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Old 10-29-2019, 11:52 PM   #16
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Supporting characters who suddenly became the lead after the "star" leaves:

I'll give this a shot, 8 Simple Rules might fit this category. Katey Sagal was actually a costar, but the show was focused on John Ritter's character, with his untimely passing she took over as the lead character.
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.
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Old 10-30-2019, 12:03 AM   #17
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Sara Gilbert (Darlene) replacing Roseanne Barr (Roseanne).

Although technically it's a new show or spinoff, The Conners. Just that it's hard to say it's a spinoff or new show because 90% of the show is the old show: the house, the entire rest of the family (cast), premise of the show, opening theme and pretty much everything else that went with the old show. Last episode I saw of The Conners, an old clip of Darlene and David as teenagers was shown (from Roseanne).
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Old 10-30-2019, 10:26 AM   #18
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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.
Katey Sagal was definitely the lead after John Ritter died. And there are more episodes without him (45) than with him (31), so it still lasted awhile before being cancelled.
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Old 10-31-2019, 04:35 AM   #19
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Sara Gilbert (Darlene) replacing Roseanne Barr (Roseanne).

Although technically it's a new show or spinoff, The Conners. Just that it's hard to say it's a spinoff or new show because 90% of the show is the old show: the house, the entire rest of the family (cast), premise of the show, opening theme and pretty much everything else that went with the old show. Last episode I saw of The Conners, an old clip of Darlene and David as teenagers was shown (from Roseanne).
I always assumed that John Goodman and Laurie Metcalf were the defacto leads with Roseanne now out of the picture. Maybe because they were the "adults" of the household now.
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Old 11-01-2019, 11:21 AM   #20
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I always assumed that John Goodman and Laurie Metcalf were the defacto leads with Roseanne now out of the picture. Maybe because they were the "adults" of the household now.
It's much more Darlene as the central person.
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Old 11-01-2019, 11:26 AM   #21
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Katey Sagal was definitely the lead after John Ritter died. And there are more episodes without him (45) than with him (31), so it still lasted awhile before being cancelled.
Lasted awhile I disagree. I think 3 seasons of a series altogether, with just 1 full season, that being the season it got canceled, without Ritter is very limited. It was a tragic circumstance and the sadness of the real life death of John Ritter probably left little from ABC to continue the show with Katey Sagal truly as the lead in single parent type sitcom. It got the Friday night death slot and rumors circulated of cancellation after Ritter's death. The show introduced two big names (James Garner, David Spade) for in-fill of a male adult role in the house, putting less lead on Katey Sagal.

Fonzie (Happy Days), Whitley (A Different World), Kelly (Bev. Hills 90210) are stronger examples.

Last edited by favoriteshow; 11-01-2019 at 02:00 PM.
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Old 11-01-2019, 02:01 PM   #22
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I'd add Urkel on Family Matters even though there was no star that left while he became big on the show. There was daughter Judy, Jo Marie Payton in the very last season although she wanted to leave the show earlier but couldn't because of contract, and Telma Hopkins in the middle for awhile. But Urkel became indispensable to Family Matters writing, while the rest of the family had storylines around his character.
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Old 11-03-2019, 10:42 PM   #23
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Lasted awhile I disagree. I think 3 seasons of a series altogether, with just 1 full season, that being the season it got canceled, without Ritter is very limited. It was a tragic circumstance and the sadness of the real life death of John Ritter probably left little from ABC to continue the show with Katey Sagal truly as the lead in single parent type sitcom. It got the Friday night death slot and rumors circulated of cancellation after Ritter's death. The show introduced two big names (James Garner, David Spade) for in-fill of a male adult role in the house, putting less lead on Katey Sagal.

Fonzie (Happy Days), Whitley (A Different World), Kelly (Bev. Hills 90210) are stronger examples.[/QUOTE]

What are you talking about! Let's start at the beginning here's the title of the thread:

Supporting characters who suddenly became the lead after the "star" leaves

Where is there any reference in this title to the length of time the series remained on the air after the star left? You're making things up.

