10 TV Shows You Might Not Know Star NYU Alumni


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“Riverdale” stars NYU alum Cole Sprouse and premiered this past spring on the CW, and can now be streamed on Netflix

Anubhuti Kumar, Highlighter Editor

You heard about it, you got accepted and now you’re finally here ready to walk the halls and streets of NYU. Those that came before us have gone on to do things such as become the current mayor of New York City, business executives, ambassadors, congresspeople, Amal Clooney and who can ever be sure how much of Hollywood has passed through our lovely, brilliant, ambitious campus. It is the peak era of TV, so let’s take a look at some shows that you might not realize feature NYU alumni.


  1. “Jane the Virgin” — Gina Rodriguez, Tisch School of the Arts 2006, plays the titular lead in this telenovela set in Miami. Jane starts the series caught in a love triangle and an unexpected pregnancy.


  1. “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” — Andy Samberg, Tisch School of the Arts 2000, is a Brooklyn cop in this office comedy full of highly competent law enforcement officers who are also the best of friends. This precinct knows very well how to get themselves into and out of trouble.


  1. “Master of None” — Aziz Ansari, Stern School of Business 2004, is a master of much in this Emmy Award-winning Netflix dramedy that addresses issues from immigration to love to religion with heart, humor and wit.


  1. “The Handmaid’s Tale” — Alexis Bledel, who only attended Tisch for a year, but that still counts. She might be known best as Rory from “Gilmore Girls,” but her career took a more dramatic turn with the release of this year’s Hulu adaptation of “The Handmaid’s Tale.” Eerily reflective of our current political climate, the show has already been renewed for a second season.


  1. “Will and Grace” — Debra Messing, Tisch School of the Arts MFA 1993, is back as New York interior designer Grace Adler. This early 2000s sitcom is back on NBC for the fall season and has also been renewed for a second. Known for its groundbreaking portrayal of nuanced gay characters in pop culture, it will be exciting to see the show’s perspective in a different era with its biting humor and zany characters.


  1. “Riverdale” — Cole Sprouse, Gallatin School of Individualized Study 2015, is a relatively recent graduate and already back on TV as Jughead Jones in the recent CW adaptation of the classic Archie comics, “Riverdale,” but with a murderous twist.


  1. “The Good Place” — Kristen Bell, Tisch School of the Arts, left NYU in 2001 just a few credits shy of graduating. She is currently starring in NBC’s “The Good Place,” a comedy about a woman in heaven who might not belong.


  1. “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” — Rachel Bloom, Tisch School of the Arts 2009, stars as a high-powered New York lawyer who gives it all up to move to the West Coast for a crazy, romantic exploit. This musical comedy airing on the CW is going into its third season this year with Emmys, Golden Globes and Critics’ Choice Awards already under its belt.


  1. “Atlanta” — Donald Glover, Tisch School of the Arts 2006, might be most well known for his role in “Community,” but his latest role is in the dramedy “Atlanta.” Glover created this show himself — which makes sense, since his degree is in dramatic writing — about the Atlanta rap scene. Glover’s talents aren’t only limited to television, and many may recognize his stage name, Childish Gambino, due to immense success as a rapper, singer and songwriter.


  1. You, the kid you had that one class with one time or maybe your best friend — a few years from now it will be you all gracing the pages of WSN because of your achievements and welcoming a new class of first-years. 

A version of this article appeared in the Sunday, Aug. 27 print edition. Email Anubhuti Kumar at [email protected].