15 TV Characters That Were Never Meant to Last

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15 TV Characters That Were Never Meant to Last

AMC, 20th Television

Course correction. It exists in art for a reason, usually in frustrating ways. Usually some artists have to change their intended vision on the whims of a producer that’s funding the show, or some other bigwig that is in charge of creative people but isn’t really creative themselves. Because of this, the art suffers for it.

However, there are times, in television especially, in which course correction has been done for the better. If there wasn’t a change of mind or of plans, several now-iconic characters would have just been around for a brief moment, never given the time to be the fully fleshed out people we see on the screen. In fact, several roles that were meant to be just brief hello/goodbye launched careers.

Here’s a list containing some of the most iconic TV roles and characters that were meant to be one-offs, but turned into endearing presences on our screens.

Jane Lynch as Sue Sylvester

Characters that weren't supposed to last Sue Sylvester on Glee Jane Lynch was attached to a different project as Glee started, so she couldn't commit to a recurring character. The other project wasn't picked up, though, and Lynch could work full time on creating an environment that is so toxic. CRACKED.COM

20th Television

E! Online

Estelle Getty as Sophia Petrillo

Characters that weren't supposed to last Sophia Petrillo on The Golden Girls Estelle Getty was only supposed to be in the pilot episode, but the audience loved her so much that she was added to the main cast. CRACKED.COM

NBC

E! Online

James Marsters as Spike

Characters that weren't supposed to last Spike on Buffy the Vampire Slayer Spike was supposed to be just a one-off villain for Buffy to slay (that's the show, after all), but was kept around to become a fully rounded character. CRACKED.COM

20th Television

E! Online

Aaron Paul as Jesse Pinkman

Characters that weren't supposed to last Jesse Pinkman on Breaking Bad Show creator Vince Gilligan thought of killing off Pinkman early in the series, but after pitching the idea to the show producers and seeing their reaction, he reconsidered. CRACKED.COM

AMC

BuzzFeed

Ice T as Odafin “Fin” Tutuola

Characters that weren't supposed to last Odafin Fin Tutuola on Law & Order: SVU Ice T was only brought in as a replacement for four episodes, but tested so well that he became a series regular for over 20 years. CRACKED.COM

NBC

Ranker

Jonathan Banks as Mike Ehrmantraut

Characters that weren't supposed to last Mike Ehrmantraut on Breaking Bad The now-favorite murdering grandpa was created because Bob Odenkirk had a shooting conflict, and the script needed a character to relay information. Vince Gilligan liked both characters, so he kept writing episodes involving them. CRACKED.COM

AMC

Ranker

Neil Flynn as The Janitor

Characters that weren't supposed to last The Janitor on Scrubs The Janitor was only supposed to last in the first season, and be revealed as a figment of J.D.'s imagination. However, Neil Flynn was so good and funny at ad libbing that show creator Bill Lawrence changed course. CRACKED.COM

NBC

BuzzFeed

Anthony Carrigan as NoHo Hank

Characters that weren't supposed to last NoHo Hank on Barry The character was supposed to die in the pilot, but then Bill Hader told show co-creator Alec Berg, We'd be insane to kill that guy. He's so funny. In the second episode, Hank appeared in a sling and beaten up, having survived. CRACKED.COM

HBO

The Wrap

Pamela Hayden as Milhouse Van Houten

Characters that weren't supposed to last SPRINGFIELD ELEMENTARY SCHOOL Milhouse Van Houten on The Simpsons Milhouse was created for a Matt Groening pitch for NBC that didn't get picked up, and then used for a Simpsons-themed Butterfinger commercial. The character was then added to the cartoon's pilot episode and, well, everything came up Milhouse. CRACKED.COM

20th Television

Ranker

Henry Winkler as Fonzie

Characters that weren't supposed to last The Fonz on Happy Days Henry Winkler's iconic role was supposed to be occasional and speak sparingly. Audiences loved him whenever he spoke, so the role kept growing - and growing as seasons went on. CRACKED.COM

ABC

Insider

Chris Pratt as Andy Dwyer

Characters that weren't supposed to last Andy Dwyer on Parks and Recreation Chris Pratt's character was supposed to just disappear once Ann Perkins dumps him in the first season. However, show creator Mike Schur thought Pratt was too funny not to use, so he and writers slowly altered his character to be more loveable and sweet to keep him around. CRACKED.COM

NBC

Insider

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