The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, The Simpsons, Friends, The X-Files; Seinfeld- Photo credits: NBC/courtesy Everett Collection; ©20thCentFox/Courtesy Everett Collection; NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images; Everett Collection; ©20thCentFox/Courtesy Everett CollectionNBC

(Photo by NBC/courtesy Everett Collection; ©20thCentFox/Courtesy Everett Collection; NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images; Everett Collection; ©20thCentFox/Courtesy Everett Collection; NBC)

The 100 Best ’90s TV Shows

The ’90s — when things were whack if they weren’t rad and you bounced from a lame party full of capital-L losers … yadda, yadda, yadda. Some of our favorite TV stars are responsible for that fly vernacular. Their favorite catchphrases were seared into fans’ brains and survive to this day on the lips of moms everywhere because those dorks starred in some of the best TV of the decade.

We’re talking the Fresh Prince, Mulder and Scully, Jerry, Elaine, George, Kramer, Bart and Lisa, Captain Picard, Buffy, Angela Chase, and, of course, Chandler, Rachel, Ross, Monica, Joey, and Phoebe to name just a few of the characters that we came to love and left a lasting impression.

Feeling nostalgic, we decided to rank the top ’90s shows below based on their popularity at the time they aired, their cultural resonance today, their Tomatometer score (where available), and an aggregation of editorial lists published by reputable media outlets. You’ll find ’90s sitcoms, ’90s cartoons, ’90s Nickelodeon shows, ’90s hospital dramas, ’90s police procedurals — sensing a pattern?

We’re saving The Sopranos (1999–2007) and other titles that aired the bulk of their seasons primarily in other decades for other lists; however, long-running shows that ran through the majority or all of the 1990s did make the list, even if they’ve had many seasons in other decades, too – shows like Saturday Night Live, The Simpsons, and Unsolved Mysteries. (You may also see those on our “Best TV of the 1980s” list — coming soon!) You’ll also note that these are primarily U.S. titles, though the occasional British series was able to cross the pond in the age before streaming and make a major impression in the ’90s.

Did your favorite not make our list of the best ’90s TV shows? Tell us in the comments which ’90s series you think should have made the list or should have been ranked higher or lower.

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#100

#99
Synopsis: A four-part miniseries tells the horror story of King's "The Stand." A supervirus that leaked from a lab kills most... [More]

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#98

Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: With The Adventures of Brisco County Jr., Bruce Campbell brings his campy charms to the small-screen in an inventive, genre-bending Western.

Rocko (1993)

#96
Synopsis: Rocko is a wallaby who has moved from his native Australia to the United States. But life in the United... [More]

Doug (1991)

#95
Synopsis: Meet Douglas Yancy Funnie, who just moved to Bluffington with his parents, Phil and Theda, and his sister, Judy. When... [More]

Aeon Flux: Season 3 (1995)
80%

#94
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: Reaching a beguiling conclusion, Aeon Flux solidifies its status as a startlingly mature animation curio that is equal parts disturbing and sexy.
Starring:

Picket Fences (1992)
82%

#93
Synopsis: Set in Rome, Wis., this drama/mystery series revolves around a small town where strange things happen. The central focus is... [More]
Directed By: David E. Kelley

Synopsis: Texas Ranger Cordell Walker kicks posterior -- usually in slo-mo. Because of his martial-arts skills, he has a competitive edge... [More]
Directed By: Len Katzman

JAG (1995)

#91
Synopsis: Harmon "Harm" Rabb Jr. is a former pilot turned lawyer working for the military's JAG (Judge Advocate General) division, the... [More]

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#90

#89
Synopsis: Based on the EC Comics series of the same name, this campy and stylized anthology series recounts a string of... [More]

Blossom (1991)

#88
Synopsis: Blossom Russo is a highly intelligent and spunky teenager. The youngest of three, she lives with her divorced musician father,... [More]

#87
Synopsis: The fictional version of comedian Drew Carey is a hapless employee for Cleveland's Winfred-Louder department store, which becomes an Internet... [More]

The State (1993)
83%

#86
Synopsis: Produced by MTV, "The State" is a sketch comedy show, a la "Saturday Night Live" with more elaborate productions. The... [More]

Kenan & Kel (1996)

#85
Synopsis: "Aw, here it goes!" Kenan Thompson and Kel Mitchell were among the original cast members of the popular Nickelodeon sketch-comedy... [More]

Synopsis: Forced by evil scientists to watch bad "B" movies until he breaks, a host and a bunch of captive robots... [More]

Synopsis: Another incarnation of the Superman legend, this series puts a 1990s spin on the standard story. This time, the focus... [More]
Directed By: Robert Singer

Dinosaurs (1991)
91%

#82
Synopsis: Dinosaurs live like humans in this 1990s sitcom set in 60,000,003 B.C. in Pangaea. Blue-collar dinosaur Earl Sinclair tries to... [More]

#81
Synopsis: Long before Neil Patrick Harris portrayed the skirt-chasing Barney Stinson in "How I Met Your Mother," he was a favorite... [More]

Synopsis: This animated talk show is hosted by not-so-superhero Space Ghost and set in deep space. The show is often disrupted... [More]

#79
Synopsis: Sleep tight, America! Your fate lies safely in the hands of Dexter, a child genius who whips up dazzling, world-saving... [More]
Directed By: Genndy Tartakovsky

7th Heaven (1996)

#78
Synopsis: Eric Camden is a reverend and the father of numerous children who faces the challenges of raising a family during... [More]

Synopsis: Superman battles evil while trying to conceal his alter ego, Clark Kent.... [More]

Synopsis: Mutant heroes live in New York sewers and train in martial arts to protect the city from crime.... [More]

Synopsis: Sabrina Spellman is a teenager with magical powers who comes from a long line of witches. Until going away to... [More]
Directed By: Paula Hart, Bruce Ferber

#74
Synopsis: Doug Heffernan puts in a long day's work delivering parcels and comes home each night to his loving wife, Carrie;... [More]

Xena (1995)

#73
Synopsis: Xena is a reformed warrior princess who travels around fighting evil. Gabrielle -- bard and friend -- keeps her company... [More]
Directed By: Sam Raimi, Robert Tapert

Synopsis: Former NBA player Mark Cooper becomes a dedicated teacher and basketball coach in Oakland after his playing career ends. When... [More]

Babylon 5 (1994)

#71
Synopsis: Creator J. Michael Straczynski's ambitious and complex futuristic space opera charts five years in the lives of those aboard the... [More]

