When you lose your lead character!

Discussion in 'TV Central' started by Pamela_E, Nov 4, 2017.

  1. J. R.'s Piece

    J. R.'s Piece Soap Chat Addict

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    ITC’s The Sentimental Agent
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    vanished from his show two-thirds of the way through the series and did not return. They even resorted to using a neck double, previous footage and sound grabs from previous episodes. They put him up on back projection, bobbing up and down. They had to alter the opening and closing titles on every episode on which he did not appear, because his animated disembodied head was on every shot of the closing credits.
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    John Turner replaced Carlos Thompson and John Turner was given a This Week Starring credit. The final episode credits both Carlos Thompson and John Turner as starring. Thompson only appears by use of footage from The Sentimental Agent and Man of the World and one previously unused 2-second shot from Man of the World. In terms of the story, the lead character was having offscreen adventures and the new lead was helping out of the office and then working for the company. This meant that the new lead was sleeping in The Sentimental Agent’s bed and wearing his clothes sometimes.
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    ITC’s/ATV’s Ghost Squad covered the absence of it’s main lead of the first two series by retitling itself as GS5 and then killing him off. The actor who played him, Michael Quinn, turned up in Dallas: The Red File- part 2! As the airport official who detains Ames and Garr on Bobby Ewing’s request.

    I agree. Especially after that series 2 cliffhanger. It had a looser focus without him and what he was trying to do. But Blake did return for the finales of each of the following seasons. Even if he was a drug-induced and electronic dream in one of them.
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2017
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  2. J. R.'s Piece

    J. R.'s Piece Soap Chat Addict

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    Maverick lost some leads too. James Garner was the lead, then Jack Kelly was added. Garner went, Roger Moore came and went.
     
  3. Willie Oleson

    Willie Oleson drilling for soap

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    It would make him a hero, in fact, I think it's the only way to overcome this situation.
    Don't fight it, don't hide from it - play it to the hilt! Because the thing people hate the most is what they can't see.
     
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  4. J. R.'s Piece

    J. R.'s Piece Soap Chat Addict

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    Ward Bond was the lead on Wagon Train and he died while it was in production and it carried on.
     
  5. J. R.'s Piece

    J. R.'s Piece Soap Chat Addict

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    George Woodbridge died from a heart attack during production of the second series of the children’s show, Inigo Pipkin. When he passed away, he had recorded the later episodes of the second series, so they explained his absence as a fishing holiday, aired his last episodes, then explained that the character had died. The retitled show ran for eight more years.

    I wonder if I should mention Charlie Sheen...
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2017
  6. J. R.'s Piece

    J. R.'s Piece Soap Chat Addict

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    And they murdered Jardine when James MacPherson left Taggart after 15 years.
     
  7. J. R.'s Piece

    J. R.'s Piece Soap Chat Addict

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    Pete Duel in Alias Smith and Jones too.
     
  8. J. R.'s Piece

    J. R.'s Piece Soap Chat Addict

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    Airwolf got a fourth and cheaper season with a new cast. They exploded a couple of the previous characters, bumping off Ernest Borgnine's and having Jan-Michael Vincent's character injured during the season opener, after which he is never seen again. Then having his character's MIA brother return and take the lead role.


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    Carlos Thompson as The Sentimental Agent with Shirley Eaton in Man of the World: The Sentimental Agent:
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    The same footage of absent actor Carlos Thompson reused and put up on back projection behind actress Sheree Winton (late mother of Dale Winton) standing in front of Shirley Eaton to create a sequence for the final episode of The Sentimental Agent. Unfortunately the effect is unsuccessful on screen because Thompson appears to be bobbing up and down and sliding on the screen, while Sheree Winton is very clearly not. If you look carefully on the right of Sheree Winton's head, you might catch a glimpse of Shirley Eaton's head.
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    Last edited: Nov 14, 2017
  9. Seaviewer

    Seaviewer Soap Chat Addict

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    Right. I should have remembered that. I was a fan of that show. Again, it was not so much the recast itself that hurt the later episodes but the fact that the characterisations were rejigged with Kid Curry the leader which he had never been before, effectively becoming "Alias Jones and Smith" and Ben Murphy now getting top billing.
     
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  10. Grant Jennings

    Grant Jennings Soap Chat Active Member

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    When Bea Benaderet was being treated for lung cancer, her character, Kate Bradley, on "Petticoat Junction" left town to care for a sick relative with Kate's sister and cousin filling in running the Shady Rest Hotel. When Benaderet died the show's producers decided not to have Kate die but to continue to say she was out of town. Instead of having either the sister or cousin character become a series regular, June Lockhart was introduced as the town's doctor. "Petticoat Junction" was cancelled at the end of that season but it probably would have been cancelled even if Benaderet had beaten cancer and remained with the show as part of the "rural purge" of 1971.
     
  11. J. R.'s Piece

    J. R.'s Piece Soap Chat Addict

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    Dick Powell hosted The Dick Powell Show, which then had guest hosts after he died from cancer.

    Richard Hart starred as Ellery Queen in Ellery Queen. When he died, his part was recast.

