Today's TV characters: It's a familiar story

For loyal viewers, popular television characters can seem like a mash-up from the latest versions of Final Draft and Mad Libs. Enter the curly-haired hipster or the back-stabbing blond here, exit the watery-eyed royal waif or the effeminate male assistant there. Send to the show runner and repeat. Of course, recycling in Hollywood did not begin with recent strivings to go green. Characters that dress, sound and talk alike are safe choices and the hope is they'll burnish ratings. "Archetypes are that for a reason -- they've stood the test of time, and have a powerful, iconic status for audiences," said Josh Schwartz, executive producer for fan favorites "Chuck," "Gossip Girl" and "The O.C." "People relate to them, project themselves onto them. The key is in how you update these characters, modernize them, give voice to them, and most importantly, cast them." Here's the latest list of the small screen's usual suspects...
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