Great Shows That Were Ruined By One Bad Actor Replacement

Great Shows That Were Ruined By One Bad Actor Replacement

Having the right actor or actress is an integral
aspect of any successful TV show. Sometimes, these stars are so important that
the show can’t go on without them. Here are some major TV shows that just couldn’t
recover from the loss and replacement of a leading actor. Sleepy Hollow, Fox’s supernatural police drama,
was always a little bit different than other cop shows. For starters, one of its main characters was
Ichabod Crane from Washington Irving’s short story “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” who comes
back to life in the present day after having died 200 or so years prior. Crane then helps fight supernatural menaces
alongside police lieutenant Abbie Mills. Over three seasons, Sleepy Hollow settled
into its role as a quirky police procedural, and then it did the unthinkable Abbie died
and actress Nicole Beharie left the series. Despite a steep loss of viewers from season
1 to season 3, Sleepy Hollow returned for a fourth season without Abbie. Ichabod was now partnered with a Homeland
Security agent named Diana Thomas. The cast reboot didn’t do Sleepy Hollow any
favors, though. The show fell even further in the ratings
and was soon canceled. After seven seasons of the hit Fox sitcom,
actor Topher Grace decided to leave That ’70s Show in order to more fiercely pursue his
blossoming film career. Eric wasn’t the only member of the gang who
left; Kelso, played by the show’s other biggest star, Ashton Kutcher, also left the show,
although Kutcher stuck around for a few episodes in season 8 to explain his character’s departure. To replace two very big holes in its cast,
producers hired just one actor, Mad TV veteran Josh Meyers. His character, Randy, gets a job at Hyde’s
record store and has a brief relationship with Donna, Eric’s old girlfriend. Neither Randy nor Meyers had much time to
mesh with the ensemble; the decimated cast may have contributed to the show’s diminished
popularity and inevitable ending. The eighth season of That ’70s Show would
be its last, although Grace and Kutcher would both come back to say good-bye for the finale. “It’s like we never run out of things to talk
about.” “I knew you burnouts would be down here. It’s almost midnight, Mrs. Foreman is pouring
the champagne.” Step by Step was an ABC sitcom about Carol
and Frank Lambert, two single parents who bring their families together. In addition to all their kids, Frank’s nephew
Cody lived in a van outside the house. Cody was a good-natured, air-headed California
dude, basically a sitcom version of Ted, from Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure. “And I’m Ted Theodore Logan. Yeah!” Affable and enthusiastic acting by Sasha Mitchell
made the character a fan favorite. But in 1995, when Mitchell was arrested for
spousal assault. He was convicted later that year, and sentenced
to three years of probation and spousal abuse counseling. Mitchell wound up behind bars for violating
his parole, and reportedly attacked his wife again. At the beginning of the sixth season of Step
by Step, Cody was gone, replaced by Jean-Luc, a heavily accented hairdresser colleague of
Carol’s. Playing Jean-Luc was Bronson Pinchot, best
known for playing the excitable, heavily-accented Balki on Perfect Strangers and the excitable,
heavily-accented Serge in Beverly Hills Cop. The new cast addition didn’t work, and ABC
canceled Step by Step at the end of the season. The show then moved to CBS for a final year…
without Pinchot. After the first season of The Facts of Life,
the number of main characters was cut from 10 to just five: Eastland boarding school
housemother Mrs. Garrett and four female students. After those four graduated in the fourth season,
Mrs. Garrett opened a gourmet shop and hired her former students. And after season seven, Mrs. Garrett herself,
Charlotte Rae, left the show. She thought it was time to move on, later
telling Entertainment Weekly that the show could continue on without her. But producers loved the show’s dynamic of
a wise older woman doling out advice to young women, so they created the role of Mrs. Garrett’s
sister Beverly Ann. However, the replacement didn’t quite work,
and by the ninth season, The Facts of Life was unceremoniously cancelled. American Idol has created a number of stars,
such as Kelly Clarkson, Jennifer Hudson, Adam Lambert, and, of course, Simon Cowell. Audiences couldn’t get enough of the judge,
who was often brutally and hilariously honest with contestants. “Okay. Best singer in America. I can honestly say you are the worst singer
in America.” Cowell was the biggest star of the series,
which was the most-watched show on TV for an unprecedented eight straight seasons. But in 2010, after nine seasons, he moved
on, in part to develop the American version of his British talent series The X Factor. Idol producers had a hard time replacing Cowell,
as well as fellow original judge Paula Abdul. The Idol judges’ table saw a lot of stars
take a stab at it, but actual singers just couldn’t fill the void left by the music industry
guy who criticizes singers. By the time Fox pulled the plug on American
Idol in 2016, it had slipped out of the top 20 most-viewed shows. “Maybe we’ve made a mistake. I mean, maybe we’ve made a mistake.” News Radio, NBC’s critically-acclaimed but
low-watched comedy, had no plans to replace one of its characters and best-known star
but tragedy forced the producers’ hand. Between the show’s fourth and fifth season,
star Phil Hartman was shot to death by his troubled wife. It was a horrific crime, and a devastating
loss for the show. But in order to complete enough episodes to
sell the show into syndication, NewsRadio was picked up for another season anyway. In the season premiere, it was explained that
Hartman’s character, pompous radio newsreader Bill McNeal, died of a sudden heart attack. Replacing him at the newsreader’s desk was
a new character, Max Louis. Weird, insecure, and wholly unqualified for
the position, Max was portrayed by Hartman’s friend and Saturday Night Live costar Jon
Lovitz. While Lovitz is a great comic actor, he just
couldn’t overcome the sadness looming over NewsRadio. Lovitz’s first season would be the show’s
last. For the Fox television adaptation of Lethal
Weapon, Clayne Crawford took over for Mel Gibson as “loose cannon” Martin Riggs. And if on-set reports published by Variety
are any indication, Crawford was even harder to control than his character. In an episode he directed, a special effects
