PDA

View Full Version : Classic Examples: TV show stars upstaged by supporting characters



Pages : 1 2 [3] 4 5 6

Yehudi
04-27-2010, 05:21 PM
Chuck on Gossip Girl. It's gotten to the point where all anyone cares about is whether he and Blair are going to get back together.

Bostonfan
04-27-2010, 05:46 PM
ER---George Clooney

I disagree. ER was an ensemble show without any title character. Clooney's character was always featured from Day 1, along with Noah Wylie, Anthony Edwards, Eric LaSalle, etc. His post-ER career has been more successful than his co-stars, but he technically wasn't a supporting character on ER.

My classic example would be "Karen" and "Jack". Considering the show was called "Will and Grace", the Karen and Jack supporting characters quickly asserted themselves.

There's another one I'm thinking of but can't remember the name of the show or characters. Was in the 1980's. It was about an African American family. It had some kind of street name in the title IIRC (Something "321"?). They seemed to always be on their stoop. The supporting character was Jacquee (I don't know how she spelled it). She overpowered the main characters so much that the "leads" eventually left and they renamed the show to feature Jacquee. Anyone know which show I'm talking about?

caseyedwards
04-27-2010, 05:54 PM
Good ones, I was only thinking comedy. In that case, Heather Locklear on the old Melrose Place. Was she even on the first season? (For that matter, was Joan Collins the first season of Dynasty?)

Locklear was added halfway through the first season of Melrose and Collins the first episode of the second season.


I

There's another one I'm thinking of but can't remember the name of the show or characters. Was in the 1980's. It was about an African American family. It had some kind of street name in the title IIRC (Something "321"?). They seemed to always be on their stoop. The supporting character was Jacquee (I don't know how she spelled it). She overpowered the main characters so much that the "leads" eventually left and they renamed the show to feature Jacquee. Anyone know which show I'm talking about?

227! That is a good example.

genevieve
04-27-2010, 06:01 PM
Of these examples - which ones actually caused jealousy and/or rift between the cast members due to this shift in attention/popularity?

Didn't Rob Lowe leave The West Wing because he was supposed to be the main character when it began and he felt other characters were getting more/better storylines after the first season? I think Lowe's decision to leave Brothers & Sisters is also in part because he didn't think his character was going anywhere, although he was never intended to be a main character there...

Another West Wing tidbit - I believe that Martin Sheen was not originally intended to be a major presence on that show, but audience response was big so they increased the role of the President.

oleada
04-27-2010, 06:24 PM
Chuck on Gossip Girl. It's gotten to the point where all anyone cares about is whether he and Blair are going to get back together.

Seriously. I know Meester and Lively are technically co-leads, but seriously, that show would not live without Chuck and Blair. They're the heart of it. They're certainly the only characters I care about.

Bostonfan
04-27-2010, 06:25 PM
Another West Wing tidbit - I believe that Martin Sheen was not originally intended to be a major presence on that show, but audience response was big so they increased the role of the President.

That's correct. I'm a diehard West Winger (I have every season on DVD). Originally Sorkin intended to show life behind the scenes of the White House by focusing on the core team that surrounds the president, but not feature the president as a main character. This is evident from the pilot episode where the President comes into the episode in the last 10 minutes of the show. However they quickly realized that they couldn't make it work, and Sheen was agreeable (if not eager) to expand his role. Lowe was originally sold on the idea that his character would play more of a prominent role. He sucked it up and stayed for 4 seasons before moving on.

If you ever listen to the DVD commentary on the Christmas episode from Season 2 (Noel), they tell a story about how a sub-plot heavily featured Lowe's character, but it had to be cut due to time and he was pretty upset by it but took one for the team.

mag
04-27-2010, 06:59 PM
Can we count Jennifer Aniston's hair during the first two seasons of Friends? I have not seen a salon rush like that since Farrah and our Dorothy in the 70's and Princess Diana in the 80's.

I think Aniston quickly started to outshine Courtney Cox, who, I believe, was the star going into the series. Cox was the ones with the name coming off of Family Ties. They seemed to have worked it out and formed more of an ensemble cast which, IMHO, made the show stronger.

