So this post has somewhat of a focus as opposed to the previous 2 “Random TV Watching” posts. Besides the news that everyone is talking about, in regards to Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, and the Tonight Show, there has been news about other actors leaving their respective tv shows.
Earlier this week, it was announced that both Jennie Garth and Rob Estes will no longer be a part of 90210 after the end of this season. Jennie Garth’s departure doesn’t come as much of a surprise. She was never signed on as a series regular and was always billed as a “Special Guest Star.” Garth was really always there for the nostalgia factor and helped to bring in audiences when the show premiered last year. Since then, she was never really fully utilized on the show. Granted, the show is supposed to focus on the kids, but still, we’ve seen before on other teen shows how they can successfully give the adults some kind of storyline and still have the focus be on the kids. And with that, it leads us to Rob Estes also leaving the show. According to an article by Kristin Dos Santos from E! Online, Estes is leaving the show due to a disagreement in compensation with the CW for the presumed 3rd season. She goes on with inside information that the producers were willing to let him leave because they do want to focus more on the main younger cast. So this leaves the question of how are they going to write out Garth and Estes? Garth might be a little easier to write out, but Estes character, Harry Wilson, is the principal of West Bev and the father of 2 of the younger kids, Annie and Dixon. Furthermore, where does this leave Lori Laughlin’s Deb Wilson, as pretty much the sole parental figure left on the show? (Ryan Eggold’s teacher character, Ryan Matthews, is an adult figure but not by much). So 2 seasons into the series and 90210 has let go of 4 “main” castmembers. I suppose we will just have to wait and see what becomes of the show.
Today, it was announced that Rob Lowe is leaving ABC’s Brothers and Sisters at the end of the season as well. Lowe was asked to be released from his contract because he felt that he was being underutilized on the show. In such a big ensemble cast, it is natural that not all castmembers be utilized to the same extent, but I actually thought Lowe was used in a fair manner, in comparison to the rest of the cast. Sure, the main Walker family get more material, but they are at the core of the show. If this was last season, then I could probably understand, but this season, the show has been working well with the relationship between his Robert McCallister and Calista Flockhart’s Kitty Walker.
All these exits got me thinking about castmembers leaving other shows I love/like/watch; this can pertain to public announcements like Garth/Estes/Lowe or surprise exits that no one knows about until we see it happen on screen. Grey’s Anatomy definitely has had a great amount of cast changes over the years. Not that I care that much about the show anymore, but it certainly seems as though Katherine Heigl is on her way out of the show. I certainly remember back in season 3 of The O.C. when they killed off Mischa Barton. The show unfortunately got cancelled the following season and my brother likes to claim that the show died with Barton (I completely disagree – the show was great in its final season, not 1st season great but still pretty good). At the end of last season, we found out that Chad Michael Murray and Hilarie Burton would both not be returning to One Tree Hill. These are just a few examples but it goes to show that castmembers leaving (or getting killed off) are natural in the lifecycle of a tv series. However, it doesn’t make it any less surprising when you hear these announcements.