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Old 04-19-2021, 08:13 PM   #1
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Question Who are the best and worst character replacements?

In regards to TV shows that replaced departing stars with new characters Which ones were upgrades and which ones were flops?
  • Cheryl Ladd for Farrah Fawcett, Charlie's Angels
  • Shelley Hack and Tanya Roberts for Kate Jackson, Charlie's Angels
  • Woody Harrelson for Nicholas Colasanto, Cheers
  • Kirstie Alley for Shelley Long, Cheers
  • Javicia Leslie for Ruby Rose, Batwoman
  • Tiffani-Amber Thiessen for Shannen Doherty, Beverly Hills, 90210
  • Leanna Creel for Tiffani-Amber Thiessen and Elizabeth Berkley, Saved by the Bell
  • Rose McGowan for Shannen Doherty, Charmed
  • Joe Mantegna for Mandy Patinkin, Criminal Minds
  • Byron Cherry and Christopher Mayer for John Schneider and Tom Wopat, The Dukes of Hazzard
  • Goran Visnjic for George Clooney, ER
  • Cloris Leachman for Charlotte Rae, The Facts of Life
  • Meaghan Rath and Beulah Koale for Grace Park and Daniel Dae Kim, Hawaii Five-0
  • Seann William Scott for Clayne Crawford, Lethal Weapon
  • Levy Tran for George Eads, MacGyver
  • Harry Morgan for McLean Stevenson, M*A*S*H
  • Jon Lovitz for Phil Hartman, NewsRadio
  • Jimmy Smits for David Caruso, NYPD Blue
  • James Spader for Steve Carell, The Office
  • Dax Shepard for Danny Masterson, The Ranch
  • Janina Gavankar for Nicole Beharie, Sleepy Hollow
  • Charlie Sheen for Michael J. Fox, Spin City
  • Josh Meyers for Topher Grace, That '70s Show
  • Jenilee Harrison and Priscilla Barnes for Suzanne Somers, Three's Company
  • Ashton Kutcher for Charlie Sheen, Two and a Half Men
  • Sandy Duncan for Valerie Harper, Valerie/Valerie's Family/The Hogan Family
  • Robert Patrick for David Duchovny, The X-Files
  • Don Knotts for Norman Fell, Three's Company
  • Mary Jo Catlett for Nedra Volz, Diff'rent Strokes
  • June Lockhart for Bea Benaderet, Petticoat Junction
  • Betty Buckley for Diana Hyland, Eight is Enough
  • Ted McGinley for David Garrison, Married...with Children
  • Julia Duffy and Judith Ivey for Delta Burke, Designing Women
  • Jan Hooks for Jean Smart, Designing Women
  • Stephen Shortridge for John Travolta, Welcome Back, Kotter
  • Ray Fulmer and Lynn Borden for Don DeFore and Whitney Blake, Hazel
  • David Ogden Stiers for Larry Linville, M*A*S*H
  • Billy Connolly for Howard Hesseman, Head of the Class

Who is missing from this list?
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Old 04-19-2021, 10:12 PM   #2
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[*]Cheryl Ladd for Farrah Fawcett, Charlie's Angels- While I haven't seen any post-Farrah episodes yet, Cheryl Ladd was an almost certain downgrade as Farrah is the biggest draw of the show.
[*]Woody Harrelson for Nicholas Colasanto, Cheers- slight downgrade- Woody was a very capable replacement but I will always prefer Coach.
[*]Kirstie Alley for Shelley Long, Cheers- Downgrade- While Kirstie Alley is a good actress, some of her storylines sucked especially where Rebecca and Sam are trying to conceive a child and they aren't even together.
[*]Joe Mantegna for Mandy Patinkin, Criminal Minds- definite downgrade- I preferred Joe Mantegna in Joan of Arcadia.
[*]Cloris Leachman for Charlotte Rae, The Facts of Life- terrible downgrade
[*]Harry Morgan for McLean Stevenson, M*A*S*H big upgrade. While I like Colonel Blake, Harry Morgan as Colonel Potter was one of the best ever cast additions.
[*]Sandy Duncan for Valerie Harper, Valerie/Valerie's Family/The Hogan Family downgrade- Valerie era was decent but Sandy Duncan can get annoying fast.
[*]Robert Patrick for David Duchovny, The X-Files downgrade- but I don't hate this change like a lot of fans as I first saw and liked Robert Patrick on Scorpion.
[*]Mary Jo Catlett for Nedra Volz, Diff'rent Strokes terrible downgrade. Pearl did not add anything to the show like Adelaide had. It is really too bad Nedra Volz wasn't available to become a regular.
[*]June Lockhart for Bea Benaderet, Petticoat Junction- likely downgrade, I haven't seen the June Lockhart era but Kate Bradley was the glue holding the show together.
[*]Stephen Shortridge for John Travolta, Welcome Back, Kotte horrible downgrade
[*]Ray Fulmer and Lynn Borden for Don DeFore and Whitney Blake, Hazel- terrible downgrade
[*]David Ogden Stiers for Larry Linville, M*A*S*H This one is even. Burns and Winchester were both crucial to the show.
[*]Billy Connolly for Howard Hesseman, Head of the Class horrible downgrade! Billy Connolly might have gone on to movies, but his acting is hideous here.[/QUOTE]
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Old 04-19-2021, 10:16 PM   #3
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Alice: Jolene Hunnicutt for Belle Dupree
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Old 04-19-2021, 10:18 PM   #4
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Alice: Jolene Hunnicutt for Belle Dupree
Who were themselves, replacements for Polly Holliday's Flo Castleberry.
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Old 04-19-2021, 10:53 PM   #5
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Brian Forster replaced Jeremy Gelbwaks on The Partridge Family, good replacement

