Alias: Reisig and Taylor
Gillian Flynn
April 04, 2005 at 04:00 AM EDT

What show has suffered the most from a cast change?

What show has suffered the most from a major cast change? My vote for present TV is Monk, which is just not right without Sharona (Bitty Schram); for a nostalgia pick, I’d go with News-Radio after it lost Phil Hartman. — Shyann Doller
How about Happy Days, which limped painfully along for several seasons after losing its sweet-natured centerpiece, Ron Howard. (The Army-bound Richie Cunningham remained an unseen presence: After his departure he even married his sweetheart…over the phone…from Greenland.) Other suffering series: Good Times without patriarch John Amos, ER minus the lazy machismo of George Clooney, and Alias sans Lena Olin. As Sydney’s oddly maternal killer mom, Irina Derevko, she provided a wonderfully unnerving tone. One season after Olin left the show, Irina was supposedly killed off — although, should the actress decide to return, this is one mind-spinning show that could resurrect her without any snickers.

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