It doesn’t feel that it should be possible for a TV show to lose any of its main actors and still be able to move on does it? That might have been the case back in the day, but some shows have figured out how to do at this point and have made a pretty decent run at it, though losing the main actor doesn’t come without its share of problems beforehand and after. While some have soldiered on and watched their ratings rise and fall, others have actually seen things improve as new actors have come on and a remaining lead has risen to the top. There’s always the question of whether the lead actor will want to come back or if they’ll be welcomed back, but a lot of times if a lead actor is written out of a story they might only return for a cameo or a flashback at best. Sometimes it can be due to a contract dispute, other times it can be that the character was going to be written out anyway. There are a number of different ways this can happen, but so long as the show goes on it kind of proves that the lead actor was needed at one point, but eventually, the show grew beyond them.
Here are a few shows that cut out their main actor.
5. Batwoman – Ruby Rose
The removal of Ruby Rose came as a surprise to a lot of folks despite the fact that there were some that were against her becoming Batwoman, to begin with. For one reason or another though she did step down from the role and chose to make her way back to Australia to take some time to herself and keep up her acting career. There is a second season coming obviously but we’ll see a new face in the main role and the hope is that she’ll be someone that people can get behind when it comes to the heroine. Seeing how this show started off upsetting a number of people it’s a little bit impressive to see that it’s coming back.
4. Two and a Half Men – Charlie Sheen
Charlie Sheen has been one big bundle of issues for a while now and things kind of boiled over on Two and a Half Men after a while as he was taken off and Ashton Kutcher was brought on. There are a couple of different explanations that can be used for the mess this created but all in all, it did feel that the show was headed for a big change after a while since Jake was growing up and the whole feel of the program was more than a little different from what people remembered. This is one of those times when finding out what was going on behind the scenes wasn’t that shocking but it was indicative of a problem brewing.
3. Law & Order: SVU – Christopher Meloni
Sometimes there’s no big issue when it comes to a person being let go, sometimes it’s just business. Christopher Meloni was a big part of SVU for a while and as Eliott Stabler was one of the more noted actors on the series. The episode that spelled the end for him made it kind of obvious that his character was on the way out, and not too long after that he was gone. But Mariska Hargitay, who’d been at his side the entire time, stepped up in a big way and has been the shining star for a while now as SVU has continued. Plus, Chris will be back in his own show eventually and will make an appearance on SVU again.
2. The Conners – Roseanne Barr
There are a few ways that a lead can be cut from their own show, and Roseanne Barr apparently found another one without really trying when she sent out a less than advisable tweet that ended up getting her canned from her show not long after it had been put back on the air after many years. Obviously the star wasn’t too thrilled about this but the cast went on without her for a bit and things were looking okay for a while, though at this point a lot of people are willing to argue as to whether the show has enough to keep going or if it’s going to fold at some point.
1. The Walking Dead – Andrew Lincoln
Throughout its run, this show has made it clear that very few characters are safe since it’s been killing off people that a lot of fans thought would last a while longer and has kept others that should have been dead by now. Plus, it’s added in characters that were never in the comic series to boot. But while its ratings have gone up and down for several seasons now the one thing that is obvious is that once Rick was gone the show took a hit, but they’ve kept moving forward regardless.
Sometimes the show just has to go on.