So You Not Gone Tell Nobody? Surprising Actor Replacements That Were Snuck In On Us

123 comments
July 2, 2013 ‐ By Meg Butler

aunt vivs- janet hubert and daphne maxwell reid

No one likes to tune in to their favorite show to find that one of their favorite characters has been replaced. But it happens all the time. One day Aunt Viv is there and the next day she’s gone. But she’s not the only switch up TV execs pulled on us. Here are some of the most surprising surprise cast member changes on TV.

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  • breandan

    Who thought that was a well-worded title for an article?

  • Elliott

    Missing from the article: Gladys Kravitz, the neighbor on Bewitched (they liked replacing people on that show) . Chuck (the forgotten Cunningham) was played by 2 actors in Happy Days. 2 Lionel’s in The Jeffersons (which has been mentioned in other comments). Jan Brady was replaced by a different actress when they did the New Brady Bunch show in the late 70′s. Two different Riddlers in the 1960′s Batman (John Astin & Frank Gorshin) and three different Catwomen also in the 60′s Batman show. What about the youngest Partridge, Chris on the Partridge Family, replaced after the 1st season. (And the recurring role of “Snake” (the biker who seemed mean but really wasn’t) also from the Partridge Family was played by 2 different actors (Rob Reiner and STuart Margolin) You could of takin out the ER one, the Two and 1/2 men and Spin City ones because these were different actors playing different roles. if you gone be a writer you should’ve added some more info like why these people got replaced. Were they hard to get along with? Did they ask for more money? It would’ve made for a more informative article

  • Name name

    Shannon and Rose do not count in my opinon. They came in as two different sisters :/

  • aka

    Shannen Doherty didn’t leave, she got fired thanks to Alyssa Milano.

  • reverendflash

    It should be “not gon’”, spelled with an apostrophe, not a silent ‘e’. If you’re replacing ‘gonna’ (which is already replacing “going to”) with “gon’”, then you have to spell it right. If you spell it “gone” as in the word “gone” (meaning “absent”), then you change the whole meaning. I get using slang. I just don’t understand misspelling it (like Black Eyed Peas did with “I Gotta Feeling” – “I Have To Feeling”??).

  • honeymachete

    All I can say is Colourism is alive and well.

  • Naynay BossChick Williams

    notmakin this a skin color thing, but on my wife and kids, Jennifer freeman who is light skinned replaced the other girl who is brown skinned, and on tyler perrys meet the browns logan browning who plays Brianna, replaced the brown skinned Brianna. im just saying, however I think both replacements were the wisechoice. Jennifer was a big reason I watched that show.

  • LawTrekker

    You missed a biggie: Barbara Bel Geddes, Miss Ellie in the original Dallas, got sick, and was replaced by Donna Reed. At some point, Ms. Geddes recovered, and she came back.

  • mainstreamisoverrated

    LOL,I saw the pilot of my wife and kids last month I think and I noticed that they got light skinned chick and got rid of the nanny. I was like….SMDH

  • Barrett

    SO many of these facts are false,who writes this stuff?

  • Shortsiren86

    I really think this article should have specified if they were referring to recasts or new characters introduced to fill voids left by previous characters.

  • AJA

    I think a good one to mention, would have been Three’s Company.

  • Dvrrell

    Only one missing is Harriet Winslow.

  • Schaal

    Spider-Man 3 was WELL after That 70s Show’s end… and Topher was not Spider-Man. Jeez, this is some sloppy writing.

  • HipHopSays

    single ladies was like — hey there’s gotta be another high yellow chick with blue eyes out there. (lol)

    • wahh

      Stacy isn’t light nor have blue eyes

  • AHjgs

    Charmed was wayyyyyyyyyyyyyyy better with Shannen!!

  • Alexandria

    Stopped watching Single Ladies!! Just isnt the same with Stacy.

    • Alexandria

      i meant without

  • shay lanay

    i didnt like jazz raycole anyway.

  • shay lanay

    i didnt like jazz raycole anyway.

    • Rachel Murchison

      Too black, huh?

      • shay lanay

        Race isn’t a factor. I didn’t like her because she spent damn near all of her time on My Wife and Kids, whining. It’s annoying.

        • Rachel Murchison

          My bad…I wasn’t talking about race. I was talking about ‘color’. But if she was whining wasn’t it because her script called for whining? So was it HER that you didn’t like or her CHARACTER?

          • Shay Lanay

            i guess it’d be her character. Young Claire was just too whiney for my taste

          • shay lanay

            I don’t know because when Jennifer Freeman was on there she wasn’t even close to that whiney.