Mr. Bean (1990)
100%

#70
Synopsis: The misadventures of a bumbling loner.... [More]
Starring: Rowan Atkinson
Directed By: John Birkin

X-Men (1992)
85%

#69
Synopsis: Professor Charles Xavier and his band of courageous mutants strike back against corrupt and bigoted government agencies as well as... [More]

Rugrats (1991)

#68
Synopsis: "Rugrats" reveals the world from a baby's point of view. Everything looks bigger, more mysterious and uncontrollable. Angelica, the oldest,... [More]

Pinky & the Brain (1995)
75%

#67
Synopsis: The odd buddies have many strange adventures.... [More]
Directed By: Steven Spielberg

The Tick (1994)

#66
Synopsis: People dressed in tights and capes set out to save the world.... [More]

#65
Synopsis: This series uses reenactments and interviews to retell the circumstances of mysteries that are unsolved. Covering crimes, tales of lost... [More]

#64
Synopsis: When violent monsters descend upon Earth to destroy humanity, a reluctant young man joins a small squad of pilots under... [More]
Directed By: Hideaki Anno

Stargate SG-1 (1997)

#63
Synopsis: A team of explorers made up of soldiers and scientists travels through a Stargate, an ancient portal to other planets.... [More]
Directed By: Brad Wright

Synopsis: Beavis and Butt-head are, as one of the early preshow disclaimers read, "dumb, crude, ugly, thoughtless, sexist, self-destructive fools. But... [More]
Starring: Mike Judge
Directed By: Mike Judge

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#61

Ellen (1994)

#60
Synopsis: Ellen works in a Los Angeles bookstore called Buy the Book and hangs around with her friends discussing lovers, work... [More]

The Nanny (1993)

#59
Synopsis: When she appears on the doorstep of wealthy widower Maxwell Sheffield's New York home, cosmetics saleswoman Fran Fine unexpectedly gets... [More]

Martin (1992)

#58
Synopsis: Stand-up comedian Martin Lawrence drives this irreverent sitcom as a sexist, cocky and wisecracking radio station talk show host. His... [More]

Full House (1987)

#57
Synopsis: When Danny Tanner's wife dies, the San Francisco sportscaster gets support in the form of two new roommates: brother-in-law and... [More]

#56
Synopsis: Lovable schemer Zack Morris leads his pals on adventures at California's Bayside High School. The friends navigate relationships, final exams,... [More]

Synopsis: The high commander of an alien expedition lands on Earth -- what he considers to be the least-important planet --... [More]

#54
Synopsis: Denise Huxtable is in "a different world" -- predominantly black Hillman College -- in this popular "Cosby Show" spinoff. A... [More]

Murphy Brown (1988)

#53
Synopsis: Murphy Brown is the star reporter of "FYI," a newsmagazine series. Murphy is sarcastic, ambitious, often self-involved and bossy --... [More]

Ally McBeal (1997)
61%

#52
Synopsis: Ally McBeal is a young attorney who joins a prestigious law firm with a highly sexual environment and whose staff... [More]

Star Trek: Voyager (1995)
76%

#51
Synopsis: Kathryn Janeway is the captain of a starship that is lost in space and must travel across an unexplored region... [More]

NewsRadio (1995)
95%

#50
Synopsis: "NewsRadio" showcases the hilarious antics of staffers at WNYX, the fictional No.2 news radio station serving New York. The characters... [More]

#49
Synopsis: A show brilliant in its uncensored bad behavior and satirical humor, this series features Edina and Patsy, two hard-drinking, drug-taking,... [More]
Directed By: Jon Plowman

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#48

Synopsis: This series is composed of surreal sketch comedy pieces dealing with everything from politics and religion to popular culture. The... [More]

Quantum Leap (1989)

#46
Synopsis: Former scientist Sam Beckett finds himself trapped in time due to an experiment gone awry, leaping into the body of... [More]

Felicity (1998)

#45
Synopsis: Felicity Porter is a shy girl who finds out what life on her own is really following her high-school graduation.... [More]

Party of Five (1994)

#44
Synopsis: After their parents die in a car accident, the five Salinger siblings are forced to live on their own, with... [More]
Directed By: Chris Keyser, Amy Lippman

Chicago Hope (1994)

#43
Synopsis: Dr. Phillip Watters heads the hospital administration and often butts heads with dedicated doctors and surgeons who take issue with... [More]

L.A. Law (1986)

#42
Synopsis: The high-powered law firm of McKenzie, Brackman, Chaney and Kuzak handles both criminal and civil cases, usually for high fees.... [More]

#41
Synopsis: Live from New York for more than four decades, celebrity hosts join an award-winning ensemble cast to perform comedic sketches,... [More]
Directed By: Lorne Michaels

Daria (1997)

#40
Synopsis: Brainy, sardonic Daria Morgendorffer tries to fly under the radar at Lawndale High School, and she's doing a pretty good... [More]
Directed By: Karen Disher

Mad About You (1992)

#39
Synopsis: In this comedy, married New York couple Paul and Jamie Buchman (Paul Reiser, Helen Hunt) share their lives and offer... [More]
Directed By: Danny Jacobson

Synopsis: Ren, a psychotic Chihuahua, and Stimpson J. Cat, a dimwitted Manx cat who goes by the nickname Stimpy, have a... [More]

Melrose Place (1992)

#37
Synopsis: This sudsy drama from Aaron Spelling focuses on the lives and loves of young adults in an apartment complex in... [More]

Synopsis: One of the definitive shows of the 1990s, "90210" originally follows the lives of Brandon and Brenda Walsh, who both... [More]
Directed By: Charles Rosin, Darren Star

#35
Synopsis: This drama series chronicles the lives of wannabe filmmaker Dawson Leery, his best friend Joey (female), who has been in... [More]
Directed By: Greg Berlanti, Paul Stupin

Wings (1990)

#34
Synopsis: Two brothers, Joe and Brian Hackett, run a one-plane commuter service from a small Nantucket airport. Along with Joe's on-again/off-again... [More]

Spin City (1996)
69%

#33
Synopsis: New York Mayor Randall Winston needs help running the city. So, for much of the series, he counts on Deputy... [More]

Roseanne (1988)
76%

#32
Synopsis: Explore life, death and everything in between through the relatable, hilarious and brutally honest lens of the working-class Conner household,... [More]

#31
Synopsis: This series provides a platform for the many members of the comedic Wayans family. Popular recurring sketches include Homey D.... [More]

Synopsis: Ray Barone is a successful sports writer and family man who deals with a brother and parents -- who happen... [More]

#29
Synopsis: Tim "The Toolman" Taylor, host of the home-improvement show "Tool Time," definitely is not as handy at home as he... [More]

Sports Night (1998)
90%

#28
Synopsis: Casey McCall and Dan Rydell are two sports anchors and best friends both on and off the screen. At "Sports... [More]

#27
Synopsis: Dr. Joel Fleischman graduates from Columbia University medical school and is assigned to work in the tiny Alaskan town of... [More]

Synopsis: A spinoff of "Star Trek: The Next Generation," "Deep Space Nine" is set on a space station near the planet... [More]

#25
Synopsis: With the help of true love Topanga, best friend Shawn and teacher Mr. Feeny, Cory Matthews juggles school, friends and... [More]

Sex and the City (1998)
70%

#24
Synopsis: A sex columnist, Carrie Bradshaw, and her three friends -- Samantha, Charlotte and Miranda -- explore Manhattan's dating scene, chronicling... [More]

NYPD Blue (1993)
83%

#23
Synopsis: This Steven Bochco-produced series pulls few punches in portraying the day-to-day lives of cops in New York's 15th Precinct. Characters'... [More]

Murder One (1995)
91%

#22
Synopsis: High-powered attorney Theodore Hoffman defends Neil Avedon, an arrogant young actor with a track record of drug-and-alcohol problems, in a... [More]

#21
Synopsis: "The Wonder Years" tracks life in the turbulent late 1960s and early '70s through the eyes of the increasingly less... [More]
Directed By: Bob Brush

Synopsis: The antithesis of the loving "Cosby Show" family, "Married ... With Children" focused on the Bundys, a suburban Chicago family... [More]

#19
Synopsis: Sarah Michelle Gellar takes on the role of Buffy Summers in this TV version of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," based... [More]

Oz (1997)
92%

#18
Synopsis: Inmates and correctional officers inside the Oswald State Correctional Facility, nicknamed "Oz," battle for power and survival amid warring factions... [More]

Synopsis: This animated series conveys the dark mood of the original "Batman" comic books. Unlike the light action "Batman" show of... [More]
Directed By: Kevin Altieri

Synopsis: Accused by some of misinforming its core audience of young adults about international news, this series doesn't hide the fact... [More]

Synopsis: This fast-paced police drama portrays the brutal detective work of a homicide department in Baltimore. Dealing with the numerous murders... [More]

Freaks and Geeks (1999)
100%

#14
Synopsis: Growing up circa 1980, a misfit high-school student and his pals are probably destined to become new media millionaires, but... [More]
Directed By: Judd Apatow, Jake Kasdan

My So-Called Life (1994)
95%

#13
Synopsis: "My So-Called Life" is a bastion of teen angst. Angela is a high schooler in constant turmoil over her exposure... [More]

Prime Suspect (1992)
100%

#12
Synopsis: After a colleague suffers a near-fatal heart attack, Detective Chief Inspector Jane Tennison takes over an investigation into the murder... [More]

#11
Synopsis: Hey now! This series offers a behind-the-scenes look at late-night talk show host Larry Sanders (Garry Shandling) and the production... [More]

Law & Order (1990)

#10
Synopsis: Filmed on location in New York, the drama showcases the sometimes-complex process of determining guilt or innocence, while lives hang... [More]

ER (1994)

#9
Synopsis: Set in Chicago, this medical drama deals with the personal and professional crises of the doctors in the emergency room... [More]

Twin Peaks (1990)
82%

#8
Synopsis: A crime drama mixed with healthy doses of the surreal, this series is about FBI Agent Dale Cooper, who travels... [More]

Synopsis: Will Smith more or less plays himself in this good-natured NBC sitcom. As the show's popular theme song explains, fictional... [More]

Frasier (1993)
93%

#6
Synopsis: Dr. Frasier Crane, a successful Boston therapist, moves to Seattle to get a new start on life; he has a... [More]

Synopsis: Featuring a bigger and better USS Enterprise, this series is set 78 years after the original series -- in the... [More]

The Simpsons (1989)
85%

#4
Synopsis: This long-running animated comedy focuses on the eponymous family in the town of Springfield in an unnamed U.S. state. The... [More]

The X-Files (1993)
74%

#3
Synopsis: In one of the longest-running science fiction series in network TV history, FBI special agents investigate unexplained, mind-bending cases known... [More]
Directed By: Chris Carter, Glen Morgan

Friends (1994)
82%

#2
Synopsis: Three young men and three young women -- of the BFF kind -- live in the same apartment complex and... [More]

Seinfeld (1989)
89%

#1
Synopsis: Four single friends -- comic Jerry Seinfeld, bungling George Costanza, frustrated working gal Elaine Benes and eccentric neighbor Cosmo Kramer... [More]


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This week’s biggest TV story involves a major superhero milestone, some Big Bang Theory nostalgia (yes, already), a post-Game of Thrones role for one of its biggest stars, and more.


TOP STORY

Tom Welling’s Clark Kent Joins The CW’s Mega-Superhero Crossover

SMALLVILLE, Tom Welling, 'Bloodline', (Season 8, episode 160, November 6, 2008), 2001-2011. © Warner Brothers Television/courtesy Everett Collection

(Photo by Warner Brothers Television/courtesy Everett Collection)

Major superhero news: The CW’s original Superman, Smallville star Tom Welling, is suiting up for the network’s epic Arrowverse crossover “Crisis on Infinite Earths.” While the prequel series famously didn’t show Welling’s Clark Kent donning his Superman cape until the final episode, we’ll find out what has happened to him in the almost-decade since Smallville ended.

“Tom is incredible. Bringing back his Clark is something we always wanted to do for Crisis,” Arrowverse executive producer Marc Guggenheim said on Twitter.

He’ll be joined by two more Supermen: Brandon Routh, who stars on DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, will reprise his Superman Returns role in the crossover; Supergirl’s current Superman, Tyler Hoechlin, will reprise his role as well. Hey — there are infinite Earths, so theoretically that means infinite Supermans too.

The crossover begins with the Dec. 8 episode of Supergirl, continuing into a special Monday night airing of Batwoman and a regularly scheduled Tuesday night episode of The Flash on Dec. 10 before pausing for the winter hiatus. The story then concludes on Tuesday, Jan. 14 with Arrow and a “special episode” of Legends.


