Classic Examples: TV show stars upstaged by supporting characters

Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by Seerek, Apr 27, 2010.

  1. Cyn

    Cyn Well-Known Member

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    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.
  2. Yehudi

    Yehudi Well-Known Member

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    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.
  3. Beefcake

    Beefcake Guest

    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
  4. Bostonfan

    Bostonfan Well-Known Member

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    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.
  5. genevieve

    genevieve drinky typo pbp, closet hugger Staff Member

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    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?).
  6. AxelAnnie

    AxelAnnie Well-Known Member

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    "The Good Wife" - stars Julianne Margolis (who is wonderful) but Kalinda (Archie Panjabi) is REALLY GREAT. Love her!
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  7. genevieve

    genevieve drinky typo pbp, closet hugger Staff Member

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    I would agree that Kalinda is definitely a breakout character. The rest of the cast is strong enough that she doesn't exactly upstage the stars or the main focus, but she is definitely one of the reasons this show is so much more than a typical CBS procedural.
  8. skatingfan5

    skatingfan5 Well-Known Member

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    From the classic Britcom, Are You Being Served, John Inman and Molly Sugden (Mr. Humphries and Mrs. Slocombe) both stole the show from Trevor Bannister (Mr. Lucas), for whom the show was originally designed to spotlight (or so I once read -- not sure how his character could ever have been thought to hold a candle to those other two).
  9. rfisher

    rfisher Satisfied skating fan

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    :lol: ITA re Eddie. That was a great dog! I actually feel sorry for Grammer. His two attempts at comedy since have bombed big time. His latest didn't even last 5 episodes.
  10. Ares

    Ares Guest

    Wasn't there tension between SJP and Kim Cattrall when Samantha started becoming a popular character on Sex and the City? I didn't like either character that much anyway.

    I agree about Karen and Jack, although Grace (and sometimes Will) were really funny in the earlier seasons as well.
  11. Jackie Sparrow

    Jackie Sparrow New Member

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    :swoon:

    Couldn't agree more!
  12. kwanette

    kwanette Fetalized since 1998

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    I remember that Sandy Duncan came on the show..as the aunt, right?
  13. genevieve

    genevieve drinky typo pbp, closet hugger Staff Member

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    You're right, it was Sandy Duncan, not Cloris Leachman. And I'd forgotten that the show switched from ABC to CBS in its last season.
  14. PRlady

    PRlady aspiring tri-national

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    OK, time for oldies:

    Mr. Spock was a breakout character in the original Star Trek. He became far more popular than Kirk, which given Shatner's ego must have been interesting.

    Man from UNCLE -- Ilya Kuryokin (actor's name?) became the sex symbol, not the lead, whose name I forget because I really was young when this was on.

    Certain characters might only have been on for a story arc but they really dominated. For some reason I'm remembering Miles Drentell, the evil ad agency boss in thirtysomething. He just ate the whole show when he was on.
  15. skatingfan5

    skatingfan5 Well-Known Member

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    Spock! :respec: Kirk squicked me out. :scream:
    I think the lead character's name was Napoleon Solo -- and was played by Robert Vaughn. Ilya Kuryakin (sp.?) was played by David McCallum -- my sister had a big crush on him, I recall. How do I remember these names?!? Must be from reruns. :shuffle: :lol: I know that I preferred The Avengers and The Prisoner -- I don't think they ran concurrently, though.
  16. Cyn

    Cyn Well-Known Member

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    David McCallum, who now portrays Dr. Mallard (Duckie), the Forensics/M.E. guru on NCIS - he was quite the :swoon: :grope: when he was on Man from U.N.C.L.E. - for a guy in his 60's he's still looking pretty good :D .

    (I have no idea who the actual star on MFU was :lol: - I only remember - from reruns - Ilya as he was um, a rather nice piece of eye candy.
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  17. MOIJTO

    MOIJTO Banned Member

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    NO NO he didn't, he didn't have the recording career and the groopie girls like David he had the sloppy seconds!
  18. rjblue

    rjblue Re-registered User

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    When I read the title, I thought maybe it had been inspired by my post yesterday, after I finished watching Dollhouse. Since it wasn't watched by a huge audience, a lot of people missed his performance, but it is clear from reading what fans of the show have to say. The whole cast was good, or great, but Enver Gjokaj is probably one of the best young actors I've ever seen.

    Family Ties and Michael J. Fox is what came to my mind too.
  19. Wyliefan

    Wyliefan Well-Known Member

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    I'm partial to Fran Whatshisname myself -- the guy who played Topher -- though they were all good. I just recently saw the episode where Victor was imprinted as Topher, and oh man, I was nearly in hysterics every time the two of them did a scene together. :rofl:
  20. Cheylana

    Cheylana Well-Known Member

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    Has J.J. from "Good Times" been mentioned yet? I think his "Dyno-MITE!" schtick took on a life of its own (although in a rather :rolleyes: way), and the actors playing the parents weren't happy about it.

