Television shows can become a significant part of our lives, and when the actors decide to leave, it can be a tough pill to swallow for the fans. Sometimes the decision to walk away is made by the actors themselves, while other times, it’s a result of behind-the-scenes issues. Regardless of the reason, it can be shocking to see our favorite stars leave a successful TV show. In this article, we’ll take a look at 20 stars who walked away from successful TV shows and the reasons behind their departures.
These are some actors who, despite having a successful TV show, chose to leave it all behind:
- Steve Carell – “The Office”: Steve Carell, who played the iconic character Michael Scott in “The Office,” left the show after seven seasons to focus on his movie career.
- David Caruso – “NYPD Blue”: David Caruso left “NYPD Blue” after one season due to creative differences with the producers. He later found success with the show “CSI: Miami.”
- Katherine Heigl – “Grey’s Anatomy”: Katherine Heigl left “Grey’s Anatomy” in 2010 after six seasons, citing her desire to focus on her family and movie career.
- Chevy Chase – “Community”: Chevy Chase left “Community” in 2012 after a tumultuous time on set, including several public feuds with the show’s creator and other cast members.
- Topher Grace – “That ’70s Show”: Topher Grace left “That ’70s Show” after seven seasons to pursue a movie career. He has since starred in several successful films, including “Spider-Man 3” and “BlacKkKlansman.”
- Isaiah Washington – “Grey’s Anatomy”: Isaiah Washington was fired from “Grey’s Anatomy” after using a homophobic slur on set. He later apologized and attempted to make amends with the LGBTQ+ community.
- Shannen Doherty – “Beverly Hills, 90210”: Shannen Doherty left “Beverly Hills, 90210” after four seasons due to conflicts with other cast members and the show’s producers.
- Christopher Abbott – “Girls”: Christopher Abbott left “Girls” after two seasons, citing creative differences with the show’s creator Lena Dunham.
- Suzanne Somers – “Three’s Company”: Suzanne Somers left “Three’s Company” after five seasons due to a contract dispute with the show’s producers.
- David Duchovny – “The X-Files”: David Duchovny left “The X-Files” after seven seasons to pursue other projects. He returned for the show’s eighth and ninth seasons and for a reboot in 2016.
- Rob Lowe – “The West Wing”: Rob Lowe left “The West Wing” after four seasons due to creative differences with the show’s creator Aaron Sorkin.
- Dave Chappelle – “Chappelle’s Show”: Dave Chappelle left “Chappelle’s Show” midway through the show’s third season due to disagreements with the show’s network and concerns about the direction of the show.
- Mandy Patinkin – “Criminal Minds”: Mandy Patinkin left “Criminal Minds” after two seasons due to the show’s violent content and its effect on his mental health.
- Michael J. Fox – “Spin City”: Michael J. Fox left “Spin City” after four seasons due to his battle with Parkinson’s disease. He later returned to television with the show “The Michael J. Fox Show.”
- Amanda Bynes – “The Amanda Show”: Amanda Bynes left “The Amanda Show” after three seasons to focus on other projects. She later retired from acting in 2010.
- Charlie Sheen – “Two and a Half Men”: Charlie Sheen was fired from “Two and a Half Men” in 2011 after a public feud with the show’s creator and erratic behavior on set.
- Jennifer Morrison – “Once Upon a Time”: Jennifer Morrison left “Once Upon a Time” after six seasons to pursue other projects and to spend more time with her family.
- Maura Tierney – “ER”: Maura Tierney left “ER” after ten seasons to focus on her health. She later found success with the show “The Affair.”
- Sasha Alexander – “NCIS”: Sasha Alexander left “NCIS” after two seasons due to a desire to pursue other projects.
- Dan Stevens – “Downton Abbey” – Dan Stevens left “Downton Abbey” in 2012 to pursue other projects and focus on his film career.
These actors left their shows for various reasons such as creative differences, personal issues, contract disputes, or simply to pursue other opportunities. Some found success in their future projects, while others struggled to replicate their previous fame. Nonetheless, their decision to leave their successful TV shows made a lasting impact on their careers and the shows they left behind.