Trailers: Peaky Blinders, Supernatural’s Final Season, More

Peaky Blinders is back: The series returns to Netflix for its fifth season on Oct. 4. The streaming service released a full trailer for the upcoming season, which features Cillian Murphy’s Tommy Shelby, now serving in Parliament, dealing with the financial crash of 1929.

You can also watch the following new trailers:


The Big Bang Theory Cast Is Already Reuniting

The Big Bang Theory just ended, but two of its stars are already staging a reunion. According to Deadline, Jim Parsons and Mayim Bialik will executive produce the new multi-camera sitcom Carla, which Fox ordered straight to series. Bialik will also star as the titular character, “a 39-year-old woman who struggles every day against society and her mother to prove that you CANNOT have everything you want — and still be happy. Which is why she spent the money her parents set aside for her wedding to open a Cat Café in Louisville, KY.” It’s based on the BBC sitcom Miranda, which ran for three seasons between 2009 and 2013.

Speaking of BBT, when HBO Max launches in the spring of 2020, it’ll contain a vast library of hit shows — including one of television’s biggest shows from the past decade. All 12 seasons of The Big Bang Theory will be available to stream on the service. It’ll still air in syndication on TBS through 2028.


Baywatch Celebrates 30 Years With a New (and Very Appropriate) Tie-In

It’s been 30 years since Baywatch debuted, and the one-time biggest show in the world is still synonymous with red swimsuits and slow-mo jogging. To celebrate the milestone anniversary, Pantone created the color Baywatch Red, based on the red uniforms of the titular lifeguards.


ABC Is Reuniting All Your Favorites

During the week of Oct. 7, ABC will host mini-reunions of cast members from popular, long-running series during its primetime slate. On Monday, House star Robert Sean Leonard will play a patient on House creator David Shore’s latest series, The Good Doctor. Tuesday will see the Blues Brothers – or at least Blues Brothers 2000 – reunite when Dan Aykroyd guest stars alongside John Goodman on The Conners; a Wet Hot American Summer reunion between Michael Ian Black and Lake Bell on Bless This Mess; and the main cast of Girlfriends (Golden Brooks, Jill Marie Jones, and Persia White) join Tracee Ellis Ross on Black-ish. Wednesday brings a Cheers reunion when Kirstie Alley, Rhea Perlman, John Ratzenberger, and George Wendt guest star on The Goldbergs as well as another look at real-life spouses Leighton Meester and Adam Brody on Single Parents. Thursday sees Charmed stars Alyssa Milano and Holly Marie Combs team up with Grey’s Anatomy producers (and former Charmed writers) Krista Vernoff and Andy Reaser, and Jerry Ferrara reunites with Think Like a Man costar Roman Malco on A Million Little Things. Friday will see Diedrich Bader’s Drew Carey Show costars Drew Carey, Ryan Stiles, and Kathy Kinney join him on American Housewife, and Ken Jeong’s return to his Crazy Rich Asians costar Constance Wu’s sitcom Fresh Off the Boat. Finally, on Sunday, The Rookie reunites Castle costars Seamus Dever and Jon Huertas with Nathan Fillion.


Casting News

Sophie Turner as Sansa Stark in Game of Thrones season 8 (Helen Sloan/HBO)

(Photo by Helen Sloan/HBO)

Game of Thrones‘ Sophie Turner and Corey Hawkins will play the only survivors of a plane crash on a snowy, remote mountaintop in the Quibi series Survive. The duo will battle their way out of the wilderness in the short-form series, which is currently in production and is based on the novel Survive by Alex Morel.

HBO Max has ordered a series based on Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Americana. The Walking Dead star Danai Gurira will serve as showrunner, and Lupita Nyong’o will star.

Kiefer Sutherland will star in Quibi’s new short-form series The Fugitive as legendary cop Det. Clay Bryce, who investigates a bombing in the Los Angeles subway that Boyd Holbrook’s Mike Ferro witnesses (and soon becomes the biggest suspect thanks to social media accusations). Ferro must find the real perpetrator before Bryce can apprehend him. Production begins mid-October in Los Angeles.

Marilyn Manson will recur as death metal singer Johan Wengren in the upcoming third season of American Gods. “Bringing his specific energy, wit and boundless enthusiasm for all-things-Neil Gaiman to the role of Johan, a Norse ‘berserker’ in service to Odin, his performance promises to be disturbing, original and uniquely entertaining,” showrunner Chic Eglee told Deadline.

Billie Lourd will guest star in the upcoming final season of Will & Grace as Fiona Adler, the daughter of Grace’s older sister and granddaughter of Bobbi Adler, who was played by Lourd’s real-life grandmother, Debbie Reynolds.

The Voice has hired Taylor Swift to mentor season 17’s contestants.

Season 3 of Showtime’s The Chi is welcoming a trio of familiar faces. La La Anthony (Power), Lil Rel Howery (Get Out), and Luke James (Little) will guest star in multiple episodes of the Chicago-set series, which is currently in production in Chicago and will debut in 2020. James will play Victor “Trig” Taylor, Jake’s (Michael V. Epps) estranged older brother who wants to reunite his fractured family, but takes an unconventional approach. Anthony will play Dominique “Dom” Morris, a savvy businesswoman with dreams of more lucrative opportunities. Howery will play Zeke Remnick, the owner of Sonny’s building who cares less about the community than the bottom line.

Constance Zimmer will recur opposite Emma Kenney in the upcoming 10th season of ShamelessJohn Mulaney will play Henry David Thoreau in the Apple TV+ comedy Dickinson, about the poet Emily Dickinson. Willa Holland is returning to Arrow for the series’ eighth and final season, according to TVLine. She’ll recur as her character Thea Queen, the younger sister of the titular character. Amy Brenneman will join Jeff Bridges and John Lithgow in FX’s pilot The Old Man. She’ll play Zoe, a divorcee who rents a room to Bridges’ titular character. Jay Baruchel is joining Denis Leary and Elizabeth Perkins in Fox’s holiday event series A Moody Christmas, based on an Australian show of the same name.

Jasmine Guy will play a key recurring role in season 16 of Grey’s Anatomy, according to Deadline. The actress appeared in a late-season 15 episode as Gemma, a woman who experienced a freak accident and reunited with Dr. Webber, with whom “she shares a problematic history.” That storyline will play out in multiple episodes of the show’s new season.