Bev Johnston
04-27-2010, 07:13 PM
A Different World was supposed to be centered around Lisa Bonet's "Denise", who had the love interest (Dwayne Wayne) and everything, but came to be centered around Jasmine Guy's character instead.

Re: Jason Bateman, I STILL think he's to die for!

Seerek
04-27-2010, 07:16 PM
There's another one I'm thinking of but can't remember the name of the show or characters. Was in the 1980's. It was about an African American family. It had some kind of street name in the title IIRC (Something "321"?). They seemed to always be on their stoop. The supporting character was Jacquee (I don't know how she spelled it). She overpowered the main characters so much that the "leads" eventually left and they renamed the show to feature Jacquee. Anyone know which show I'm talking about?

Did Marla Gibbs actually leave 227?

It does say this in Wiki


By the time production on the fourth season commenced in 1988, tension between stars Gibbs and Jackée were mounting due to the show's increasing focus on the Sandra character. To keep the stars happy, Jackée was given the chance to spin off Sandra into her own show. Jackée's television pilot, entitled Jackée, found Sandra moving to New York City and finding work at a spa. NBC aired the episode in primetime on May 11, 1989. The pilot was rejected, and Jackée returned to 227 appearing only sporadically.

So Marla must have not been happy, but I don't think she officially left.

It says that Jackee actually went on the win an Emmy for that role too.

Beefcake
04-27-2010, 07:25 PM
Re: Jason Bateman, I STILL think he's to die for!
:respec: The man has perfect comedic timing, and he's both sexy and approachable. A Greg Kinnear for a smarter audience.

Speaking of Jason in terms of the subject matter, his "Arrested Development" was the perfect show. Everyone upstaged everyone, multiple times within the same 21 minutes of an episode. Bateman, the lead, never faded into the background despite being the ONLY "normal"/button-down character on the show. Incredible accomplishment by Jason and the writers.

Cyn
04-27-2010, 07:26 PM
Not sure if this one counts, but That 70's Show was originally supposed to be about the parents, and it ended up being completely about the kids (and of course, Red Forman calling everyone a Dumbass :lol: ).

Another one that comes to mind is Suzanne Somers on Three's Company - her role as Chrissy pretty much stole the show, and after she left, none of the replacement roommates ever compared to her.

Yehudi
04-27-2010, 07:29 PM
Speaking of Jason Bateman, how can anyone forget Valerie/Hogan Family. The title character was actually written out of the show after a dispute with the producers.

Beefcake
04-27-2010, 07:33 PM
fishy, I dunno re: DHP/Nile upstaging Kelsey/Frasier on 'Frasier'. Both characters shone [shined?] most during scenes with each other, or the two of them with their Dad. Many episodes they were pretty much co-leads, thanks to Grammer, who was famously generous in letting his costars steal scenes during the run of the series. (Anyway, those gazillions of dollars probably also help ease KG's prospective discomfort of being upstaged go down easy.)

I call it a draw.

Now, Eddie ... he upstaged the other actors constantly! Literally chewed the scenery. :P

Bostonfan
04-27-2010, 07:43 PM
So Marla must have not been happy, but I don't think she officially left.

It says that Jackee actually went on the win an Emmy for that role too.

I remembered incorrectly then. I don't remember much about that show other than Jackee. The irony of 227 is that Marla Gibbs often stole scenes in "The Jeffersons". Her popularity on that show is what led to the network giving her her own show. Then she ends up being upstaged by a supporting player.

A Different World was supposed to be a vehicle for Lisa Bonet. But I seem to recall that her exit had less to do with the popularity of the Whitney character than Bonet herself. She never seemed invested in the show and left to go find herself (and Lenny Kravitz). But had Bonet been interested in staying, I suspect she would have continued with Jasmine playing a popular co-star. She was Bonet's foil. Without Bonet, they had to quickly scramble to make the Whitney character less of a complete caricature and a little more grounded.

genevieve
04-27-2010, 07:56 PM
The character was called WhitLey, not Whitney. I don't know why I know that, I rarely watched the show, but the oddness of the name must have stuck with me :lol:

I loved the show Valerie, too bad it didn't work out with Valerie Harper but Jason Bateman made it work and I stayed with it through its incarnations as Valerie's Family and then The Hogan Family (didn't Cloris Leachman come in at that point?).