TV’s 10 Worst Character Replacements
8. Roger Phillips – Happy Days
After Ron Howard left Happy Days after seven seasons, his character, Richie Cunningham, was replaced with Roger Phillips (played by Ted McGinley). While the show continued to go on for four more seasons after Howard’s departure, it had clearly jumped the shark at that point – literally. People needed someone to blame for the show’s slow demise, so McGinley ended up receiving the blame and went on to develop a reputation as a show killer since some of the other shows he joined – including The Love Boat and Married…with Children – were already on the downswing by the time he joined the cast.
7. Beverly Ann – The Facts of Life
When Charlotte Rae’s contract with Facts of Life expired, she did not want to continue playing Mrs. Garrett, but the show was still lucrative for NBC, so they chose to cast Cloris Leachman in the mother figure role to keep the show going. She played Beverly Ann, Mrs. Garrett’s divorced sister, who had moved in with the girls to keep an eye on them. One of the big issues with the recasting was that Leachman just didn’t have the same connection with the girls that Rae’s character did. The show did manage to go on for two more seasons after Rae left and was then canceled when Mindy Cohn and Nancy McKeon decided that they didn’t want to return for a tenth season.