explosion went awry, sending a piece of debris at co-star Damon Wayans. When Wayans complained, Crawford referred
to his co-star as a “crybaby.” Another time he reportedly screamed and swore
at a group of children who wandered near; on yet another occasion, he reportedly proved
so hard to work with that a director walked off the set in the middle of a shoot. In May 2018, after two seasons, producers
eliminated what they thought was the root cause of the show’s problems and fired Crawford. They rushed to find somebody to replace him,
and quickly hired Seann William Scott to play Wesley Cole, a new partner for Detective Roger
Murtaugh. Scott couldn’t save the show, however. All that tension didn’t totally dissipate,
with Wayans announcing that he planned to leave the series in the middle of the season. Fox decided to wash their hands of the whole
thing in May 2019 and canceled Lethal Weapon. From 1998 to 2007, Kevin James and Leah Remini
starred on the popular CBS sitcom King of Queens. James would go on to star in a string of movies
like Grown Ups and Paul Blart: Mall Cop, but in 2016, he returned to the weekly CBS sitcom
grind with Kevin Can Wait. James portrayed Kevin Gable, a family man
who has to delay retiring from his police job due to family and money issues. Playing opposite James was Erinn Hayes as
Kevin’s wife, Donna Gable. At least, that’s how it was for the first
season. Kevin Can Wait producers revamped the show
for season two: They killed off Donna Gable and fired Hayes. James explained the decision to the New York
Daily News by saying: “We were literally just running out of ideas.” They also brought in a new face, who was really
a familiar face. Surprisingly, Leah Remini joined Kevin Can
Wait as Kevin’s business partner, Vanessa. However, the nostalgic rebooting couldn’t
overcome the weird behind-the-scenes shakeup, and ratings actually dropped in season two. After the conclusion of the sitcom’s second,
ill-fated season, CBS didn’t wait to cancel Kevin. An ensemble dramedy with a culturally diverse
cast set in an often surreal rural Alaska, Northern Exposure was radically different
from most other shows on television. Rob Morrow starred as Dr. Joel Fleischman,
a snobby New York City doctor who heads north to service the tiny town of Cicely. Northern Exposure was a big hit, reaching
the top 20 in the ratings and earning four straight Emmy nominations for Outstanding
Drama Series, and winning the prize in 1992. But Fleischman’s desire to leave Alaska never
faded, and Morrow wanted to bounce, too. Halfway through the show’s sixth season, Morrow
fled Northern Exposure, reportedly to pursue new acting challenges and a movie career. Replacing him was a new physician: Dr. Phillip
Capra, portrayed by Paul Provenza, a respected stand-up comedian who had little acting experience
apart from his work on sitcoms. That inexperience seems to have showed; after
just half a season with Provenza at the helm, the network canceled Northern Exposure. The high school sitcom Head of the Class debuted
on ABC in 1986. It explored the relationships between a diverse
group of highly advanced Manhattan students and their history teacher Charlie Moore, played
by Howard Hesseman. A big part of why Head of the Class worked
is that it was ensemble-focused; the various kids had personal and academic problems, and
Mr. Moore helped them sort things out. Hesseman portrayed Moore with understatement
and subtlety, letting his younger co-stars take center stage. However, the actor hated Head of the Class. In 1989, he told a reporter that he thought
the show didn’t have much worth. He said: “We’re not doing the show that I was led to
believe I’d do, and it’s difficult for me to get off that.” Unsurprisingly, Hesseman left the show in
1990. In his place was Scottish comedian Billy Connolly
as a teacher named Billy McGregor. All of a sudden, a show about high school
kids’ problems was a show about wacky Mr. McGregor. ABC seemed to realize that, too. In 1991, the network canceled Head of the
Class and quickly ordered up a new show called Billy. Connolly continued to play McGregor, who was
now living as a boarder in a California single mother’s house. Community never had a huge audience during
its five-year run on NBC. Nevertheless, NBC kept renewing the critically-acclaimed
comedy about the disparate people who comprise a Colorado community college study group. That loyalty remained even after increasing
difficulties with Community creator and showrunner Dan Harmon, who was fired, and then rehired. However, five seasons was ultimately NBC’s
limit, leaving internet giant Yahoo! to step in and renew Community for a sixth season. “That show’s gonna last 3 weeks.” “Six seasons and a movie!” Original regulars Joel McHale, Gillian Jacobs,
Danny Pudi, Ken Jeong, and Alison Brie followed the series to Yahoo!, but the show had been
losing cast members, and kept losing them as it transitioned to streaming. Chevy Chase, Donald Glover, and Yvette Nicole
Brown were not part of the regular cast of Community’s sixth season. New actors were added, but the bandaid casting
just didn’t work out, and there was no seventh season of Community. Not enough people tuned in and the show didn’t
generate as much advertising revenue as Yahoo! had hoped. In fact, the revenue was so small that it
effectively led to the complete shutdown of Yahoo! Screen. Yahoo! CFO Ken Goldman said on an earnings call that
the company lost $42 million because of Community and its two other original series. Scrubs, a dramedy about medical interns desperately
trying to figure out what they were doing as they worked in a hospital, was a critically-acclaimed,
Emmy-nominated hit over its first few seasons on NBC. The network finally dropped Scrubs after seven
seasons in 2008, but got picked up by ABC to finish things off with an eighth season. The show’s writers and cast prepared a true
series finale to cap off those episodes, only for ABC to unexpectedly renew the series for
season 9. By that point, however, star Zach Braff was
ready to move on to other things. So the show was retooled and rebooted, no
longer taking place at a teaching hospital, but at a medical school. Familiar doctors were now teachers instead
of active surgeons. Braff moved to the background, and the new
narrator and center of the show became Dr. Lucy Bennett. Ultimately, the big changes were too much
to take, and the ninth season of Scrubs was its last. Check out one of our newest videos right here! Plus, even more Looper videos about your favorite
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100 thoughts on “Great Shows That Were Ruined By One Bad Actor Replacement

