16 Stars Who Were Kicked Off or Left Hit TV Shows

Zayda Rivera | Jan 11, 2016 TV
16 Stars Who Were Kicked Off or Left Hit TV Shows

Dueling egos, creative differences, drug use, run-ins with the law. There are plenty of reasons why an actor can get fired from a TV show. You tune in or surf the web and boom, there it is, you find out that the character -- and actor -- you loved so much is gone. Sometimes the show can weather the storm, but other times, a firing means cancellation.

Here are 14 stars were kicked off hit TV shows, leaving behind a story to tell.


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  • Charlie Sheen


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    As if he hasn't made headlines enough throughout his career, Charlie Sheen was a trending topic when he was booted from the hit series Two and a Half Men in 2011. At the time Sheen was the highest paid TV actor, but his struggles with addiction interfered. Production was suspended in late January of that year when he entered rehab. He was later let out of his contract. Ashton Kutcher eventually replaced him.

  • Isaiah Washington


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    He was one of the most popular characters on Grey's Anatomy -- until Isaiah Washington used a slur to refer to co-star T.R. Knight in 2007, and was booted. "I'm saddended by the outcome," Washington told EW, adding how the show's creator Shonda Rhimes was the one who broke the news that "I would not be returning to the show."  

  • Jennette McCurdy


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    After photos of Sam & Cat  star Jennette McCurdy were leaked online and she posted others on her Instagram, McCurdy landed in hot water with the network, Nickelodeon, and the show was axed. Which was OK by her. "I am not a role model. I don't claim to be, I don't try to be," McCurdy wrote on Reddit after the show's cancellation. "And I don't want to be." 

  • Shannen Doherty


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    According to several co-stars on the hit '90s series Beverly Hills 90210, Shannen Doherty was a nightmare to work with, due to her diva demands and bad attitude. Tori Spelling recently revealed that the cast was so fed up that they got together and lobbied Spelling's dad Aaron, the show's creator, to give her the heave-ho. He did. 

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  • Columbus Short


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    He was Olivia Pope's most loyal gladiator on Scandal but in real-life Columbus' life was spiraling out of control: He was struggling with a cocaine addiction and he was charged with domestic violence, as well as a felony battery following a bar fightHis character was killed off the series in 2014. 

  • Naya Rivera


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    Wanna bet Naya Rivera wasn't feeling so gleeful when she was booted from the hit TV musical series Glee? Although Rivera's camp denied that she'd been fired in the waning days of season 5, and the show's creator Ryan Murphy said she would return the following season, her contract was not renewed. Rumors had it that Rivera was resented breakout star Lea Michele and clashed with producers. 

  • Drake


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    Before he became an international rap star, Drake was an actor on  Degrassi: The Next Generation. Drake, who played Wheelchair Jimmy, lasted 145 episodes before he was let go in 2009. "Back then, I'd spend a full day on set and then go to the studio to make music until 4 or 5 a.m. I'd sleep in my dressing room and then be in front of the cameras again by 9 a.m. Eventually, they realized I was juggling two professions and told me I had to choose. I chose this life."

  • Nicollette Sheridan


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    When Nicollette Sheridan's Desperate Housewives character was written off the show in 2009, creator Marc Cherry said Edie's story had run its course and also blamed cost-cutting. But in 2010, Sheridan filed a lawsuit claiming she was wrongfully fired from the show aftercomplained Cherry hit her on the head during an argument, which he denies. The lawsuit is still tied up in court. 

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  • Brett Butler


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    Comedian Brett Butler's killed her show Grace Under Fire. The Chuck Lorre-created show as cancelled in 1998 after Butler was asked to leave the set because of her drug use. "I did everything but crack and needles pretty much," Butler later said, and eventually ended up in a homeless shelter in Los Angeles. 

  • Leah Remini


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    Leah Remini starred as one of the hosts of the hit daytime show The Talk but was fired after one season, in 2011 Remini blamed co-host Sharon Osbourne for her firing, as well as Holly Robinson Peete's. "Sharon thought me and Holly were 'ghetto,'" Remini tweeted at the time. Osbourne denied it.

  • Lisa Bonet


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    The character Denise from The Cosby Show was beloved enough to get her own spinoff series, A Different World. But after the first season, Lisa Bonet and then-hubby Lenny Kravitz got pregnant and the producers wrote her off the show. She returned to The Cosby Show for a bit before leaving TV over "creative differences." 

  • David Duchovny


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    After a successful run on The X-FilesDavid Duchovny sued 20th Century Fox in 1999 for $20 million, alleging that the studio cheated him out of millions of dollars. Although he wasn't technically fired, his part was cut out of the show almost altogether, with Robert Patrick replacing him until the show ended about two seasons later. 

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  • Rob Riggle


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    Comedian Rob Riggle didn't bring the funny to Saturday Night Live. Although he only lasted on the hit sketch comedy series for one season (2004-05) he's kept a pretty good career going for himself with a stint as a reporter on The Daily Show and appearances in films like Step Brothers. He even hosted the ESPY's and is currently on Fox NFL Sunday pregame show.

  • Alicia "Lecy" Goranson


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    Alicia "Lecy" Goranson was the original Becky Conner on the hit TV series Roseanne before she left following season four to pursue her education. Contradicting reports indicated she was sexually harassed by one of the show's producers and that's why she left. In fact, years later when Roseanne Barr was directly asked about it on the Howard Stern show she was taken aback before asking "Where did you hear that?" according to MentalFloss.com. She graduated from Vassar College in 1996 with a degree in English. 

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