Nedra Volz replaced Charlotte Rae on Diff'rent Strokes--there should be a category, needed replacement since Charlotte left the show for another role

Gale Gordon replaced Joseph Kearns on Dennis the Menace, another needed replacement due to death

William Demarest replaced William Frawley on My Three Sons, another needed replacement due to the declining health of Frawley, who died around a year later.

Probably one of the most talked about replacements, Dick Sargent replaced Dick York on Bewitched. Probably also a needed replacement, since York had health issues.
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Old 04-19-2021, 11:25 PM   #6
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Cheryl Ladd for Farrah Fawcett, Charlie's Angels UPGRADE

Shelley Hack and Tanya Roberts for Kate Jackson, Charlie's Angels DOWNGRADE

Woody Harrelson for Nicholas Colasanto, Cheers NEUTRAL

Kirstie Alley for Shelley Long, Cheers NEUTRAL

Leanna Creel for Tiffani-Amber Thiessen and Elizabeth Berkley, Saved by the Bell DOWNGRADE

Cloris Leachman for Charlotte Rae, The Facts of Life NEUTRAL

Harry Morgan for McLean Stevenson, M*A*S*H NEUTRAL (Although I prefer Henry Blake)

Jon Lovitz for Phil Hartman, NewsRadio DOWNGRADE

James Spader for Steve Carell, The Office DOWNGRADE

Charlie Sheen for Michael J. Fox, Spin City DOWNGRADE

Josh Meyers for Topher Grace, That '70s Show DOWNGRADE

Jenilee Harrison and Priscilla Barnes for Suzanne Somers, Three's Company NEUTRAL

Don Knotts for Norman Fell, Three's Company UPGRADE

Mary Jo Catlett for Nedra Volz, Diff'rent Strokes NEUTRAL

June Lockhart for Bea Benaderet, Petticoat Junction DOWNGRADE

Ted McGinley for David Garrison, Married...with Children NEUTRAL

Julia Duffy and Judith Ivey for Delta Burke, Designing Women DOWNGRADE

Jan Hooks for Jean Smart, Designing Women NEUTRAL

Stephen Shortridge for John Travolta, Welcome Back, Kotter DOWNGRADE

Ray Fulmer and Lynn Borden for Don DeFore and Whitney Blake, Hazel DOWNGRADE

David Ogden Stiers for Larry Linville, M*A*S*H NEUTRAL

Billy Connolly for Howard Hesseman, Head of the Class DOWNGRADE
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Old 04-19-2021, 11:30 PM   #7
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Brian Forster replaced Jeremy Gelbwaks on The Partridge Family DOWNGRADE

Nedra Volz replaced Charlotte Rae on Diff'rent Strokes DOWNGRADE

Gale Gordon replaced Joseph Kearns on Dennis the Menace DOWNGRADE

William Demarest replaced William Frawley on My Three Sons DOWNGRADE

Dick Sargent replaced Dick York on Bewitched DOWNGRADE
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Old 04-19-2021, 11:46 PM   #8
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Traylor Howard for Bitty Schramm, Monk NEUTRAL

Kari Wuhrer for John Rhys-Davies, Sliders DOWNGRADE

George Lindsay for Jim Nabors, The Andy Griffith Show DOWNGRADE

Leon Ames for Larry Keating, Mister Ed DOWNGRADE

Pat Priest for Beverly Owen, The Munsters DOWNGRADE

Christopher Lloyd for Randall Carver, Taxi UPGRADE

Adam Scott for Paul Schneider, Parks & Recreation UPGRADE

Julia Duffy for Jennifer Holmes, Newhart UPGRADE

Peter Scolari for Steven Kampmann, Newhart NEUTRAL

Nancy Travis for Terry Farrell, Becker NEUTRAL
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Old 04-20-2021, 01:08 AM   #9
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Don Knott's for Norman Fell. Three's Company. Downgrade

Tanya Roberts for Kate Jackson. Charlie's Angels. Upgrade. Shelly Hack, Downgrade.