Good Girls has found a new member of their criminal team: TVLine reports that Charlyne Yi will join the cast in the season 3 premiere as Lucy, a “quirky artist with ‘mildly impaired social skills’” whom the trio “manipulate to help them with their criminal enterprise.” And per Deadline, Orange Is the New Black’s Jackie Cruz will recur as Rhea, a dental hygienist and single mom who befriends one of the titular characters, to whom she may be more connected than either of them realize.


Development Update

The Boondocks

(Photo by Cartoon Network)

The Boondocks is returning to TV: When HBO Max launches next year, the complete series will be available on the new streaming service, which will also eventually be the home for two new seasons and a 50-minute special of the comic-turned-animated series. Creator Aaron McGruder is returning to helm the 24 new episodes, which is scheduled to launch in fall 2020.

The new series will revolve around “the adventures of self-proclaimed ‘Civil Rights Legend’ Robert ‘Granddad’ Freeman and his two rambunctious grandsons Huey and Riley. The family has recently moved to an idyllic community in suburban Maryland only to see it taken over by the tyrannical Uncle Ruckus and his bizarre neo-fascist regime. Life under Ruckus turns out to be an everyday struggle to survive.”

McGruder said in a statement, “There’s a unique opportunity to revisit the world of The Boondocks and do it over again for today. It’s crazy how different the times we live in are now — both politically and culturally — more than a decade past the original series and two decades past the original newspaper comic. There’s a lot to say and it should be fun.”

You’re the Worst creator Stephen Falk’s next project will see the writer/producer teaming up with Greg Berlanti for a Showtime drama called Spoonbenders, per THR. “Based on a 2017 novel by Daryl Gregory, Spoonbenders is a genre-busting saga that centers on The Amazing Telemachus Family, a traveling family magic act — which happened to be made up of people with actual magic powers — and the tragedy that finds them forced to reunite 25 years later, when old debts, long-running grudges the mob and the CIA all come looking for them.”

Showtime has ordered a pilot for the hourlong drama Yellowjackets, the story of talented high school girls soccer players who survive a plane crash in the Ontario wilderness, then descend into warring, cannibalistic clans. Karyn Kusama will executive produce and direct the pilot, which is set to film in Los Angeles this fall. The series was created by Ashley Lyle and Bart Nickerson.


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FRIENDS -- Pictured: (l-r) Matthew Perry as Chandler Bing, Jennifer Aniston as Rachel Green, David Schwimmer as Ross Geller, Courteney Cox as Monica Geller, Matt Le Blanc as Joey Tribbiani, Lisa Kudrow as Phoebe Buffay (Photo by NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)

(Photo by NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)

FALL 2019 TV SURVEY: 20 TV Shows That Defined the 1990s

For Rotten Tomatoes’ annual Fall TV Survey, we asked thousands of our users what they’re most looking forward to in the coming TV season and to reflect on the best shows from seasons past.

They’ll be there for you — unless you’re assembling a giant TV survey, in which case Jennifer Aniston, Courteney CoxLisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlancMatthew Perry, and David Schwimmer are nowhere to be found! (That joke has never been made before.)

Friends celebrates its 25th anniversary this year, so we couldn’t help but give a little cheer when you voted the comedy as the defining series of the 1990s. The cast also took top spot in our list of stars who ruled the decade.

The series won 64% of your vote. Seinfeld came in second with 51%, then The X-Files with 50%, ER came in fourth with 47%, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer took 44%.

The show’s cast nabbed 32% of the vote when we asked which star ruled the decade, followed by Jerry Seinfeld with 17%, Will Smith with 10%, the ER cast with 7%, and the Beverly Hills, 90210 cast came in fifth with 6%.

Disagree with the survey results? Tell us in the comments who you think should have made the list or have been ranked higher.

Synopsis: Featuring a bigger and better USS Enterprise, this series is set 78 years after the original series -- in the... [More]

Will & Grace (1998)

#19
Synopsis: In the original eight-season run of this groundbreaking sitcom, best friends Will, a meticulous corporate lawyer, and Grace, a neurotic... [More]

South Park (1997)
80%

#18
Synopsis: The animated series is not for children. In fact, its goal seems to be to offend as many as possible... [More]

Baywatch (1989)

#17
Synopsis: Lt. Mitch Buchannon is the dedicated leader of a group of lifeguards at Malibu Beach in Los Angeles. Although this... [More]

Full House (1987)

#16
Synopsis: When Danny Tanner's wife dies, the San Francisco sportscaster gets support in the form of two new roommates: brother-in-law and... [More]

#15
Synopsis: Live from New York for more than four decades, celebrity hosts join an award-winning ensemble cast to perform comedic sketches,... [More]
Directed By: Lorne Michaels

Ally McBeal (1997)
61%

#14
Synopsis: Ally McBeal is a young attorney who joins a prestigious law firm with a highly sexual environment and whose staff... [More]

Roseanne (1988)
76%

#13
Synopsis: Explore life, death and everything in between through the relatable, hilarious and brutally honest lens of the working-class Conner household,... [More]

#12
Synopsis: Tim "The Toolman" Taylor, host of the home-improvement show "Tool Time," definitely is not as handy at home as he... [More]

Synopsis: Will Smith more or less plays himself in this good-natured NBC sitcom. As the show's popular theme song explains, fictional... [More]

Synopsis: Ray Barone is a successful sports writer and family man who deals with a brother and parents -- who happen... [More]

Synopsis: The antithesis of the loving "Cosby Show" family, "Married ... With Children" focused on the Bundys, a suburban Chicago family... [More]

Frasier (1993)
93%

#8
Synopsis: Dr. Frasier Crane, a successful Boston therapist, moves to Seattle to get a new start on life; he has a... [More]

The Simpsons (1989)
85%

#7
Synopsis: This long-running animated comedy focuses on the eponymous family in the town of Springfield in an unnamed U.S. state. The... [More]

Synopsis: One of the definitive shows of the 1990s, "90210" originally follows the lives of Brandon and Brenda Walsh, who both... [More]
Directed By: Charles Rosin, Darren Star

#5
Synopsis: Sarah Michelle Gellar takes on the role of Buffy Summers in this TV version of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," based... [More]

ER (1994)

#4
Synopsis: Set in Chicago, this medical drama deals with the personal and professional crises of the doctors in the emergency room... [More]

The X-Files (1993)
74%

#3
Synopsis: In one of the longest-running science fiction series in network TV history, FBI special agents investigate unexplained, mind-bending cases known... [More]
Directed By: Chris Carter, Glen Morgan