  1. The only one needing replacement in a Kevin James show is Kevin James. He's not talented or even remotely funny. If he were to never appear in another TV show, or movie, I wouldn't miss him at all.

  2. Technically you are not correct about scrubs.
    What you called the final season was a new series with some crossover actors called Scrubs: Interns.

  3. I never saw the lethal weapon one but good God not must've been awful for Damon hack wayans to walk lol and ps Sean Williams Scott is a great actor and fantastic comedic actor, if he couldn't save it it must've sucked out loud

  4. Doug and Carrie were a perfect combination. Why mess with a working team!!! Can you imagine keeping Ricky and replacing Lucy??? Or Keeping Ralph and replacing Alice??? Doug lll

  5. Nah, Community season 6 is pretty amazing for what it is. It's just very different from the previous ones, that's all. There are some brilliant episodes in season 6 and everyone who disagrees is a Britta!

  6. I was big fan of Sleepy Hollow, but I drop off down the line. I had no idea until now that Abby was killed off which not surprisingly was the shows down fall as she was a big part of the show. I even liked the Johnny Depp movie Sleepy Hollow as it was very good.

  7. The loss of Nicole in sleepy hollow
    Isn’t what killed the series.

    The way they did season 2 killed it.

    From the start of season 2 they ignored everything that happened in the season 1 finale.

    You have Abby stuck in purgatory being helped by the past your Version of her and her sister

    Fast forward to 2×01, both young sisters randomly disappeared, and they don’t bring it up at all throughout the season

    The writers even said the original plan was to have her stuck in there for a few episodes, if not until the mid season finale

    Basically how they handled and did season 2 is why she wanted to leave

  8. Scrubs got cancelled because the director or someone got WOKE! ..decided a woman should be the focus. Well, it was a great show.