    Also, the TV show "Webster" was originally supposed to focus on the parents (and it wasn't supposed to be called Webster either), but Emmanuel Lewis stole the show, and his "parents" weren't happy about that either!
  21. Garden Kitty

    Garden Kitty Tranquillo

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    Was it Sandy Duncan?
  22. Cyn

    Cyn Well-Known Member

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    What about the show What's Happening? IIRC, Roger's younger sister, Dee, was quite the little wisecracking scene-stealer.
  23. caseyedwards

    caseyedwards Well-Known Member

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    Yes and that did lead to a quitting from Rolle
  24. essence_of_soy

    essence_of_soy Well-Known Member

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    Maybe it's just me, but in some episodes of Family Ties you can really see the fury on Meredeth Baxter's face when Michael J. Fox got all of the good lines and plot developments.
  25. ilovesalchows

    ilovesalchows Well-Known Member

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    And girls ;)
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  26. IceKween

    IceKween New Member

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    Jason Bateman was basically kicked off Silver Spoons because Ricky was jealous that Jason was becoming more popular with his character Derek. I was a Derek fan. He then had his own tv show, one of my favorites ever, called It's Your Move (I still love the Dregs of Humanity two-parter).
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  27. berthesghost

    berthesghost Well-Known Member

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    Sally Field totally stole Bros&Sis from Calista Flockhart
  28. Seerek

    Seerek Well-Known Member

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    Sally did win a Best Lead Actress Emmy for B&S 3 years ago, plus I think she's first in the credits - I think she's the lead of the series.

    Yeah, very likely...


    yes, that's right, but interestingly, Rolle did come back for the 6th and final season.

    Yeah, people do mix up Cloris Leachman and Sandy Duncan often because I believe they entered sitcoms around the same time - Cloris Leachman replacing Charlotte Rae in "The Facts of Life" and Sandy Duncan replacing Valerie Harper on "The Hogan Family"
  29. kwanette

    kwanette Fetalized since 1998

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    Robert Vaughn..you watched it in reruns? I watched it in "first runs"..
  30. gingercrush

    gingercrush New Member

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    And the show is all the worse for it. Mind you who the hell would want to be a part of that family. I certainly wouldn't. I shouldn't even watch the show since its so inherently stupid yet I keep watching it.

    The big example for me is Charmed where Alyssa Milano's character became more important to the show than Shannon Moore. The same happened with Beverly Hills 90210 where Brenda and Brandon were overshadowed by Kelly and Luke Perry's character whose name I've forgotten.
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  31. cygnus

    cygnus Liberal Furry

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    60s? Try 76 (born 1933).:lol:
  32. skatingfan5

    skatingfan5 Well-Known Member

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    :eek: Then I'd say he's looking way beyond "pretty good" if he's only 4 years short of 4 score! ;)
  33. Lucy25

    Lucy25 Well-Known Member

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    Loved (still do!) Jason Bateman and especially It's Your Move. The Dregs of Humanity :lol::lol:

    How about The Big Bang Theory now? This season it has been all about Sheldon and Penny as foils. These two are getting all the funny plots, where I think the character of Leonard was supposed to be one of the main characters.

    *Edited to say that I should have read the Wikipedia entry before I posted this! I wasn't expecting to see my example on its list.
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  34. skatingfan5

    skatingfan5 Well-Known Member

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    I thought that Sheldon was in the spotlight from the start -- at least his character was the one who made me tune in to see the program on more than one occasion. Sheldon and his Meemaw and his obsession with revenge on Wil Wheaton are often a :lol: antidote for a stressful day. Sheldon attempting to teach Penny all about physics, beginning in ancient Greece was :rofl:.
  35. FunnyBut

    FunnyBut Well-Known Member

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    Farrah Fawcett for Charlie's Angels. Well, she wasn't a supporting character, but she upstaged her equals. It was a comedy at times, too, especially when you watch now :lol:
  36. Kasey

    Kasey Loving on babies!

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    I thought that show got stolen more by Rerun....
  37. screech

    screech Well-Known Member

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    I agree with Barney (absolutely) but I think that Sheldon and Leonard are co-leads on BBT - Jim Parsons (Sheldon) was nominated in the lead actor category at the Emmys last year, meaning he's in a leading role.

    Definitely agree with Alexander Skarsgard as Eric on True Blood - especially after season 1. He was in 4 episodes of season 1 and was already a favourite. I wouldn't say he's upstaged Anna Paquin's Sookie, but I'd definitely say Eric has surpassed Bill, Sam and Jason to be the fan favourite/breakthrough male on the show. However, it's kind of debatable because many fans of the show are fans of the books it's based off of, and know what the character of Eric is like in the books and things that happen and that could be really helping with the love for Eric on the show (since they aren't quite making him as likeable as in the books...) Plus, there's no debating that Alex is the media/paparazzi favourite from the show...

    Also, must go with Jane Lynch's Sue Sylvester on Glee (who I think must have the same stylist as Eric Northman, with their penchant for tracksuits).

    I'm going to add Jason Dohring as Logan Echolls in Veronica Mars - he was a small character at first (and lower in the opening credits) who came to be the main male love interest and moved up in the credits and completely took over - IIRC, it wasn't intended that Logan become the main guy, but it just started to work out that way as the show progressed because of the love. He never overpassed Kristen Bell's Veronica, but he passed the other males on the show.

    Niles on The Nanny often overshadowed the other characters with his sarcastic wit.
  38. Cyn

    Cyn Well-Known Member

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    :eek: 76?!?! Duckie is looking damn good for being 76 :respec: