Over the course of television history, numerous actors and actresses have been fired from prominent roles on television series for one reason or another. Whether these reasons have to do with controversies or excessive salary demands, there has often come a point where networks have decided that losing a star is a better option than keeping them on. Sometimes these stars are replaced in their roles, while other times their characters are simply written off of the show. Join Facts Verse as we take a look at actors who got fired from their roles, and who replaced them.
Shannen Doherty is a notable celebrity figure because not only has she been fired from one hit television series, but she has actually been fired from two! Throughout Shannen’s television career, the star has been fired from both Beverly Hills, 90210 and Charmed. The actress’s characters were written off of both series upon her firing, and new characters were brought onto the shows to help fill the void. Despite being fired from two hit television series, Shannen continues to find work in the industry today, and even recently performed a stint as a fictionalized version of herself on a reboot of Beverly Hills, 90210.
Beverly Hills, 90210 was the series that turned Shannen into a star, though she ended up being fired from her role on the series due to her poor attitude on set. Upon Shannen’s firing, her character was written off of the series and actress Tiffani Thiessen was brought on to keep audiences interested. Tiffani had recently come off of working on another hit series, with that being Saved by the Bell. She premiered on Beverly Hills, 90210 at the beginning of the show’s fifth season.
Given the fact that Shannen Doherty had been fired from Beverly Hills, 90210 so many years back, perhaps the creators of the television series Charmed should’ve known better than to hire the diva onto their new show. However, Shannen’s star status had persevered despite her controversies in the early 90s, and the supernatural series arguably wouldn’t have been nearly as big of a hit without the starlet’s starring role. Despite Charmed’s popularity, a feud with costar Alyssa Milano on the show’s set caused Shannen to be fired. Although fans were disappointed, producers felt that keeping Alyssa was more important than keeping Shannen Doherty. Shannen’s character was written off of the series and was replaced with a new character written for actress Rose McGowan. The change occurred at the start of the show’s fourth season.
Shannen Doherty was fired from the aforementioned two series for her diva-like behavior, but beloved actress Lynn Redgrave was fired from a television series just for trying to breastfeed her kid! Lynn performed the role of Ann Anderson for the first two season’s of the hit 1979 show House Calls before being fired before production of the show’s third and last season began. According to the network, Lynn was fired because she had made excessive salary demands. However, it later turned out that the real reason Lynn was fired from the show was because she was adamant about breastfeeding her newborn on set. Following Lynn’s departure from the program, actress Sharon Gless filled the void left in her wake by portraying the new character of Jane Jeffries for the show’s last season.
Actress Selma Blair played a main character on the FX series Anger Management during the show’s first season before being unceremoniously let go from the program after a feud developed between her and costar Charlie Sheen. Apparently, Selma Blair had complained to executives in charge of the series about the problematic behaviors of Charlie on set. Charlie had already become known for his problematic behaviors, having been fired from his own hit show previously. The network knew that Charlie was a gamble, but he was also popular with audiences at the time. Charlie proved the bigger star between him and Selma Blair, so FX fired Selma. Selma’s character was written off the series and actress Laura Bell Bundy was brought onto the show to be the new love interest for Charlie’s character.
Since we’re on the subject, it can’t hurt to mention the show that Charlie Sheen was fired from for his problematic behavior a few years before getting Selma Blair fired from Anger Management. Charlie Sheen’s role on the series Two and a Half Men had made him a bigger star than ever before, and it shocked audiences when he was fired from the hit CBS sitcom for his strange public behaviors. The main reason Charlie was fired from the show was a bizarre interview where he had offered his strange perspectives on such topics as 9/11. Charlie had previously come under controversy for substance abuse issues and a history of domestic violence, and he apparently often intimidated series creator Chuck Lorre on the show’s set. After Charlie Sheen was fired from the series in 2011, his character was written off and actor Ashton Kutcher was brought on to play a brand new character written to fill the void. Ratings decreased significantly after Charlie’s firing.
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In 2017, Danny Masterson was one of two actors fired from hit Netflix series as a result of sexual abuse allegations. Prior to taking his role on hit Netflix series The Ranch, Danny Masterson was best known for his time on That ‘70s Show. During Danny’s time on The Ranch, a number of women came forward with allegations of sexual abuse against the actor. The allegations also fingered the Church of Scientology, of which Danny is a member. According to the allegations, Danny has raped multiple women, and the Church of Scientology has helped cover it up. The accusers sued Danny, and the lawsuit is still ongoing. It remains uncertain whether the courts will determine the actor guilty or innocent, but Netflix long-since made the decision to replace Danny on The Ranch with Dax Shepard. After Danny’s character was written off, a new character was brought on portrayed by Dax to keep audiences involved in the show.
Of course, the other actor who was fired from a hit Netflix series in 2017 was Kevin Spacey. After allegations came out that Kevin Spacey had assaulted a minor many years previously, Kevin was fired from the hit series House of Cards. House of Cards was a more successful series than The Ranch, and Kevin Spacey played a more prominent role on the prior program than Danny Masterson did on the latter. Because of this, filling the void left by Kevin Spacey after his firing from House of Cards proved much harder for Netflix than filling the void left in the wake of Danny’s firing. Still, the writers of House of Cards managed to come up with a plot for a fifth and final season of the show without Kevin. Kevin played the president of the United States, who was killed off and replaced in the role by his wife. Robin Wright played Kevin’s on-screen wife, and she subsequently became the lead of House of Cards’ last season.
Longtime reality television host Jeremy Clarkson, known for his work on the series Top Gear, was fired from the program after assaulting one of it’s producers. The assault reportedly forced the producer to have to go to the hospital, and Jeremy was let go with decades of experience under his belt. Jeremy took responsibility for his firing, claiming that he had made a huge mistake. Actors Matt LeBlanc and Chris Evans came onto the show to perform as hosts following his release.
Lisa Bonet was a big hit on The Cosby Show, playing the daughter of Bill Cosby’s character. Lisa’s character was so popular on the series that she was eventually given her own spin-off series in the form of A Different World. However, Lisa becoming pregnant only a season into the show’s run caused her to be fired from the series. Following Lisa’s firing, the show’s other characters were given more time on the screen in order to fill the void left in her wake. Lisa returned to The Cosby Show for a period of time following this, but ended up leaving the series again before it’s end.
Dana Plato was one of three child stars that helped make the show Diff’rent Strokes a major success with television audiences. However, all three of the show’s child stars ended up getting into some trouble behind the scenes. It was Dana who got into the most trouble, with her having turned to drugs and alcohol early in the show’s run. Dana’s substance abuse habits weren’t the reason she was fired from the series, however. Instead, the reason Dana was fired was because she became pregnant late into the show’s run. The producers knew there was no way to make the show work with Dana pregnant, so she ended up being written out of the series in 1984. She came back the following year after giving birth, though ended up having a lot of trouble in her personal life after the series came to an end. Sadly, Dana Plato lived a life of tragedy after Diff’rent Strokes’ end and eventually died of a drug overdose in the late 1990s. Prior to her death, the disgraced actress had apparently made headlines after being arrested for robbing a video store.
All of these actors were fired from their hit series and replaced in one way or another, whether by a fresh new face or by increased time on the screen for already established characters. Now it’s time to hear from you: did you know that Lynn Redgrave was fired from the series House Calls for wanting to breastfeed her newborn child on set, and did you know that Shannen Doherty has been fired from two separate series throughout her career? As always, like this video to show your support, and subscribe and hit the notification bell if you’d like to be among the first to know when more Facts Verse videos are on their way!