Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Replacing an Actor/Character from a Television Show Named After Them

OK, I just started thinking about something that happens rarely, but often enough to be interesting.

There are a few television shows that have been named for a star or one particular character, and then they are either fired or they leave the show and the writers/producers try to salvage the show by changing the name.

The reason I started thinking about this is the series Valerie, which starred Valerie Harper and Jason Bateman, popped into my head.

During the second season of the show, Valerie Harper left the show during a salary dispute and they killed her character off and had Sandy Duncan come in.

And I remember that The Dukes of Hazzard became two different characters during a similar salary dispute earlier in that same decade.

My question is, can you think of any other shows where something like that happened (even scenarios where the title actor/actress/character die and they just tried to keep going with a new name), because my curiosity has been piqued. I don't care where in the world it happened either... I am sure there are some excellent examples outside of North America too.

7 comments:

Peter Lynn said...

I can think of half an example: Laverne and Shirley, in its final, Cindy Williams-free season.

Kal said...

I can only think of that that Valerie/Harpers show out of all I have seen. That is weird and now is going to bother me.

MC said...

Peter: That is a good one. I knew there was one like that out there.

Kal: I thought of one... they tried doing the Chappelle show without him after he jetted to Africa.

Jimmy J. Aquino said...

Blake's 7 is another half-example. I've never seen that show, but I always thought it was strange that the showrunner didn't bother to change the title after the guy who played Blake quit.

MC said...

I can see them not doing that because it was Blake's 7, so technically, even without him, they are still that entity.

Maven said...

I was about to say...

Charlie's Angels: Cheryl Ladd replaced Farrah Fawcett

Three's Company: Priscilla Barnes replaced Suzanne Somers

But then I glanced over at the title... and well, I guess my reply doesn't qualify as the shows were not named AFTER them...

DOH! I need more coffee!

Matthew said...

A famous British example is Taggart. The lead actor died in 1994, in the middle of filming an episode. They rewrote it to explain his absence and then killed the character off at the end of the series.

The series then continued with the remaining character and is still going today. Of the 104 episodes, only the first 31 feature the character the show is named after.