Seinfeld (1989)
89%

#2
Synopsis: Four single friends -- comic Jerry Seinfeld, bungling George Costanza, frustrated working gal Elaine Benes and eccentric neighbor Cosmo Kramer... [More]

Friends (1994)
82%

#1
Synopsis: Three young men and three young women -- of the BFF kind -- live in the same apartment complex and... [More]


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Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes, Christian Serratos as Rosita Espinosa, Cooper Andrews as Jerry, Josh McDermitt as Dr. Eugene Porter, Khary Payton as Ezekiel, Norman Reedus as Daryl Dixon, Lauren Cohan as Maggie Rhee, Melissa McBride as Carol Peletier, Alanna Masterson as Tara Chambler, Tom Payne as Paul 'Jesus' Rovia - The Walking Dead _ Season 9, Episode 5 - Photo Credit: Jackson Lee Davis/AMC

(Photo by Jackson Lee Davis/AMC)

Despite leading a show like The Walking Dead, in which any character can die at any time, Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) has survived for nine years. But now that Lincoln has left the show — and will star in his own series of The Walking Dead movies — Daryl (Norman Reedus) is stepping up and a whole new crew of survivors is populating the post-apocalyptic world. An older, Walker-wise Judith Grimes (Cailey Fleming) and new characters Magna (Nadia Hilker), Yamiko (Eleanor Matsuura), Connie (Lauren Ridloff), Kelly (Angel Theory), and Luke (Dan Fogler) are among the new blood the series has brought in to fill TWD‘s Rick Grimes–shaped void.

The Walking Dead is only the latest show that has had to move on in the wake of a major cast member departure. Throughout TV history, shows have dealt with losing their stars for various reasons — and in some cases the shows grew stronger with the new cast. Not all benefitted from a cast swap, however — there are certainly some duds on Rotten Tomatoes’ list of the most famous television replacements. Read on to find out who was replaced and why, along with how their departure was explained on screen.


22. Beverly Hills, 90210

Photo Credit: ©Aaron Spelling Prod./Courtesy Everett Collection; Courtesy Everett Collection

(Photo by ©Aaron Spelling Prod./Courtesy Everett Collection; Courtesy Everett Collection)

Outgoing Character: Brenda Walsh (Shannen Doherty, pictured right)

The Replacement: Valerie Malone (Tiffani Amber Thiessen, pictured left)

The Reason: In 2015 Tori Spelling revealed that she eventually made a call to her father, producer Aaron Spelling, asking him to fire Doherty over her conflicts with the cast and crew.

The Explanation: Brenda left for drama school in London. Valerie Malone, a bad girl from Minnesota, came to live with the Walshes for seasons 5 through 10 of 90210. In 1994, Thiessen told press on the set she thought she was cast because “they heard I had a reputation for being easy to work with.”


21. Charmed

Charmed - Photo Credit: ©Warner Bros/Courtesy Everett Collection

(Photo by ©Warner Bros/Courtesy Everett Collection)

Outgoing Character: Prue Halliwell (Doherty)

The Replacement: Paige (Rose McGowan)

The Reason: According to the New York Daily NewsAlyssa Milano gave producers of the original WB show (not to be confused with the 2018 reboot) an ultimatum: It was either her or Doherty. The show’s producers said Doherty wanted to leave, and they let her.

The Explanation: Prue is killed by demons, and, shortly thereafter, the Halliwells discover a long-lost fourth sister, Paige, who ended up sticking around from season 4 through the show’s remaining eight seasons. There’s no bad blood on McGowan’s part, however: The actress wrote to Doherty via Instagram when Doherty underwent cancer treatment: “The men & brainwashed women in our business made it so we couldn’t be friends. I regret that.”


20. Baywatch

Photo Credit: Courtesy Everett Collection

(Photo by Courtesy Everett Collection)

Outgoing Character: C.J. Parker (Pamela Anderson, pictured)

The Replacements: Donna Marco (Donna D’Errico) and Lani McKenzie (Carmen Electra)

The Reason: Anderson left Baywatch to focus on being a mother.

The Explanation: C.J. Parker got married off the show, and it took two new lifeguards to fill her sandy footprints. While Carmen Electra told Esquire, “I don’t think I was hired as a replacement,” costar Kelly Packard recalled auditions for “a room of Pamela Anderson–looking women” and Traci Bingham said Donna “thought she was Pamela.” Electra was only on the series for one season and D’Errico for two, but the casting proved that a rotating roster of lifeguards could survive long into syndication.


19. Anger Management 23%

(Photo by FX)

Outgoing Character: Kate Wales (Selma Blair)

The Replacement: Dr. Jordan Denby (Laura Bell Bundy, pictured)

The Reason: TMZ reported that Blair complained to the producers about Sheen’s unprofessional behavior, and Sheen demanded she be fired. Sheen told Jay Leno that Blair was written out because viewers expected the show to be about their relationship.

The Explanation: Charlie Goodson (Sheen) stopped seeing Kate for anger management therapy, but went into business with Dr. Denby. Reviews for Anger Management were never all that Fresh (season 1 has a 23% score on 35 reviews), so the switch didn’t seem to change much on the series — except perhaps, given season 2’s three meager reviews, that most critics stopped paying attention.


18. Lethal Weapon 89%

(Photo by Fox)

Outgoing Character: Martin Riggs (Clayne Crawford)

The Replacement: Wesley Cole (Sean William Scott, pictured)

The Reason: Warner Brothers fired Crawford for abusive behavior, which Crawford insisted was only in response to difficulties with costar Damon Wayans.

The Explanation: The character of Riggs survived four films and a perma-rumored fifth, but on TV he was shot and killed. Scott told EW, “For a lot of fans that are upset that they’re not going to see Riggs, which I totally understand, I really believe they’re going to feel ‘OK, they handled it in a way that’s really respectful to that character and what he means to the show.’”


17. Criminal Minds

(Photo by CBS)

Outgoing Character: Jason Gideon (Mandy Patinkin)

The Replacement: David Rossi (Joe Mantegna, pictured)

The Reason: Patinkin said that the violent subject matter of the murder-centric series was “destructive to my soul.”

The Explanation: Mirroring Patinkin’s own experience, Gideon also left the Behavioral Analysis Unit due to emotional distress. His former partner Rossi has filled in ever since and continues to lead the show in its 14th season.


