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If you are an ardent watcher of TV shows, you have probably had your heart broken by the departure of a lead character at one time or the other. It’s even more heartbreaking when the said characters are not given a proper farewell from the show (a number of randomly killed off characters come to mind- RIP Margaery Tyrell).

The exit of some lead stars may spell doom for the show but others somehow found a way to move on. Without further ado, here are 5 TV shows that managed to continue after the exit of a lead character: 


charlie two and a half men

  1. Two and a Half Men 

It is hard to imagine that Two and Half men could run without Charlie Sheen but it turns out one and a half works as well. The embattled star’s on and off rehabilitation and his big blowout with the show’s creator Chuck Lorre, lead to his being fired from the show in 2012. Ashton Kutcher was brought on as a replacement and was an instant hit with fans until the show finally came to an end after 12 successful seasons in 2015.



elena gilbert vampire diaries

  1. Vampire Diaries 

Well the exit of Elena Gilbert (Nina Dobrev) from the show was definitely unexpected and we didn’t think the show could go on without her but somehow it did. Though the CW claims Dobrev was moving on to a better project, we all know it was really the bad breakup with Ian Somerhalder and his nuptials at the time, that led to her leaving the show in 2015. I certainly like the twist the show gave to her departure, her character was not out rightly killed and I am glad she got a proper farewell, with a really emotional episode. 


greys anatomy

3. Grey’s Anatomy 

We have had to say goodbye to way too many characters and pretty much all of the main characters on this show but the ones that hurt the most were the departures of Sandra Oh (Cristina) in season 10 and Patrick Dampsey (Derrick) at the end of Season 11. It really hit fans hard, with some even threatening to stop watching the show. However, the show managed to continue after their exits, thanks to the genius of Shonda Rhimes (and a lack of any other dramatic hospital shows to fill the space in our hearts).


one tree hill

  1. One Tree Hill

For the longest time, one three hill was focused on Peyton (Hilarie Burton) and Lucas (Chad Michael Murray) so we were all shocked when they both left the show together in 2009, at the end of the 6th season. To fill the void, the show added several new characters, including Robert Buckley’s Clay and and Shantel VanSante’s Quinn. The show ran for 3 more seasons with this cast and finally came to an end in season 9.



mistresses alyssa milano lead characters 

  1. Mistresses 

Mistresses started with a bang, as we followed the life of Savannah (Alyssa Milano) and her friends but in 2015 but fans were sad to hear that she would not be coming back for the 3rd season, after the set for the show was moved to Vancouver, Canada. She decided to opt out for her children’s sake. A few replacements have been brought but none have really stuck. I certainly would like Kate Davis, played by Tabrett Bethell to become a permanent character on the show.


What do you think? Did we miss out any show? Let us know in the comments below.


Written by Doyinsola Olaniyan

Want more TV? Binge watch on these manly man shows with us. 


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