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I think the best shows have featured actors who in the past have not been famous. Cranston was well known but for something altogether different. I did not know of him at all as I never watch shows like the Middle. He looked somewhat familiar to me in the beginning, but it was months before someone pointed out to me that he was on the Middle. The work was 180 different, and I give Gilligan kudos for choosing him. I never saw Aaron Paul before either. Many of the lesser characters, I had seen repeatedly in small roles (Gus, Hank, Mike, Saul), but never thought that much about them as they were never given the opportunity to shine in those smaller roles.

Deadwood was similar, Olyphant was new to me (and at his best), but Molly Parker was in the show as well, and Ian McShane who I am surprised has not done more work since.
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Mad Men · Primetime Shows