10 times TV shows have tried to replace their stars


Some shows survive and even thrive after the loss of a lead actor: Think Beverly Hills, 90210 after Tiffani Thiessen replaced Shannen Doherty… or the original Charm after Rose McGowan replaced Shannen Doherty! Others, unfortunately, are not so lucky.The producers of the following shows have all replaced a main star to no avail, despite the best efforts of these replacements. Sometimes producers had no choice – they had to deal with cast releases, actor deaths, or behind-the-scenes drama. But in other cases, they have gained momentum and failed …

Nice to meet you

Dick York had to retire from the role of Darrin Stephens in the fifth season of this ABC sitcom amid back problems caused by a previous injury. Dick Sargent has filled the role for the last three seasons of the ABC show.

Kevin can wait

This sitcom controversially killed Erinn Hayes’ character between seasons 1 and 2, replacing her with a new female lead role played by former Kevin James King of queens costar, Leah Remini. CBS, however, canceled the show at the end of Season 2.

Deadly weapon

In May 2018, Clayne Crawford was fired from the cast of this Fox procedure after alleged bad behavior on set. In his absence, Seann William Scott starred with Damon Wayans in what ultimately became the series’ third and final season.


Jon Lovitz has joined the cast of this NBC sitcom for its fifth and final season to help fill the void left by the death of his friend and former Saturday Night Live costar Phil Hartman.

North exposure

Rob Morrow left this Emmy-winning CBS drama amid a contract dispute midway through its fifth and final season. He was struck off the show and Paul Provenza joined the cast as his replacement, but the series ended 15 episodes later.


Steve Carell left this beloved NBC comedy in its seventh season, and the management of the Scranton branch of Dunder Mifflin Paper Company went to characters played by James Spader, Catherine Tate, Kathy Bates and Will Ferrell. Even with such talent, the show slipped in ratings and ended two seasons later.


By the time the ninth season of this NBC-turned-ABC comedy premiered, Zach Braff and Sarah Chalke had fallen to recurring status, and Judy Reyes had left the series. Eliza Coupe, Kerry Bishé, Michael Mosley and Dave Franco fleshed out the Scrubs thrown in their place, but ABC canceled the show at the end of the season.

Sleepy Hollow

Nicole Beharie’s Abbie Mills was killed in this Fox drama amid the actress’ health issues at the end of Season 3. The producers brought in Janina Gavankar as the new female star for Season 4, which ended by being the show’s final season.

This 70s show

This Fox sitcom lost star Topher Grace at the end of its seventh season, and for the eighth and final season, the producers brought in Josh Meyers – Seth’s younger brother! – in an effort to replace it.

The X-Files

Two new agents – Robert Patrick’s John Doggett and Annabeth Gish’s Monica Reyes – began investigating the X-Files in this Fox drama after David Duchovny bailed out half of season 8 and most of season 9. (Mulder and Scully were back together in the show’s two rebirth seasons, however.)


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here