As weird as it may sound, replacing an actor or an actress mid-series happens more often than you think. Reasons for that may vary – from an actor who is hard to work with to special circumstances of the show. It’s hard not to notice when a character changes after the start of the new season or simply in the middle of the series, but sometimes the producers have no other choice. Here are 10 actors who were unexpectedly replaced in the middle of the show.
The Big Bang Theory – Penny
This may come as a shock to some of you, but Penny wasn’t the original casting choice. In fact, there was no such character in the show’s pilot! The girl that was supposed to befriend Leonard and Sheldon was named Katie and had a more sarcastic and dark approach to life. The character didn’t go well with the show, so Amanda Walsh was recast and Kaley Cuoco stepped in to play Penny. The best choice ever!
Sense8 – Capheus
Did you notice that Capheus was replaced in the middle of Season 2 of Sense8? The transition went pretty smooth and Aml Ameen (the original cast) was replaced by Toby Onwumere (the new Capheus). Still, the whole thing happened and some tension on set is to blame for that. Apparently Aml Ameen had a conflict with Lana Wachowski and left the show after things got too heated.
Game of Thrones – the Night King
Many things went wrong with the last seasons of Game of Thrones. You may not have noticed this, but the Night King was replaced in Season 6. Richard Brake was the first actor who took upon this role, scaring the bejeezus out of the audience, but he was later replaced by Vladimir Furdik. He created quite a different vibe!
Batman – Catwoman
This 60s TV show had Adam West playing the Dark Knight, but his enemies were changing faces on a regular basis. The same happened to Catwoman! The character was originally played by Julie Newmar, but the actress decided to pursue bigger roles in movies. That’s when Eartha Kitt stepped into the role, which led to a breakthrough in her career. The actress later confessed that role saved her!
Friends – Carol Willick
You’ve probably re-watched Friends numerous times, so you know that the ex-wife of Ross changed her face at least once. We first see her played by Anita Barone when she turns up in the museum to tell him he is going to become a father. The actress left after that to pursue some greater roles and Jane Sibbett stepped in to play Carol for the rest of seasons.
The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air – Aunt Viv
Janet Hubert was the one who played Aunt Viv for the first three seasons of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, but after that she decided to leave the show. Reason? Apparently, there was a conflict between her and Will Smith that influenced her decision. She wanted to re-negotiate her contract, but that didn’t happen. After that the character was played by Daphne Maxwell Reid.
Two and a Half Men – Charlie Harper
You’ve probably heard that Charlie Sheen is a difficult actor to work with due to various issues. After the final episode of Season 7 the show was suspended as Charlie Sheen went into rehabilitation. Eventually, directors had to cut him loose and the show was on the verge of cancellation. After some time, Ashton Kutcher stepped in to play Walden Schmidt and the show got a new life.
Game of Thrones – Daario Naharis
Can you believe that Game of Thrones had as many as eleven recasts during the course of the show? And we thought things were going great during the filming. Daario Naharis was a pretty special character as he became the love interest of Daenerys Targaryen. First he was played by Ed Skrein, but the actor chose to leave the show so he could play in The Transporter Refueled. He was replaced by his total opposite – bearded Michiel Huisman.
Family Guy – Meg Griffin
This recasting may be hard to spot unless you have a really good ear and like to check TV show casts from time to time. It turns out Family Guy’s Meg Griffin was voiced by different actresses in the course of the show’s history. In the pilot she had the voice of Rachel McFarlane, then Lace Chabert voiced Meg in Season 1 and after that Mila Kunis stepped in to voice the character for the rest of the show.
Charmed – Prue Halliwell
Shannen Doherty has a bit of a bad rep when it comes to on-set relationships. It turns out she left Charmed out of the blue, leaving directors with no choice but to kill her character off and cast a ‘replacement’ – a long-lost sister of the witch-family played by Rose McGowan. This might have been a clumsy plot decision, but it worked! Shannon Doherty stated there was too much drama on set, so she decided to quit.