It takes a daring, daring TV series to kill off one of its true star attractions and continue for several more seasons. More so, it takes an extremely smart and awesome show to do that and somehow succeed in only improving the quality levels of the project.
Many small-screen offerings have chosen to kill their lead role or some other title in order to generate some buzz, but so many of those decisions backfired and markedly worsen this series in the fallout of the deaths of these major characters. Misfits and Skins are a pair of shows that have gotten into the habit of spinning their key players, but the vast majority of those deaths have unfortunately only hampered both shows.
Making such a call is always risky, but there are great examples of shows that have done this and managed to thrive in the wake of such disappearances. Whether it’s introducing new characters or just allowing existing characters to step up and have more time in the sun, it’s been proven that it’s far from impossible to use a big name death as a launching pad for a better overall product.
With that in mind, then here are ten times a TV show has only managed to improve after killing one of its main actors.
For the first three seasons of Charmed, the magical trio of Prue, Piper and Phoebe Halliwell were our main protagonists, with Shannen Doherty, Holly Marie Combs and Alyssa Milano in these respective roles.
While everything was going relatively well on screen for these three, things were falling apart behind the scenes. Most notably, Doherty and Milano were always at loggerheads, as the character of Prue was killed when Shannen was fired (or resigned – depending on who you think).
Prue’s (off-screen) end came at the end of the show’s third season, with a battle against the demon Shaxx enough to leave her with injuries she couldn’t recover from.
How did Charmed cope with the loss of his biggest name? Well, that just brought in Rose McGowan as the Halliwell’s long lost half-sister, Paige, to fill that void.
Not only did Paige act as a more than suitable replacement for Prue, but the show itself remained successful enough to warrant five more seasons. Sure, the management may have drifted a bit too much into more traditional soap opera tropes in subsequent seasons, but Charmé has always proven to be an entertaining beast whose passionate fan base has continued to grow over the years. .