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Old 04-04-2020, 08:55 AM   #31
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Andy Sipowicz officially became the main character on NYPD Blue after Bobby Simone died, although Andy was always the main character from day one in my opinion. Both David Caruso and Jimmy Smits always got top billing before that.
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Old 04-04-2020, 08:32 PM   #32
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Clint Eastwood in the last year of Rawhide after Eric Fleming left.
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Old 04-05-2020, 02:12 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by denny View Post
Clint Eastwood in the last year of Rawhide after Eric Fleming left.
Clint Eastwood must have just been getting started out then to have second billing to Eric Fleming. I had never heard of him.
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Old 04-05-2020, 08:31 PM   #34
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The main reason you never heard of Eric Fleming was because he passed away a year after Rawhide went off.
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Old 04-09-2020, 10:43 PM   #35
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Quote:
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Go re-read my comment:
8 Simple Rules didn't last that long after John Ritter passed away, so it's hard to say Katey Sagal took much lead, although she was the sole parent. It also was a tragic circumstance and the show was too tied to John Ritter. They did add James Garner and David Spade, but the series was moved and cancelled in a season.

You chose to skip over my comment, so let me repeat it again: ABC didn't provide much lead for Katey Sagal, if it introduced James Garner and David Spade in the cast. And the show got cancelled pretty quickly.

ABC didn't want to do a single mom raising her kids show. Add some other relative adults living in the house, and those who are famous actors too?

Happy Days lasted many years with Fonz as lead after Rich left. Of course, duration and actual lead matters.
I'll take another shot at this, in reverse order:

Fonzie (Winkler) was the lead character years before Richie (Howard) left the series, there can't be any serious question of that fact. Winkler discussed the change and the subsequent conversation he had with Howard who wanted what was best for the show (Howard wasn't happy but what could he say, the show worked better and was more successful). As far as billing is concerned, those arrangements are worked out before the series began (in his book about Gilligan's Island Schwartz discusses the nuances of these agreements).

With respect to 8 Simple Rules, Segal was the lead after the passing of Ritter.
The fact that they added additional characters that became regulars doesn't change that fact.
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