16. Chicago Hope

(Photo by CBS)

Outgoing Character: Dr. Jeffrey Geiger (Mandy Patinkin)

The Replacement: Dr. Kate Austin (Christine Lahti, pictured)

The Reason: Patinkin wanted to be with his family in New York, while Hope filmed in Los Angeles.

The Explanation: Geiger resigned after he couldn’t save Alan Birch (Peter MacNicol) from a gunshot wound, although the show insisted Dr. Austin was not replacing him. Unlike Criminal Minds, Patinkin did return for guest appearances on Chicago Hope.


15. Nashville 91%

(Photo by CMT)

The Character: Rayna James (Connie Britton)

The Replacements: Alyssa Greene (Rachel Bilson, pictured) and Jessie Craine (Kaitlin Doubleday)

The Reason: When the series was canceled by ABC and moved to CMT, Britton decided to leave the show, working with the writers to give Rayna a dramatic finale.

The Explanation: Rayna died in the hospital from injuries sustained in an automobile accident. Doubleday’s singer/songwriter Jessie Craine and Bilson’s Highway 65 record label exec Alyssa Greene joined the cast in the series’ fifth season, with Bilson leaving at the end of that season and Doubleday staying on through the sixth and final year.

Doubleday prepared for the worst when she entered the show, she told The Boot: “If everyone hates me, it doesn’t matter. It’s a paycheck. I’ve felt pretty at home since the day I got here.”

Interestingly, Britton left 9-1-1 after only one season, and Jennifer Love Hewitt stepped in as a new call center operator. She also appeared in only the first of eight seasons of Ryan Murphy‘s American Horror Story anthology series, while other stars from season 1, like Sarah Paulson, Evan Peters, and Jessica Lange, formed something like a troupe and continued with the show.


14. CHARLIE’S ANGELS

Photo Credit: Courtesy Everett Collection

(Photo by Courtesy Everett Collection)

Outgoing Character: Jill Munroe (Farrah Fawcett, pictured left)

The Replacement: Kris Munroe (Cheryl Ladd, pictured right)

The Reason: When Fawcett left the show, she said it was because it prevented her from growing as an actor. Producer Aaron Spelling sued her for $7 million.

The Explanation: Jill resigned from the Angels to become a race-car driver, and — wouldn’t you know it? — she also has a sister named Kris who’s fresh out of the police academy. Ratings held steady enough with Ladd, but dwindled when other new Angels started to rotate in during the final seasons, including Shelly Hack replacing Kate Jackson, and then Tanya Roberts replacing Hack.


13. Beauty and the Beast

Photo Credit: ©Paramount/Courtesy Everett Collection

(Photo by ©Paramount/Courtesy Everett Collection)

Outgoing Character: Catherine (Linda Hamilton, pictured)

The Replacement: Diana (Jo Anderson)

The Reason: Hamilton left the series, which ran from 1987 to 1990, when she was pregnant.

The Explanation: Catherine was killed, leaving her love, Vincent (Ron Perlman), heartbroken. Diana offered a potential new love interest, but many fans felt the magic left with Hamilton. Game of Thrones creator George R.R. Martin wrote for the show and told THR, “You can’t do two seasons of telling the world, ‘This is a love story for the ages, this is Romeo and Juliet,’ and then suddenly third seasons say, ‘Juliet? Forget Juliet. It’s Romeo and Harriet.'”


12. THE HOGAN FAMILY

VALERIE, (later VALERIE'S FAMILY: THE HOGANS), Valerie Harper, 1986-1991, ©Lorimar/Courtesy Everett Collection

(Photo by ©Lorimar/Courtesy Everett Collection)

Outgoing Character: Valerie Hogan (Valerie Harper, pictured)

The Replacement: Sandy Hogan (Sandy Duncan)

The Reason: Wrongful termination, as Harper was vindicated in court.

The Explanation: You would think star Valerie Harper would be safe playing Valerie Hogan on a show called Valerie, but Valerie Hogan died in an automobile accident. Michael Hogan’s (Josh Taylor) sister Sandy came to live with Valerie’s Family, later renamed (again) The Hogan Family.

At the time, Duncan told UPI she didn’t know there was any controversy: “The story I got before I agreed to do the show was that Valerie had left the series. Valerie and I have known each other for years. And while we were never friends, we were friendly. And I’m relieved to know she has told people the dispute is not my problem. I refuse to be on the hot seat.”

Despite Harper’s victory, the show lasted four more seasons, including one on CBS, without her.


11. M*A*S*H

MASH, Harry Morgan, 1972-1983, ©20thCentFox/Courtesy Everett Collection

(Photo by ©20thCentFox/Courtesy Everett Collection)

Outgoing Character: Henry Blake (McLean Stevenson)

The Replacement: Sherman Potter (Harry Morgan, pictured)

The Reason: NBC promised Stevenson more money, but subsequent shows bombed and Stevenson regretted leaving M*A*S*H after just three seasons.

The Explanation: Blake was tragically shot down while returning home. Sherman Potter joined the M.A.S.H. unit for the rest of its eight seasons, and its spinoff AfterMASH. Morgan had impressed the producers when he guest-starred as a different character in the third season premiere.


10. Three's Company

THREE'S COMPANY, 1977-84, Suzanne Somers, John Ritter, Joyce DeWitt, second season Courtesy Everett Collection

(Photo by Courtesy Everett Collection)

Outgoing Character: Chrissy Snow (Suzanne Somers, pictured)

The Replacement: Cindy Snow (Jenilee Harrison)

The Reason: Somers got fired for asking for pay equal to John Ritter in the fifth season.

The Explanation: Chrissy also had a sister we’d never met before. The show went on for eight total seasons and a spinoff, Three’s a Crowd.


9. Spin City 69%

UNITED STATES - NOVEMBER 19: SPIN CITY - "Family Affair" - Season Two - 11/19/97, Michael J. Fox's former "Family Ties" co-star Meredith Baxter played his mother, who comes to town for a week-long visit and hits it off with the Mayor., (Photo by ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images)

Outgoing Character: Mike Flaherty (Michael J. Fox)

The Replacement: Charlie Crawford (Charlie Sheen)

The Reason: Fox’s real-life battle with Parkinson’s.

The Explanation: Mike became an environmental lobbyist for senator Alex P. Keaton (if only we’d gotten a scene of them together!), and Mayor Winston (Barry Bostwick) got a new deputy, Charlie Crawford (Sheen). Sheen earned the show a younger audience, according to The New York Times. Sheen told the paper, “I’m just glad people are responding. I can’t comment on what they’re responding to.” Spin City went two more seasons and Fox returned as a guest star.


