The years following “The L Word” were both momentous and fitful for Sarah Shahi, as she embarked on a series of TV starring roles on shows that ultimately didn’t become huge hits. Right after her stint on the landmark Showtime series, she appeared as one of the main characters on the short-lived NBC sitcom “Teachers,” in the role of Mexican-born high school teacher Tina Torres. The show ran for six episodes before being canceled.
Following “Teachers,” Shahi was one of the two central players on NBC procedural drama “Life,” alongside Damian Lewis. The role of highly competent yet personally self-destructive LAPD detective Dani Reese, a recovering addict and alcoholic, allowed her to explore deeper dramatic shades than she’d hitherto been able to, and she starred on the entirety of the show’s two-season, 32-episode run — even though her role had to be shortened on Season 2, due to her first pregnancy.
After “Life” was canceled, Shahi went on to star on the USA Network legal dramedy “Fairly Legal,” where she played the main character, laywer-turned-mediator Kate Reed. She received high marks for her charisma and firm grip on the character, but the show was also canceled after two seasons.
A few years later, Shahi also played Nancy Drew on a pilot that got ultimately turned down by CBS (via TV Line), and was the protagonist of NBC’s “Reverie,” an out-of-the-box sci-fi drama about a former hostage negotiator tasked with saving people trapped within an advanced VR simulation. The show got decent reviews but was also canceled after 10 episodes.