    Freddie Prinze died when Chico and the Man was in it’s third season. In the fourth and final season they brought in a replacement character, saying that Chico had gone away but eventually revealed that he had died.
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2017
  12. Don Howard

    Don Howard Soap Chat Fan

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    Continuing production on that show after Prinze offed himself was ridiculous. Greed from NBC and who knows who else.
     
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  13. Toni

    Toni Soap Chat TV Fanatic

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    Great mentions from you all!!

    Shows that suffered the loss (or temporary absence) of a lead character:

    - Pregnant Cybill Shepherd on "Moonlighting", missing for the most part of Season 4. It never recovered.
    - Kate Jackson on "Charlie´s Angels", left a void too big to fill in the last 2 seasons.
    - David Duchovny on "The X-Files" (though I did like his replacement Robert Patrick in the last season).
    - Nicollette Sheridan on "Desperate Housewives" (dumb move even knowing what was going on behind the scenes...).
    - Gil Bellows on "Ally McBeal", coinciding with a crisis in the writing department.
    - Michael Rosenbaum on "Smallville" (the most interesting actor and character of the show).
    - Cory Monteith on "Glee" (actually it didn´t kill the show as they say, but of course ratings declined after his character´s never-explained death).

    And from Soapland:
    - Robert Foxworth on "Falcon Crest" (again, coinciding with Season 7´s big debacle regarding the storylines). And, quite notoriously, Ana-Alicia in the beginning of Season 8, the fatal blow for the show, so to speak.
    - Constance McCashin and Julie Harris on "Knots Landing" (you can let go one fan favorite if well executed, but two?).
    - Victoria Principal on "Dallas" (the other stars leaving too was like adding insult to injury: the damage was already done, and there was no going back).

    :omg::omg::omg::omg::omg::omg::omg:
    (Gotta love this thingie...)​
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2017
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  14. Mel O'Drama

    Mel O'Drama Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I've just finished watching British sitcom Not On Your Nellie in which the lead character - Hylda Baker as Nellie - was absent from the last episode. Wiki tells me this:

    The show was quite patchy anyway, but the episode without her was dire and resembled the show's premise not one little bit. Even stranger, they got rid of another character in the final episode replacing him with a different character played by the same actor. Thank God they didn't try to continue the show without Baker as it would have been unwatchable.
     
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  15. J. R.'s Piece

    J. R.'s Piece Soap Chat Addict

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    I happened to be reading a piece about The Sentimental Agent without The Sentimental Agent, which read, “ It's woeful: the obvious death throes of a show that's got no idea what to do with itself now its charismatic star's gone.”

    The British comedy series, Romany Jones, was a show starring James Beck as Bert Jones but he died after the second series. Writing him out also meant writing out Jo Rowbottom but Arthur Mullard and Queenie Watts remained. The show continued for another two series with a couple of replacement Joneses and generated a spin-off series, Yus My Dear. Of course, James Beck at the time was also a regular on the comedy series, Dad’s Army.
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2017
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  16. J. R.'s Piece

    J. R.'s Piece Soap Chat Addict

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    Reg Varney starred in On The Buses (from the same team behind Romany Jones) as Stan Butler but left halfway through the seventh series. Although both he and Michael Robbins (who had left the show after the sixth series) returned for the final movie, the 3 movies having a different continuity to the actual tv series. On tv, Stan moved out to work elsewhere and Blakey moved in to Stan’s home as a lodger. This proved to be the last series of the show, although Blakey was spun off into his show, Don’t Drink The Water, for two series with Pat Coombs
     
  17. Snarky's Ghost

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    Oh, that recast was the worst! --- Pete Duel had been charming and puckish, and they recast him overnight literally with angular Roger Davis, the show's narrator and better suited for DARK SHADOWS.

    So Davis was, like, the opposite "type". If they'd recast Duel with, say, a Richard Jordan or something, it might have worked better. Although I'm still against it.

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    In Roger Davis' defense, he later claimed he didn't want to take Duel's role after Pete knocked himself off, but ABC coldly insisted the show not only continue but take no haitus at all. So Duel was filming Friday and Davis was filming Monday.

    And then they renewed it for another season despite it having low ratings as it was scheduled on Saturday nights against ALL IN THE FAMILY!

    I've come to forgive Roger Davis for that. Unlike that TWILIGHT ZONE episode with Diana Hyland he bungled.
     
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  18. Sarah

    Sarah Super Moderator Staff Member Original Member Since 1998

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    What about Bea Arthur on Golden Girls...which then became Golden Palace? I know the 4 women were equal but it lost A LOT without Bea.

    *Why has no one mentioned Larry in Dallas TNT??* :confuse:
     
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  19. Snarky's Ghost

    Snarky's Ghost Soap Chat Oracle

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    Because Anne was apparently the lead character. :lol:
     
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  20. Willie Oleson

    Willie Oleson drilling for soap

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    Haha, obviously she wasn't, but neither was JR.
    But he continued to be one of the main subjects after he had died so, in essence, he never really left. I think he became even more legendary (and infamous) than he was on-screen.
     
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