The woman pictured above is Marisol Nichols, a socially aware young woman who I remember from a short-lived show from last year called In Justice. She played Sonya Quintano, an idealistic Latina trying to help get people falsely imprisoned out of jail. Now she's Nadia 'Natalie' Yassir, of Middle Eastern heritage, on "24". Her boss on "In Justice" was Charles Conti, played by Jason O'Mara, who's now the publisher Stuart Maxson on Men In Trees, and will play Philip Marlowe in an ABC-TV pilot.
Now, I happened to have enjoyed In Justice, in part because it had a different POV; that law enforcement sometimes gets it very wrong, and we need to be mindful of that, something that fuels, in part, my opposition to capital punishment, BTW.
Here's the first question: what obscure, not all that popular show or shows do you remember that have been a launching ground for performers? Two that come to mind were both Norman Lear productions. 704 Hauser, a 1994 show about the folks who moved in after Archie and Edith Bunker were gone. Don't remember much about it, except that it featured Maura Tierney, who now appears in E/R. The other is The Powers That Be, a 1992-93 show starring John Forsythe as Sen. William Franklin Powers, Holland Taylor, later of The Practice and Two and a Half Men, as his wife Margaret, Peter MacNicol (Ally McBeal, Numb3rs) as an aide, Valerie Mahaffey as the Powers' daughter Caitlyn Van Horne, David Hyde Pierce (Frasier) as her husband, the philandering Congressman Theodore Van Horne, Elizabeth Berridge (The John Larroquette Show) as Charlotte, the maid with whom Theodore was dallying, Robin Bartlett (Mad About You) as another aide, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Third Rock from the Sun) as Pierce Van Horne. You can't name St. Elsewhere - not obscure enough.
Likewise, what movie seemed to spawn future stars, excluding American Graffiti, Taps, and movies directed by John Hughes?
One could take this in a literary way: a magazine or short story anthology that generated some big name writers.