Lilly Tomlin for Grant Shoud, Murphy Brown. Big Downgrade.

Beverly Archer for Rue mcClanahan on Mama's Family. Downgrade.
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Old 04-20-2021, 01:11 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TMC View Post
Who were themselves, replacements for Polly Holliday's Flo Castleberry.
Belle was a downgrade from Flo. Jolene an upgrade from Belle and a slight downgrade from Flo.
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Old 04-20-2021, 02:22 AM   #11
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Cloris Leachman subbing for Charlotte Rae didn't work well, despite Cloris being a legend.

Billy subbing for Howard Hesseman was TERRIBLE. I've never seen such a poor replacement.

Flash subbing for Cody on Step By Step was lame.

Julia Duffy/Stephanie replacing her sister on Newhart was a very positive change, no disrespect to the original, fine actress. But Julia Duffy replacing Delta Burke with a character similar to Stephanie didn't work. I'm not 100% sure why.

Dick Sergeant for Dick York wasn't great.

Second Becky (Sarah) replacing Becky (Lecy) on Roseanne was okay for me. They did in funny ways, and "Identical Beckys" will always be funny to me.

The Lawrence brothers replacing the original sisters on Gimme a Break was dreadful, and killed the show for me.

Kate replacing Julie on Growing Pains was bad.

Spike and Harmony replacing Cordelia on Angel was a slight downgrade. They were great, but couldn't match Queen C.
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Old 04-20-2021, 08:09 PM   #12
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Mary Ann Mobley for Dixie Carter on Diff'rent Strokes - Downgrade
Don Knotts for Norman Fell on 3's Company - Upgrade
Al Molinaro for Pat Morita on Happy Days (and vice-versa) - Neutral
Pat Klous for Lauren Tewes on Love Boat - Downgrade
Herve Villechaize's replacements on Fantasy Island - Downgrade

These probably don't count, since the original characters weren't even that established on the shows before they were replaced (so much so that I don't remember some of the original actors/actresses) - but anyway:
Jerry Stiller on Seinfeld - Upgrade
Carol Bruce on WKRP in Cincinnati - Upgrade
Chris Elliott for Paul Reubens on Everybody Loves Raymond - Neutral
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Old 04-20-2021, 09:59 PM   #13
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Bewitched... Sandra Gould for Alice Pearce - huge downgrade

TAGS... Jack Burns for Don Knotts - even bigger downgrade

TAGS... Parley Baer for Dick Elliott - neutral

The Waltons... Robert Wightman for Richard Thomas - definite downgrade

Lassie... Jon Provost for Tommy Rettig - neutral
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Old 04-20-2021, 11:28 PM   #14
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I'd give Leanna Creel a break. She wasn't really a replacement but just a temp fill in for a handful of episodes in the final season of Saved By the Bell without Tiffani Thiessen/Elizabeth Berkley primarily to fill out the episode count.

Plus, she filled in for two leads, over one. If anything, she did fine. I thought those episodes were fine, a lot better than the New Class and College Years episodes.

Last edited by favoriteshow; 04-21-2021 at 12:14 AM.
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Old 04-20-2021, 11:33 PM   #15
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Missing from List also
Hangin With Mr. Cooper. Saundra Quarterman/Raven replace Dawnn Lewis. (Downgrade). Didnt like new direction of show as another TGIF series.

A Different World. Lisa Bonet/Marisa Tomei out. Cree Summer/Charnele Brown in. Upgrade. I like Lisa and Marisa as actors, but preferred the Season 2 changes. Denise was better on Cosby Show over ADW.


The OC- Autumn Reeser/ Willa Holland for Mischa Barton. Neutral or Downgrade. The replacement actors were fine, but the show was too far down a depressed path already it didn’t need to go because they killed off Mischa’s character. After that, the show couldnt just move on from it long term. Plus the teen /young adult appeal was lost as viewers were more fascinated with social media/Facebook apparently.

Last edited by favoriteshow; 04-21-2021 at 12:20 AM.
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