There are TV shows that for one reason or another may not be popular in the mainstream, but they become critic’s darlings or cult hits. The HBO series “The Wire” was both. It may be the most well-known TV show ever that never won an Emmy Award. Now that it’s gone, its actors have moved on, too. While we’re pretty sure that certain actors will forever be called by their character’s name on “The Wire,” some of them have gone on to pretty good post-Wire roles. Here are a few of our favorites that you can catch on screens both big and small this fall.
WOOD HARRIS (Avon Barksdale)
The head of the Barksdale drug empire rules no more, but actor Wood Harris has continued his career. The NYU trained actor was just on Broadway in “A Streetcar Named Desire” with Blair Underwood and is now starring in “Dredd 3D” a futuristic thriller about a battle between good and evil in a post-apocalyptic world. Harris plays an enforcer for the bad guys but says he sees his role as more than just a stereotypical villain. Like his character on “The Wire,” he’s always more complex than what immediately meets the eye. “Dredd Scott 3D” opens Friday, September 21st.
IDRIS ELBA (Stringer Bell)
Idris Elba, who played the sexy but dangerous drug lord Stringer Bell has had one of the most prolific post-Wire careers of anyone. He’s made several movies and won a Golden Globe for his work on the BBC detective series “Luther.” Elba was in fan favorites “Thor” and “Takers” starred in “Obsessed” with Beyonce and was also seen in this year’s sci-fi thriller “Prometheus” with Charlize Theron. “Luther” is expected to have a third season on the BBC late this year or early next and Elba has two movies, including the second “Thor” movie in post-production that are scheduled to open in 2013.
LANCE REDDICK (Lt. Daniels)
One of the many actors still working that were part of the other compelling HBO series, “Oz,” Reddick is now FBI agent Phillip Broyles on the Fox cult series “Fringe” which is returning for its fifth and final season this fall. “Fringe” is sort of an updated version of “The X Files” as it covers an FBI division, the “Fringe” unit that investigates paranormal activities. Olivia Torv, Joshua Jackson and John Noble also star, along with another former “Oz” castmember, Kirk Acevedo. Reddick must like cult TV shows – the actor also played a recurring role on “Lost.” “Fringe,” premieres on Fox on September 28 at 9 p.m.
TRISTAN WILDS (Michael)
Tristin Wilds had one of the most heartbreaking storylines on “The Wire” playing Michael, a teenager forced into the drug game. While at first he had no desire for that kind of life, circumstances forced his hand. Sadly, by the end of the final season of “The Wire” it seemed that he’d ultimately become as cold as the drug dealers he never wanted to emulate. Fortunately, in his real-life career, Wilds’ next role was a lot lighter. He landed the role of Dixon Wilson on “90210” the CW reboot of “Beverly Hills 90210,” the popular 90’s teen drama. However, things have taken a turn for the worse as last season Dixon was involved in a horrific car accident and it’s not yet known if he survives. (OK, well, he does, but that’s all we know.) The fifth season premieres on October 8th at 8 p.m. on the CW.
MICHAEL K. WILLIAMS (Omar Little)
Michael K. Williams was one of “The Wire’s” most popular characters, playing the role of anti-hero Omar Little, a gay stickup man who robbed drug dealers. There may have been no more complex character on the show, as despite the violence that defined him, Omar truly lived his own personal code of honor. Williams is still playing a gangster but in another era. He remains on HBO playing Albert “Chalky” White in the period series “Boardwalk Empire” starring Steve Buscemi as an Atlantic City politico who runs the town through influence. The third season premiered September 16th.
WENDELL PIERCE /CLARKE PETERS (Detectives Bunk and Freamon)
Wendell Pierce and Clarke Peters survived West Baltimore together on “The Wire” and now they’re surviving post-Hurricane Katrina on “Treme,” also on HBO. Produced by “The Wire” creator David Simon, the show takes place in a battered post-Katrina New Orleans as shell-shocked residents attempt to put their lives back together. Wendell Pierce plays musician Antoine Batiste and Clarke plays Mardi Gras Indian leader Albert Lambreaux. “Treme’s” third season premiere is on HBO September 23 at 10 p.m.