- Oops!Something went wrong.Please try again later.
When Thomas Gibson was fired from Criminal Minds, it was following an on-set altercation in which he allegedly kicked a writer in the shin (the actor said he "tapped him on the leg" with his foot). His character Hotch went into a witness protection program (explained off-screen), but Gibson's dismissal is far from the first time that TV has dropped long-serving, major characters like a hot potato...
1. Mandy Hampton – The West Wing
A series regular in the first season, media consultant Mandy was disappeared by Aaron Sorkin after the first 22 episodes of The West Wing.
Her (non-)exit has become so notorious amongst telly fans that any TV character now written off a show without explanation is said to be in "Mandyville".
Sorry, Mandy – as Josh Lyman's old flame, you just couldn't compete against that sizzling chemistry with Donna Moss.
2. Lisa Cuddy – House
Cuddy was the boss and on/off love interest of Hugh Laurie's grouchy medical maverick in all but the final season of House.
When actress Lisa Edelstein opted not to return for season eight, the character just vanished. She resigned, we were later told, after House crashed his car into her home. The crazy rogue.
But when the series finale saw a hallucinating House haunted by all the most significant figures in his life, Edelstein's continued absence stuck out like a sore thumb.
3. Elliot Stabler – Law & Order: SVU
Oh, Stabler... Chris Meloni's quick-fisted wild card made the first 12 seasons of Law & Order: SVU ludicrously entertaining – and his chemistry with Mariska Hargitay's Benson was a huge part of why fans tuned in.
So imagine the uproar when – after 272 episodes(!) – the character resigned from the police force... off-screen. Meloni's since hinted he'd return for the show's final ever episode – we'll hold him to that.
4. Wayne Palmer – 24
After recurring in the third and fifth seasons of 24, DB Woodside became a series regular (and the President of the United States) for Day Six.
But after being caught up in a terrorist blast, Wayne suffered a cerebral haemorrhage, slipped into a coma... and was never heard from again.
Promotional material for Day Seven later revealed that he'd died of his injuries, not that the character's demise was ever addressed on-screen. Sure, just the assassination of a US President. No big deal.
5. Cat Grant – Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman
You might remember it as one of the defining TV series of the '90s, but network ABC were dissatisfied with the first season of Lois & Clark and demanded some major changes.
Not only did they replace Michael Landes as Jimmy Olsen (for shame!), but series regular Tracy Scoggins – a regular fixture as lusty gossip hound Cat Grant – was also given the chop.
6. Dave Tucker and Paddy Garvey – Soldier, Soldier
Struggling to remember Dave and Paddy? You'll known them better as "Robson and Jerome".
The '90s heartthrobs were the heart and soul of ITV's hugely popular drama series Soldier, Soldier, but when their in-show rendition of the classic 'Unchained Melody' landed the pair a record deal – with Simon Cowell, no less – it meant the end of their on-screen alter egos.
After 55 episodes as series regulars, Dave and Paddy simply vanished between series 5 and 6 – though the show limped on for two more years without them.
7. Stella Bonasera – CSI: NY
After 140 episodes playing Detective Stella Bonasera, Melina Kanakaredes unceremoniously quit CSI: NY in 2010 and the following season saw her character replaced by a like-for-like replacement played by Sela Ward.
Stella left New York to head up her own crime lab, we were told – though her CSI: New Orleans spin-off exists only in our dreams.
8. Dr Pulaski – Star Trek: The Next Generation
A proper revolving door, this one...
First, Gates McFadden was let go from TNG after the first season – with her character Beverly Crusher "off heading up Starfleet Medical".
Diana Muldaur then joined the show as her replacement, Katherine Pulaski. But after a single season, that character was disposed of and McFadden returned to the regular cast.
Who knows what happened to Pulaski... nasty transporter accident, maybe?
9. Kate Lockley – Angel
Elisabeth Rohm played a huge part in the Buffy spin-off's first season, her character Kate serving as a rival / love interest to David Boreanaz's vampire with a soul (and amazing hair).
But after appearing in 15 episodes across the first two seasons, the character was never featured or mentioned again.
Rohm's casting on Law & Order as ADA Serena Southerlyn may have played a part in Kate's disappearance. That character, by the way, also vanished without trace after 85 episodes. Oh, the irony.
You Might Also Like