomes the House of Cards version of Caddyshack’s Carl Spackler…
Nicholas D'Agosto (Gotham)
Recurring Character: Harvey Dent, Gotham City’s crusading Assistant District Attorney and a future FTNOB (Friend-Turned-Nemesis of Batman).
Why He Deserves a Promotion: Thanks to graphic novels like Year One and The Long Halloween, Dent has become integral to the larger Dark Knight mythos. And to their credit, Gotham’s producers recognize his value: D’Agosto’s current recurring contract reportedly carries an option to upgrade him to regular status in the prequel show’s season.
Shirley MacLaine (Downton Abbey)
Recurring Character: Martha Levinson, the delightfully modern mother of Lady Cora.
Why She Deserves a Promotion: With Downton officially entering its final season, we want to mine the always-hilarious Shirley MacLaine/Maggie Smith catfights for as much comedy gold as possible. If the show’s producers would only reconsider the spinoff idea, you couldn’t do better than Grumpy Old Dowagers.
Patton Oswalt (Veep)
Recurring Character: Teddy, creepy chief of staff to Selina Meyer’s replacement as VP, Andrew Doyle.
Why He Deserves a Promotion: He’s only just joined the show, but Teddy is already one of our favorite characters for the way he so completely unnerves the previously unflappable A-hole, Jonah. Turnover is very high in Veep-land — as it is in the real White House — but Oswalt’s one newbie who should stick around.
Related: Ken Tucker Reviews ‘Veep’
Laurence Fishburne (Black-ish)
Recurring Character: Earl “Pops” Johnson, father and grandfather to the various members of the Johnson clan.
Why He Deserves a Promotion: Fishburne’s rapport with leading man and onscreen son, Anthony Anderson, is always fun to watch and should be incorporated into the series on a more regular basis. Plus, he’s already one of the show’s executive producers, so he could rubber-stamp his own promotion… though first, he’d have to join the growing body count on his other job, Hannibal.
Gaby Hoffmann (Girls)
Recurring Character: Caroline Sackler, unstable sister of Hannah’s on-again, off-again boyfriend Adam.
Why She Deserves a Promotion: Based on the Season 4 finale, Hannah and Adam are over for real this time (yeah, right), but that’s no reason for Caroline to vanish from her life for good. Hoffman’s soulful performance never failed to slice through the show’s sometimes funny, sometimes obnoxious ironic detachment.
Raymond Cruz (Better Call Saul)
Recurring Character: Tuco Salamanca, Albuquerque-based drug lord and doting grandson to his beloved abuela.
Why He Deserves a Promotion: Breaking Bad fans cheered — and then cowered — when Tuco reappeared alive and well in Saul’s first two episodes. Given how Jimmy McGill is now well on the path to coming Saul Goodman, it stands to reason that Tuco will become more than a satellite in his orbit.
Keegan Allen (Pretty Little Liars)
Recurring Character: Toby Cavanaugh, one-half of Spoby aka Spencer and Toby.
Why He Deserves a Promotion: Considering that the show’s other resident boyfriends, Caleb and Ezra, are both classified as series regulars, it’s a slight to Toby that he’s still stuck in recurring-land. After all, he’s working just as hard to try and crack the “Who is A?” riddle and provide moral and emotional support for his GF.
Sarah Steele (The Good Wife)
Recurring Character: Marissa Gold, daughter of Eli and Alicia’s body woman (and milk pusher) on the campaign trail.
Why She Deserves a Promotion: Marissa’s a fan of cutting to the chase, and her blunt-talking ways are much appreciated by Alicia and viewers at home.