8. Law & Order: Special Victims Unit

Christopher Meloni, Mariska Hargitay on location for Mischa Barton On the Set of LAW and ORDER SUV, NYC, New York, NY January 18, 2010. Photo By: Kristin Callahan/Everett Collection

(Photo by Kristin Callahan/Everett Collection)

Outgoing Character: Det. Elliot Stabler (Meloni, pictured)

The Replacement: Det. Nick Amaro (Pino)

The Reason: Meloni and NBC couldn’t come to terms on a new contract.

The Explanation: Stabler retired, so Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay) needed a new partner. Nick Amaro was that partner, and stayed on the job for four seasons. SVU has made it to 20 seasons, matching the original Law & Order.


7. Law & Order

(Photo by NBC)

Outgoing Character: DA Benjamin Stone (Michael Moriarty)

The Replacement: DA Jack McCoy (Sam Waterston, pictured)

The Reason: Moriarty claimed he was forced out for speaking out against a meeting Janet Reno had with NBC, believing the Attorney General would impose restrictive laws on television.

The Explanation: Stone resigned and McCoy took over. Now it’s hard to imagine the show without Sam Waterston as DA Jack McCoy, and he’s who you’re most likely to see in a syndicated rerun. In 1995, Waterston was on speaking terms with Moriarty. “I have nothing to say about his reasons for leaving,” Waterston told The New York Times. “But I’ve talked to him since, and I think we’re OK.”


6. 8 Simple Rules 58%

8 SIMPLE RULES... FOR DATING MY TEENAGE DAUGHTER, Kaley Cuoco, John Ritter, Courtesy Everett Collection

(Photo by Courtesy Everett Collection)

Outgoing Character: Paul Hennessy (Ritter, pictured)

The Replacements: Jim Egan (James Garner) and C.J. Barnes (David Spade)

The Reason: Ritter’s sudden death at the age of 54.

The Explanation: In the aftermath of Ritter’s (and his character’s) death, the show added Garner as widow Cate’s (Katey Sagal) father, and then Spade as her nephew who came to live with them. The show completed three seasons with the new cast.


5. ER

ER, George Clooney, (Season 4), 1994-2009. ©NBC/Courtesy Everett Collection

(Photo by ©NBC/Courtesy Everett Collection)

Outgoing Character: Doug Ross (George Clooney, pictured)

The Replacement: Luka Kovac (Goran Visnjic)

The Reason: Clooney fulfilled his five-year contract with ER, even as he ascended to movie stardom.

The Explanation: Ross moved to Seattle after a dispute over being caught helping a mother euthanize her terminal son. The next year, Luka Kovac joined the E.R. an attending physician. Luka even dated Ross’ love, Nurse Hathaway (Julianna Margulies) until the two reunited (with a surprise Clooney cameo) when Margulies left the show too. The series ran for 10 more years, ending after its 15th season (during which Clooney and several other cast members returned).


4. NYPD Blue 83%

NYPD BLUE, Dennis Franz, Jimmy Smits, 1993-2005. ©20thCentFox/Courtesy Everett Collection

(Photo by ©20thCentFox/Courtesy Everett Collection)

Outgoing Character: Det. John Kelley (David Caruso)

The Replacement: Det. Bobby Simone (Jimmy Smits, pictured right)

The Reason: Caruso got a taste of the movie business and asked for a raise that NYPD Blue brass didn’t agree to — especially after only one season.

The Explanation: Internal Affairs pushed Kelly off the force, and Simone became Sipowicz’s (Dennis Franz) new partner. Eventually, Rick Schroder joined the cast as well. Once Caruso was on CSI: Miami, he admitted he made a mistake leaving NPYD Blue.

The modest Smits wouldn’t take credit for the ratings bump after he joined the show. “I don’t think I solely am responsible for that,” Smits told SF Gate in 1995. “But the people at the network are happy.”


3. The X-Files 74%

(Photo by Shane Harvey/FOX)

Outgoing Character: Fox Mulder (David Duchovny, pictured)

The Replacement: John Doggett (Robert Patrick)

The Reason: Duchovny’s contract was up after seven years, and he was also suing Fox for syndication earnings. He would later return full-time in the 10th season.

The Explanation: Mulder got abducted by aliens, of course. Agent Doggett became Scully’s (Gillian Anderson) new partner, but without the seven years of rapport and back story, Patrick’s Dogett just didn’t have the same spark. Some critics, however, are reconsidering his seasons.

In 2017, Patrick told People TV he knew the fans weren’t interested in him at first, but “we won ’em over and we got two seasons out of it.” It worked out for X-Files fans, though: Duchovny and Anderson starred in two feature films and then two additional seasons over a decade later.


2. Two and a Half Men 65%

(Photo by CBS)

Outgoing Character: Charlie Harper (Sheen)

The Replacement: Walden Schmidt (Ashton Kutcher, pictured)

The Reason: Sheen’s public meltdown and lashing out against creator Chuck Lorre.

The Explanation: Charlie was murdered by an ex, and the heartbroken billionaire Walden Schmidt took over his share of the rent. Kutcher said after his arrival that he drew a younger and more international audience to the show.

“The demos for the show have actually started to skew a little bit younger,” Kutcher said in 2012 after half a season. “I can see a reflection of that on on the social media surfaces. You can actually see the international markets that are going to pop with the show. I think we just opened in Germany this week, and it was double.”

Even Angus T. Jones (the titular half-man) left the show for a while after disparaging it publicly. Two and a Half Men was always critic-proof, so it lasted four more years with Walden Schmidt.


1. Cheers 87%

©Paramount Television/Courtesy Everett Collection

(Photo by ©Paramount Television/Courtesy Everett Collection)

Outgoing Character: Diane Chambers (Shelley Long, pictured left)

The Replacement: Rebecca Howe (Kirstie Alley, pictured right)

The Reason: Long wanted to pursue a movie career and left after five seasons.

The Explanation: When Diane left Sam Malone (Ted Danson) before their wedding, he sold the bar to a corporation that put Rebecca Howe in charge, making her Sam’s new romantic foil. It worked. Cheers ran for 11 years total and Alley is arguably even more closely identified with it than Long. The show previously had to fill a void when Nicholas Colosanto died during the third season, which is when Woody Harrelson joined the series.


Did we leave out your favorite replacement? Tell us in the comments.

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