An additional point, Fonzie absolutely, positively is not a strong example. Fonzie did not become the lead character after Ron Howard (Richie being the original lead character) left the series. Howard left the series after the seventh season, Fonzie had been the lead character for years, there's no question about that. Actually another thread could be started naming series where the original lead character gives way to a new lead character (the hook being that the original lead character remained on the series).
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Old 11-21-2019, 05:47 AM   #24
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I don't agree with some of these. For example, no one was really the "star" of ER. It was a solid ensemble show with all the major characters/actors each getting their turn in the spotlight.

Jimmy Walker and Henry Walker were breakout stars, but I don't think they ever became the "leads" in the sense that you're talking about. No one thinks of Good Times becoming "The Jimmy Walker/JJ Show" once John Amos left or Happy Days becoming "The Henry Winkler/Fonz Show" once Ron Howard left.
Well to put things into some perspective:
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17. Abby Lockhart (Maura Tierney)

(Seasons 6-14, Guest Star in Season 15) Starting out as a nurse and rising to senior ER doctor, Abby was the third longest-running character on the show and the de facto lead once Carter left. For her troubles she was saddled with the heaviest baggage of anyone on ER, from her bipolar mother (Sally Field) to struggles with alcoholism to being assaulted by her neighbor and kidnapped by gang members. Abby's drama often overwhelmed her core character, always played with as much dignity and strength as Tierney could muster.
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Old 03-20-2020, 12:43 AM   #25
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Another ER example is Julianna Margulies overtaking Sherri Springfield as the female lead after about the first two seasons after Springfeld suddenly quit. The story goes that After Julianna won an Emmy (in the supporting category) she was threatening to quit ER. The reason was because she really didn't have a storyline outside of being reduced to walking the halls and shouting out medical terms. But then Springfeld as I said abruptly left, which wound up allowing Julianna to receive more screen time.
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Old 03-29-2020, 09:01 AM   #26
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It was a tragic circumstance and the sadness of the real life death of John Ritter probably left little from ABC to continue the show with Katey Sagal truly as the lead in single parent type sitcom. It got the Friday night death slot
Ratings were definitely not the reason 8 Simple Rules was canceled. It was doing better than other shows on Friday night that got renewed that year. I think you are right John Ritter's death probably made ABC's decision to cancel which isn't fair. The cast and writers still did very well keeping it an entertaining show. I would have rather seen 8 Simple Rules go on than Hope & Faith or Less Than Perfect.
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Old 03-29-2020, 10:49 AM   #27
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On Petticoat Junction, when Bea Benaderet passed away from lung cancer in 1968, Edgar Buchanan became the star and June Lockhart was added as Dr. Janet Craig following the cancellation of Lost in Space. The changes didn't help and Petticoat Junction was gone in 1970, replaced by the sitcom that would be one of the first classics of the 70s, The Mary Tyler Moore Show.
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Old 03-29-2020, 11:06 AM   #28
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They were both the main stars, but after Shirley left, Laverne became the main star.
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Old 03-29-2020, 11:30 PM   #29
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What are you talking about! Let's start at the beginning here's the title of the thread:

Supporting characters who suddenly became the lead after the "star" leaves

Where is there any reference in this title to the length of time the series remained on the air after the star left? You're making things up.

An additional point, Fonzie absolutely, positively is not a strong example. Fonzie did not become the lead character after Ron Howard (Richie being the original lead character) left the series. Howard left the series after the seventh season, Fonzie had been the lead character for years, there's no question about that. Actually another thread could be started naming series where the original lead character gives way to a new lead character (the hook being that the original lead character remained on the series).
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.
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Old 04-04-2020, 08:45 AM   #30
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Emma Kenney as Debs became the lead female character on shameless this season after Emmy Rossum as Fiona left the show.
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