From 'Bridgerton' to 'The Wonder Years,' Who Are TV's Unseen Narrators?
There's a new gossip girl in town, and you won't believe who it is: Academy Award winner Julie Andrews, who voices the sharp-tongued, anonymous gossip writer Lady Whistledown in the upcoming Netflix period drama Bridgerton.
“When is Julie Andrews ever not the right fit?” showrunner Chris Van Dusen recently raved to Entertainment Weekly. “She gets to say some really scathing, non-Julie Andrews things that I'm excited for people to hear.”
In honor of that casting coup, we’re revisiting unseen (or barely seen) narrators from TV shows past and present.
Lady Whistledown of Bridgerton
In this upcoming Netflix period drama — the first show out of the gate from Shonda Rhimes’ producing deal with the streaming giant — The Sound of Music star voices the gossipy Lady Whistledown, our guide to the society folk of Regency-era London.
Mary Alice Young of Desperate Housewives
OK, Mary Alice was occasionally on camera, but considering the Wisteria Lane resident died in the first episode of this ABC suburban comedy-drama, actress Brenda Strong mostly stayed offscreen, providing omniscient narration.
Narrator of Arrested Development
Executive producer Ron Howard provides “affable narration” to the Bluth family’s misadventures in this Fox-turned-Netflix comedy, as Gone Girl author Gillian Flynn once wrote.
Adult Chris of Everybody Hates Chris
Considering Chris Rock co-created this UPN-turned-CW comedy and based it on his childhood, it’s only right that the comedian should narrate the proceedings as the adult version of Chris, Tyler James Williams’ teenaged protagonist on the show.
Gossip Girl of Gossip Girl
Hey, Upper East Siders. We all know who was behind the keyboard of the anonymous Gossip Girl in this CW drama. (Harumph! Or should we say, Harumphrey!) But before the tattletale blogger’s identity was revealed, Kristen Bell voiced the character. (The actress also narrated Veronica Mars as the very much onscreen eponymous sleuth.)
Future Ted Mosby of How I Met Your Mother
2030 isn’t far into the future now, but that was when Bob Saget’s version of Ted Mosby started telling his children how he met their mother, setting the frame story for this CBS sitcom.
Latin Lover Narrator of Jane the Virgin
From his in-home studio, voiceover actor Anthony Mendez provided the meta telenovela commentary as this CW rom-com’s narrator who turns out to be —year-old spoiler alert! — the adult version of Mateo, Jane’s son.
Narrator of Pushing Daisies
As this narrator would say, the facts were these: British actor Jim Dale, best known stateside as the Grammy-winning reader of the Harry Potter audiobooks, introduced each whimsical story in this ABC fantasy/comedy/mystery/musical.
Adult Kevin Arnold of The Wonder Years
Daniel Stern, perhaps best known for his villainous role in Home Alone, waxed nostalgic about his character’s youth as he played the older counterpart to Fred Savage’s Kevin Arnold on this ABC comedy-drama.