  • jxs9

    Ashton Kutcher wasn’t snuck in on us. Charlie Sheen mess was public.Chuck Lorre didn’t care about any of Charlie Sheen’s drugs,prostitutes,etc. He wasn’t fired until he bruised Lorre’s ego by bashing him.

  • Beejcee

    Pooch Hall was not the original Derwin Davis on The Game. The dude from the TNT show Leverage was the original Derwin, I forgot his name.

    • Beejcee

      Oh and Britrany Daniels is not the original Kelly Pitts either.

  • http://www.facebook.com/reava.jackson Reava Jackson

    What about the mother on Family Matters. They switched her in like the last season and it was horrible!

  • http://darkangelights2009.tumblr.com/ darkangelights

    I was wondering about that.

  • jkaj

    Most of these had press releases or were not surprises to the audience; rename the title.

  • jkaj

    Everyone and their mom knew charlie was leaving, that was no surprise.

  • unque43

    I didn’t care for ER once they changed to many of the first characters.

  • MichaelCNH

    Rob Lowe in everything.

  • LadyAshleigh

    What about Lionel from “The Jeffersons”?

  • kakers88

    Damon Wayans, Jr played Coach on the show not Winten Bishop. They also discuss it in the second or third episode.

    • sammi

      I like Winston but I really enjoyed the pilot with Damon Wayans Jr, it seemed like a good fit for him. The messed up part is that he turned down NEW Girl for some show on ABC that got canceled eventually.

      • wahh

        where he had the white wife? he was hilarious on there lol

  • chanela

    for the kid in mad men who had 4 different actors play him… maybe it’s because it’s really white people that all look alike? hmmm

  • chanela

    stacey dash and the new girl playing her are the kind of women that make me hate life.how come i couldn’t be born that beautiful?

  • Kevin Higgins

    How could you forget about Lionel Jefferson.

  • Anastasia Shirai

    Ur effing crazy! I LOVED COACH on New Girl, it was only ONE episode but damn I died the entire episode haha I like Winston, but I loved Coach better, hoping he’d pop back up on the show haha

  • Jessica2248

    they left out the best one of all. the ladies who played Jill Abbott on “Young and the Restless”. i liked Brenda Dickson (original Jill) better than any of those others (Jess Walton included) her and Mrs. Chancellors fights were priceless!! she played that part!!!

  • http://twitter.com/niecybaby_ PinkIce716

    I’ll watch it every now and then, but it doesn’t captivate me the way it used too. I think even the writing and story lines became worse along with the characters.

  • http://twitter.com/niecybaby_ PinkIce716

    I’ll watch it every now and then, but it doesn’t captivate me the way it used too. I think even the writing and story lines became worse along with the characters.

  • Fancy

    How could you forget Lionel Jefferson??

  • Zzpop

    I loved the first aunt Viv. The character’s personality and looks made more sense and made her more likable.

  • Rainey

    I hate to be the one to point it out, but Topher Grace didn’t leave to play SpiderMan, he played Eddie Brock/Venom in Spider-Man 3.

  • toyasg

    I’d like to say that there wasn’t an actor that could follow in Charlie Sheen foot steps. After he left I stopped watching the show.

    • wahh

      he wasn’t funny to me. on all of the things I’ve seen him on, I only liked him on Spin City

  • Chanda

    Lionel from the Jefferson’s not on here, Darnell from Girlfriends isn’t posted. No disrespect to the actors but y’all too busy posting up white actors from shows nobody cares about. There better be a part 2.

  • empresstala

    i like Janet Hubert as aunt Viv im sorry but her replacement did not bring it lol Janet played that role like it was written for her. it would have been better if they had “killed” her off instead of trying to replace her.

    • ♏ ®

      Janet was just as fierce off screen as she was on screen. Maybe she does need to get over the Will Smith thing, because she would have done another show a great service. Her career stalled at that point, proof that bitterness won’t get you anywhere. Now look at Will. He IS Black Hollywood, & Janet’s still crying about 1993. She’s unfair to herself. Just a brilliant actress wasted because of misplaced anger.

      • Rachel Murchison

        Another angry black woman.

      • wahh

        wasn’t she was also pregnant? maybe they just fired her, before she went on leave

  • Beckster14

    American idol is in the same situation as two and a half men

  • Spencer Eliacin

    what about Lionel from “The Jeffersons”?

  • sabrina

    I definitely noticed the Bobby Draper swaps. I was like…is it me, or does he keep looking different?? All four of those boys were adorable though.

