Some programs are successful because of their fantastic storylines, while others are popular because they’re so horrible they’re good, and yet others are popular because their actors are carrying it on their backs. Here are a few TV programs that would not have survived if not for their very incredible actors:
1. Rose McGowan in Charmed
Shannen Doherty and co-star Alyssa Milano reportedly had on-set and off-set issues that made it hard for Doherty to stay. It was also affecting their performances, and thus the how. Rose McGowan, her successor, turned what could have been the show’s demise and transformed it into a renaissance. McGowan’s unique acting skills and enthusiasm not only complimented Milano and Holly Marie Combs but also led to a successful run of film performances in the 2000s.
2. Goran Visnjic in ER
Clooney’s charm and appeal on the big screen is well-known. The actor’s presence on ER found the ideal balance between sticking out and fitting in with the rest of the group. Clooney left ER in 1999 to pursue a film career, leaving a large hole on the show to be filled. Fortunately for ER, Croatian actor Goran Visnjic joined the show in season 6 as Dr. Luka Kova. Visnjic’s distinct screen presence and acting talent enabled the show to survive for another nine seasons. By season 12, Visnjic had established himself as the show’s breakthrough male star, and he was even considered one of the top four contenders for the role of James Bond in the 2006 film Casino Royale.
3. Charlie Sheen in Sin City
Michael J. Fox portrayed Deputy Mayor Mike Flaherty on Spin City for four seasons. This was until he was compelled to leave the series due to his Parkinson’s condition. Spin City continued for two additional seasons after Fox’s departure, with Charlie Sheen playing new Deputy Mayor Charlie Crawford. Despite its brief remaining existence, Spin City functioned surprisingly well with Sheen at the helm of the group. His camaraderie with co-star Heather Locklear was fantastic, as were his acting abilities. Spin City may never entirely recover from Fox’s early departure, but it fared far better than anybody could have predicted without him.
4. Mike Farrell & Harry Morgan in MASH
McLean Stevenson announced his resignation at the end of the third season of the successful drama MASH, and his character was killed off in a terrible Korean conflict plane accident. Wayne Rogers (Trapper John McIntyre) also left the show before the fourth season began. Thankfully, season 4 brought two new adored characters to the show: Col. Sherman T. Potter (Harry Morgan) and B.J. Hunnicutt (Mike Farrell). Both additions to the cast refreshed the program without taking away from what made it exceptional in the first place. Season 4 also marked the start of MASH delving deeper into its war “dramedy” structure, which would not have been possible without the cast’s tremendous acting ability.