How important are actors to a show? Would Batman be the same without Adam West? Would Star Trek have been as popular without William Shatner? Was Lauren Graham really that important for Gilmore Girls?
Certain shows rely on the personality and timing of specific actors to remain popular. Once those actors are gone, the show is worthless. Although much can be said for the need for consistent and talented writing, it is up to the actors to determine the delivery of the lines. The following shows showcase just how important certain cast members can be to a show.
The Big Bang Theory is a show about the nerds that live among us. The four main male characters represent different types of nerds that are found in the world. Sheldon represents the strangest kind, bordering on mentally unstable.
Although it seems like Sheldon should be the most irritating character on the show, he is most people’s favorite. He brings an element of truthfulness and confidence to the role that is both charming and engaging. Sheldon’s firm opinions, strict rules, and ridiculous rituals are what make that show fun. Without Sheldon, The Big Bang Theory would become The Big Flop.
Spartacus was just a new show when Andy Whitfield died suddenly at the age of 39 from a recurring bought of cancer. Whitfield was part of the show for two seasons before he died, but he was able to amass a huge fan following during that time. The replacement for Whitfield, Aussie-born Liam McIntyre, is younger, and a little under-trained for the role. Fans of the show are willing to give McIntyre a chance, but most feel there is little hope that he will be able to replace the master.
The Office US was a spin-off of the British show that aired a few years earlier. The Office US started in 2005 with a large cast of virtually-unknown comedy stars. The driving force behind the show was Steve Carell, who played Michael Scot. At the end of the 7th season, Carell left the show. Although the series has continued for two more seasons, the show is obviously lacking with the absence of Michael Scott.
Topher Grace was the small, geeky star of That 70’s Show. Surrounded by louder comedic performers, it was easy to think of Eric as unnecessary, but when he left the show at the end of the 7th season, it became clear just how important to the show he had been. His replacement, Josh Meyers, never had the ability to fill Grace’s place on the show. The series only ran for one year after Grace left.
Replacing a character on a show is a challenge, because the viewers become so attached to the main characters. Most people start to think of the characters as real people, and replacing them usually ends badly. There are few TV shows that have been able to carry on successfully with a change in a major cast member.
This is a guest post by Lindsey Mcmahon. Her interests are education, parenting and health but she is constantly extending her field of view to incorporate interesting news suggested to her by her readers. She currently works for Direct2TV.com.
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