  9. Why the hell did you say did you mention that Phil Hartman wife was "troubled"? By "troubled" you mean that she was high on cocaine and alchool when she shoot him between the eyes, neck and chest when he was sleeping?

  10. Bloody hell,I have only heard of 2 of these shows,what a shit list,a British bloke reviewing shows Brits have never heard of,weird

  11. Billy Connolly is the greatest stand-up comedian of all time. It's no shock that Hollywood just never figured out what to do with him.

  12. I thought Paget Brewster was quite good in COMMUNITY. The show was a shadow of what it once was, but it still beat the shit out of BIG BANG THEORY. Those first three seasons are utter perfection, though.

  13. Playing a little fast and loose with the word “great” now are we, Looper? Let’s say they were, “mildly entertaining” and leave it at that. 🙂

  14. They lost 42 million on Community? Anyone could have told them that that was a terrible idea. If the entire cast couldn’t/wouldn’t do it, then essentially you don’t have a show. For instance Reno 911 is getting a reboot, but it’s not going to include a lot of the regulars. They however had enough sense to keep the costs tremendously low for it and the fans are going to love what’s coming next.

  15. What about the replacements for Bo and Luke Duke on Dukes of Hazzard? The replacements for Starbuck and Appolo on Battlestar Gallatice 1980 ( although it was revealed that Apolo character died )

  16. I disagree with the American Idol one. Paula Abdul was the only recognizable name on the show premiered in 2002, ratings went down after season 8 when she left, season 1 of The x factor us had good ratings and after Paula Abdul left ratings went down and lastly ratings for so you think you can dance went up when Paula Abdul join the judge panel and went down when she left.

  17. The Ranch. Killing off Rooster and replacing with Luke. Good but definitely missing the comedy and chemistry of the original cast.

  18. Trapper replaced with BJ, Frank replaced with Charles and the greatest mistake, Col Blake being replaced by Col. Potter. Thats 3 major characters, but since M*A*S*H went on for another decade I guess the suits and audience thought otherwise. I was not a big fan in the later yrs.

  19. Two and a Half men !!!!!!!!! They should have paid Charlie Sheen what he wanted !!!! He could never be replaced period !!! Maybe, only with a Bob Cummings from years ago , but he is dead !

  20. Spin City was great with Michael J. Fox, but when he left and Charlie sheen took over it just wasn't funny anymore. It seemed like all Charlie wanted to do was make out with every female around. I also liked Jennifer Esposito's role and was disappointed when she didn't come back.

  21. I didn’t like Leah Remini replacing Erinn Hayes just like that after guest starring the final 2 episodes of “Kevin Can Wait”. Kevin James had a new TV wife and it was nice until Leah came in.

  22. I think you got the Lethal Weapon one twisted, hearing Crawford mention his side made it seem like wayans was horrible to work with because he was used to being in charge and basically wanted the show to be a revamped My Wife And Kids, I think that is pretty apparent when watching.

  23. Once Upon a Time should never have had a season 7. The season 6 ending would have been a great show finale with nothing else needed. Like the last season of Scrubs, I choose to block out that the last season of OUAT ever existed.

  24. When I saw "Head of the Class", I was immediately reminded of another series that could be on this list. Welcome Back Kotter.

  25. Kevin Can Wait was an average show, nowhere as good as King of Queens even without the replacement the show would have lasted 4 years at best

  26. Simon was mean and Arrogant he could of said it in a kinder way 💁🏿‍♀️that’s what I don’t like Simon he’s mean and brutal.💁🏿‍♀️💯lethal weapon was trash after they change rigs character

  27. Weird. I liked Northern Exposure, but don't remember Paul Provenza at all. I seem to remember Adam Arkin as having replaced Morrow (who was another winner of the Mclean Stevenson award).

  28. One of the biggest mistakes in tv history is Fox getting rid of Clayne Crawford rather than Damon Wayans.

    Anyone with any sense knew Wayans was the problem, but in todays culture you can't risk taking the side of the white actor when its the black actor doing the whinging.

    Wokeness killed lethal Weapon

  29. CHARLIE SHEEN WAS 2 an half men!!
    That midget (boy) that “denounced show as “Devils Work” yet got paid $500,000 an episode WHAT A SCHMUCK!!! Hahahaha

  30. 70s show didn't die because they left. It was dead and that's why they left. And, isnt American idol still on? Or at least it was semi recently.

  31. Crawford wasn’t the problem with lethal weapon find his account of what happened it makes far more sense of what actually happened

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