  • Kam

    The Darrins were switched on Bewitched due to major medical issues that the original Darrin had. I only got to watch the show when it was syndicated when I was a kid, but I noticed the switch and didnt like it.

    • NSimonefan

      I liked the first Darrin better. The second Darrin was dull.

  • mimi

    sheesh most of these trade ins were not surprises, for e.g almost everyone knew of the beef between Stacey Dash and lisa raye, plus 2 and a half men had no choice but to fire Charlie

  • http://twitter.com/niecybaby_ PinkIce716

    Not that anybody probably cares but for my own list I’m adding the cast of Degrassi: The Next Generation. They brought in all these new kids on us, and tried to gradually edge out the old cast.

    • KOL_DOLL

      Lol YES! Slowly but surely they eased them on out.

      • http://twitter.com/niecybaby_ PinkIce716

        I can’t even deal. I was so attached to Emma, Manny, Jimmy etc. The show just doesn’t seem as authentic and real with all these other kids.

        • Vanessa Henry

          but eventually the kids had to “graduate” from high school…what can you do…i like that they tried to add the whole college spiel to hold on to the older characters. plus they also had a few characters from the the original degrassi as parents/teacher/principals. i think they did a good job.

          but i agree seeing the new faces turned me off

          • http://twitter.com/niecybaby_ PinkIce716

            My thing is its not like they tried to bring in new characters. All the new kids are almost knock offs of the old ones. Claire is like the new Emma, very conservative and rigid at first then breaks out of it. Alli is like the new Manny, can have so much going for her but is always getting caught up in drama. Usually with boys. I admit I haven’t watched in awhile so I’m not really sure what’s going on. But I hate how a lot of the old characters never received a proper send off.

            • Vanessa Henry

              so true.

  • Mia

    I don’t see much difference in the quality of Single Ladies. It still has the same amount of bad acting it always had.

    • Kam

      Hahahaha, exactly. IMO Lisa Raye is Diamond (from Players Club) in everything that she does.

      • Mia

        “Gurl!….. He gon’….. Rape….yew”
        Bad actress and that horrible attitude doesn’t help either, lol

        • Realityh03$Anonymous….ohwait

          I’m a bout kick yo m0thaf*ckin a$$!
          No.she’s not the best… but she made a name for herself from it.

  • dmase

    How about the character of “Breanna”on “Meet the Browns” Logan Browning was not the original actress.

    • MissBEL88

      Yep, I remember that too–the original Breanna was on maybe a few episodes (?), but I Mr Brown made the reference of the swap in the first episode that Logan Browning was in.

      • MissBEL88

        *remove the I before Mr Brown (LOL)

    • ♏ ®

      My mom pointed this out to me recently. I had NO idea! Just like I didn’t know about the girl from My Wife & Kids. Wow.

  • JustMe

    What about Harriet from _Family Matters_? No one ever mentions that switch.

    • therealnumber1

      Oh yea that’s a good one…and wasn’t richie replaced by 3j???

      • rainydaze80

        I thought Richie and 3j were friends and were always getting into trouble?

        • therealnumber1

          Yea but didn’t richie eventually disappear and all they had was 3j?

          • rainydaze80

            that’s totally possible. I stopped watching after Harriett got replaced and caught it in syndication a few years ago to be surprised by the Urkel and Laura hook up!

            • Tricia

              I didn’t even know about that switch till I saw reruns of it. I had stopped watching before it happened. The show just got too predictable and the Urkel character started to get old and annoying. Especially when his voice deepened and Jaleel White was still trying to talk in that high-pitched voice.

    • DaisyDuke

      YES! That threw me all the way off!

    • toyasg

      Yelp I didn’t like that switch either. The first Harriet is the one I remember. Who was the replacement?

      • Realityh03$Anonymous….ohwait

        1 morning while I noticed it was Diamond’s mom from players club

  • glamcandy

    They forgot to mention Lionel from The Jeffersons.

    • toyasg

      But I though he left because the pilot from Goodtimes got picked up. That guy was Michael Evans the real guy.

    • LaughtRiot88

      Ah, yes. The original Lionel was my TV kid crush. I thought he was soo cute!

  • Earthspirit1

    Hey MN..you missed one and it happens to be one of your/our favorite shows…”Girlfriends”..when the original actor who played Jabari Wilkes (Mya’s son) was replaced by another actor in Season 7.

    • Tricia

      Also, Flex Alexander played Darnell (Maya’s husband in the 1st season), before Khalil Khan took over the role, which was a much better fit.

      • DRKG

        I liked Flex and I liked khalil, but I wonder how Flex would have handled the whole cheating and everything, because he seems so upbeat.

