The Replacements: TV's Most Memorable Recastings

The Replacements: TV's Most Memorable Recastings


Futurama without the original voice cast? Sounds odd to us.

When Futurama returns to the boob tube in 2010, it may sound a little funny-style. 20th Century Fox TV is producing 26 new episodes for a mid-year cable run on Comedy Central, but talks have broken down with voice stars Billy West, Katey Sagal, John DiMaggio, Maurice LaMarche, and Tress MacNeille over money. Fox is trying to cut costs for the move to cable and has offered the cast less than they were hoping for, so don't be surprised if Yakov Smirnoff ends up voicing all the characters on the cheap.

It wouldn't be the first time a network pulled the okey doke on fans with replacement actors. Salary disputes, drug problems, thespian beef, and even the desire to get a college education (scandalous!) have all led to sudden, unexplained cast changes. Keep reading for the lowdown on some of television's most memorable switcheroos with before-and-after photos included!

recast_fresh_prince

The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air
Character: Vivian "Aunt Viv" Banks
Actors: Janet Hubert-Whitten (1990-1993), Daphne Maxwell Reid (1993-1996)
Reason for Recasting: Will Smith and Hubert-Whitten didn't get along. According to her recent tell-all book, the Fresh Prince was actually spoiled and ruthless, demanding that nobody get bigger laughs than him on or off set. After she was fired, the mood on set lightened—word to Aunt Viv's bleaching cream.

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recast_seinfeld3

Seinfeld
Character: Dad/Morty Seinfeld
Actors: Phil Bruns (1990), Barney Martin (1991-1998)
Reason for Recasting: Co-creator Larry David replaced Bruns after one episode because he felt Jerry's dad should be more crotchety. Ironically, after the slept-on show became a huge success without him, Bruns was finally able to pull off "grumpy old man."

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recast_superman

Adventures of Superman
Character: Lois Lane
Actors: Phyllis Coates (1951-1953), Noel Neill (1953-1958)
Reason for Recasting: When the show returned following a production suspension, Coates had already committed herself to another production—one that didn't star a man in tights.

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recast_roseanne

Roseanne
Character: Becky Connor/Becky Connor-Healy
Actors: Alicia "Lecy" Goranson (1988-1992, sporadic appearances afterwards), Sarah Chalke (1993-1997)
Reason for Recasting: Goranson left to attend Vassar College, where she studied English with a concentration in poetry and played on the rugby team. It's not as prestigious as Kanye's "PhD" but still.

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recast_madaboutyou

Mad About You
Character: Gus and Theresa Stemple
Actors: John Karlen (1994-1995) and Penny Fuller (1994-1995), Carroll O'Connor (1996-1999) and Carol Burnett (1996-1999)
Reason for Recasting: We don't know exactly why Jamie's parents were swapped out, but when you have the opportunity to get with legends, you have to. At least that's what we told our girl when we had the chance to get some Superhead.

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recast_arrested

Arrested Development
Character: Marta Estrella
Actors: Leonor Varela (2003), Patricia Velazquez (2003-2004)
Reason: After a brief stint on the show, Varela left to shoot Innocent Voices, a film about a mother and son struggling to survive the war raging in 1980s El Salvador. We'd be mad at it had producers not promptly plugged in Venezuelan dime model Velazquez. ¡Bien hecho!

recast_70show

That '70s Show
Character: Laurie Forman
Actors: Lisa Robin Kelly (1998—2003), Christina Moore (2003-2004)
Reason for Recasting: Kelly, who played Eric's promiscuous older sister (a.k.a. the second coming of Kelly Bundy), was reportedly fired because of drug problems, which is a good thing, because the show continued to be straight crack!

recast_jeffersons

The Jeffersons
Character: Lionel Jefferson
Actors: Mike Evans (1974, 1979-1985), Damon Evans (1975-1978)
Reason for Recasting: After playing George and Weezy's son Lionel on the first season of the spin-off series The Jeffersons, Mike, who first appeared as the character on All in the Family, bounced to work as a writer/producer on Good Times. When that thoroughly DY-NO-MITE! show ended, he reclaimed the role like click-clack, gimme my shit back!

recast_bewitched

Bewitched
Character: Darrin Stephens
Actors: Dick York (1964—1969), Dick Sargent (1969—1972)
Reason for Recasting: York's severe back condition kept "backing" up production, so producers went and found some new Dick, 'cause really, when you've seen one Dick, you've seen 'em all.

recast_wifeandkids

My Wife and Kids
Character: Claire Kyle
Actors: Jazz Raycole (2001-2002), Jennifer Freeman (2001-2005)
Reason for Recasting: Raycole left after one season because her mom reportedly objected to a storyline in which Claire's friend gets pregnant. Talk about your seeds of discontent!

Tags: futurama, recasting, salary-dispute, television, tv
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