The Darrin Factor: 6 Upsetting TV Character Replacements

It shouldn't be a big deal when a familiar actor or actress is abruptly replaced on a TV show. Yet audiences are often unable to cope.  I suppose it’s due to the fact that a subconscious connection is often developed between audience and actors.  When, suddenly, an interloper appears in his or her place, all hell breaks loose.


  1. There were two Captain Marvels on SHAZAM! The first one was buff. The second one was kind of chubby.

  2. Don't forget Barney Rubble on the original Flintstones. They changed his voice. In earlier seasons he had kind of a deep voice, and then later, out of nowhere, he suddenly had a high pitched voice.

  3. Five more for your list.

    One MAJOR loss was when Don Knotts (Barney Fife) left the Andy Griffith show after the fifth season. Needless to say, no one could even begin to fill his shoes. The thankless job went to Jack Burns as Deputy Warren Ferguson.
    On Hogan’s Heroes Ivan Dixon as Sgt. Kinchloe was replaced by Kenneth Washington as Sgt. Baker in the final season. Mr. Washington is one of only two regular cast members still with us.
    A big change on the Jeffersons when Damon Evans replaced Mike Evans as Lionel Jefferson after the first season.
    On Happy Days, Al Molinaro took over from Pat Morita as the owner of Arnold’s
    On Leave it to Beaver, Beaver’s teacher miss Canfield (Diane Brewster) was replaced by miss Landers (Sue Randall) after the first season.

  4. Sometimes a replacement character actually works - see "Cheers" and "Barney Miller".
    From the title "The Darrin Factor" I thought there'd be talk of a different actor playing the same character - but apart from Darrin AND Gladys Kravitz in "Bewitched", and Richard Deacon replacing Roger C. Carmel on "The Mothers-In-Law", I'm drawing a blank.

    1. That is what I thought also. New characters come and go and most work out different if not fine. But I would like to see a post on different actors playing the same role. Like when Wayne Rogers replaced Larry Hagman in the "I Dream of Jeanie TV movie, or Miss (insert name here) replaced Tina Louise in the Gilligan's Island movies.

  5. On Bewitched, Larry Tate's wife was also replaced with a different actress.

  6. Sorry but I forgot two of the more obscure Upsetting TV Character Replacements,
    James Patrick Stuart replacing Robbie Rist as Dr. Zee in Galactica 1980 and the classic cast change,
    Pat Priest replacing Beverley Owen (1964) replacing Pat Priest (2007) as Marilyn Munster.