      • Toni

        Kinda old, but I read somewhere the real reason was because he had to do One on One.

  • NeaJ

    I understand Jazz Raycole’s mother wanting to stand by her morals & values but it was only acting! Plus those story lines could’ve helped some teens who may have been going through the same situation in real life. Not to mention where is Jazz in her career now?!

    • therealnumber1

      Right and it wasn’t even Jazz playing the pregnant teen, it was Raven Symone

      • ru

        I wouldn’t take this explanation as the truth just because it’s what’s printed. The show got a backlash because of their casting choice, so that may have something to do with the explanation offered.

        • Yamini

          I’m glad they made the change. I felt that Jennifer was the stronger actress in this case anyway.

          • wahh

            the other girl was too young looking/sounding for the part and didn’t fit. She would’ve been a better fit for disney/nickelodeon

    • Jessica2248

      that’s right. it’s never a bad thing to send a positive message out of something negative. i’ve seen Jazz on a few shows, like Law and Order: SVU, Without a Trace, First Day, The Soul Man, and she also does a lot of voice characters for animations.

    • unque43

      Where did Jazz Raycole these days and what did she do after leaving the show. I think her mother made a bad call on pulling her. I wonder if Jazz blames her mom for shortening he career. Maybe it was her choice (Jazz) to leave.

      • Lanaa

        She’s a dancer and she wanted to pursue that that’s why she left the show.

      • ♏ ®

        Most recently, she was on Soul Man. That’s been in the last few months. She’s definitely working.

  • Realityh03$Anonymous….ohwait

    Oh and add Jambari from Girlfriends, when they moved to CW Lynn joked that he looked completely different since she had last seen him. Why did he leave the show?

  • Realityh03$Anonymous….ohwait

    ER,really? I mean After Dr. Ross (Clooney) left the main doctor became Dr. Green (Edwards) and Dr. Benton (La Salle) and Dr. Carter (Wyle) and so on…. I mean is when a main doctor left they another doctor who became more of a central character. Same for the nurses… I LOVED me some ER, TNT need to put that back into syndication….

  • TraceFace

    Ummm………Topher Grace never played Spiderman, he was in Spiderman 3 as Venom. Tobey Maguire played Spiderman.

    • original*ijs

      i was thinking the same thing lmao like ummm what spiderman did he play

    • therealnumber1

      That’s what I was going to say!! Glad you said something…

  • Reese

    I can see why the original Aunt Viv got replaced. She seems difficult to work with and she still hasn’t got over the face she got fired.

    • Guest360

      I was about to write the same thing. If how shes acting now is any indication then I would have fired her too.

    • original*ijs

      AND to this day she blames Will smh she really needs to move on, her entire career stopped right there

      • KOL_DOLL

        How did he get her fired? I’ve never heard what happened.

        • original*ijs

          idk! lol word on the street is that Will was getting more money and she became a tyrant demanding more money but she’s not THE lead character so they fired her a s s. smh

          • Chanda

            Oh, I thought it was because “she didn’t want to kiss his azz.” Her words.

            • original*ijs

              lol yeah pretty much its her word against…everyone else on set lol idk what happened exactly its prolly a mixture of both either way she really should move on

    • Mel

      Most showbiz people are ‘difficult to work with’, but you only get the pass if you’re the star (kudos to Chuck Lorre for going against the grain with Charlie). Who knows who was at fault in that predicament? I’m not going to pretend that it had to be all her fault.

      However, I don’t think any show lost as much as Fresh Prince with their replacement. Honestly, the first Aunt Viv was SUCH a great presence on the show, that it really was not the same without her.

      • toyasg

        Yeah I liked the 1st aunt Viv and the second one didn’t do it 4 me

      • Jessica2248

        i stopped watching after they replace her. she was awesome!!

      • mainstreamisoverrated

        I agree. I liked the OG aunt viv AND THAT dance she did was wheeew. She was all oiled up and cut and ish…..I was a tyke back then,but I sure do remember that and those damn Billy Graham crusades that came on every one in awhile and FP didn’t come on….pissed face.

  • Say What?

    The character Damon played on “New Girl” is not the same one that the new guy played.

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    • LaughtRiot88

      Yeah, he was named “Coach”, he was a totally different character and he was only in the pilot. That one doesn’t count, lol.

    • Leslie

      And there is apparently talk/rumors of Coach showing up for an episode since his show got cancelled.

    • April Dawn Bell

      Now they’re both on the show after Wayan’s show got canceled and they’re both very funny on it.