Popular TV Shows That Are Getting Major Cast Changes Next Season

Many of your favorite TV shows will look different when they return. In some cases, a cast member is leaving or being fired, and shows will go on without them. But we can’t see how a few series can continue, especially one huge cast change that will devastate fans (page 10). Here’s a look at the beloved shows with major switch-ups next season.

1. The Walking Dead

Lauren Cohan as Maggie Greene and Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes | Gene Page/AMC
  • Out: Lauren Cohan and Andrew Lincoln
  • In: Avi Nash and Callan McAuliffe (promoted to series regulars)

Fans will see Lauren Cohan (Maggie Rhee) and Andrew Lincoln (Rick Grimes) bow out in Season 9. Now Cohan stars in ABC’s Whiskey Cavalier, but she may return for occasional cameos. Viewers will see Norman Reedus (Darryl Dixon) in a bigger role. With an ever-rotating cast, Lincoln explains The Walking Dead best: “This has always been an ensemble, and it will continue to be an ensemble. No one is bigger than the story, and the story this year is unbelievable.”

Next: A second season for most of these first responders

2. 911

Connie Britton, Oliver Stark and Angela Bassett
911‘s Connie Britton, Oliver Stark and Angela Bassett | FOX via Getty Images
  • Out: Connie Britton
  • In: Jennifer Love Hewitt and Ryan Guzman

Critics were not expecting 911 to receive such stellar ratings. But the first responder series will get a second season, much to fans’ excitement. Unfortunately, Connie Britton’s one-year contract ended as she moved on to Bravo’s Dirty John. Jennifer Love Hewitt will take over as Maddie, a 911 operator and Buck’s sister. Ryan Guzman will portray firefighter Eddie Diaz.

Next: A beloved lead who isn’t “ashamed” to quit.

3. Shameless

Shameless | Source: Showtime
  • Out: Emmy Rossum
  • In: Courteney Cox and Katey Sagal

Everyone loves Chicago’s first family, the Gallaghers. Since 2011, fans have watched eldest daughter, Fiona (Rossum), and her siblings grow. Many were saddened to hear of Rossum’s departure after the ninth season. The actress wrote a heartfelt message to fans, saying “The opportunity to play Fiona has been a gift.” Part one of Season 9 has premiered, and part two will say goodbye to Fiona — but not the show as a whole.

Next: British royalty changed this show forever.

4. Suits 

Meghan Markle as Rachel Zane on 'Suits'.
Suits | USA Network
  • Out: Meghan Markle and Patrick J. Adams
  • In: Katherine Heigl

Suits lost two major characters, Markle (Rachel Zane) and Adams (Mike Ross), in season eight. Heigl joined the cast as Samantha Wheeler. Although the recent season has done well, USA Network stated Suits will end with season nine. Many predict Adams may return for a brief cameo, but few think Markle will reprise her role. Season nine is predicted to premiere in the summer of 2019, with a possible cameo by Jessica Pearson (Gina Torres).

Next: Viewers thought this departure was “bull.”

5. Bull

Michael Weatherly and Annabelle Attanasio
Michael Weatherly as Dr. Jason Bull and Annabelle Attanasio as Cable McCrory | Craig Blankenhorn/CBS via Getty Images
  • Out: Annabelle Attanasio
  • In: MacKenzie Meehan

Attanasio, who played the Trial Analysis Corporations research expert, Cable McCrory, amicably left Bull to direct her first movie. Production hasn’t stated how McCrory will depart the show. But Meehan was promoted to a series regular portraying coder/hacker, Taylor, a new member of the team.

Next: A huge recasting as this show jumps forward in time.

6. The Crown

Claire Foy and Matt Smith on 'The Crown'.
The Crown | Netflix
  • Out: Claire Foy, Matt Smith, and Vanessa Kirby
  • In: Olivia Colman, Helena Bonham Carter, and Tobias Menzies

The Crown will transform for the third season. Foy played a young Queen Elizabeth II in the first two seasons, but she will not return. The show will jump ahead in time, so Colman will take over as an older queen for seasons three and four. Menzies will replace Matt Smith as Prince Philip. Bonham Carter will portray Princess Margaret, previously portrayed by Kirby.

Next: This character won’t be back for Season 2.

7. The Good Doctor

Chuku Modu on 'The Good Doctor'.
The Good Doctor | ABC
  • Out: Chuku Modu and Beau Garrett

In the second season of The Good Doctor, Modu returned as Dr. Jared Kalu — but only to wrap up his storyline. Executive Producer David Shore said he hoped to revisit Jared’s storyline. But Captain Marvel may have something to do with Modu’s departure. The actor has a “secret role” in the film starring Brie Larson. Details haven’t been released yet.

Next: This character exited after 15 years.


Pauley Perette on 'NCIS'.
NCIS | Cliff Lipson/CBS via Getty Images
  • Out: Pauley Perrette
  • In: Diona Reasonover (promoted to series regular)

Perrette played Abby Sciuto for 15 seasons. Her final episode aired in May 2018, as Abby left NCIS to start a charity. Perrette’s character is still alive, maintaining the possibility of a return. However, she left the show after “multiple physical assaults,” so this seems unlikely. Reasonover previously guest-starred as forensic scientist Kasie Hines.

Next: This show is now a Fox favorite.

9. Last Man Standing

Last Man Standing's Amanda Fuller, Flynn Morrison, and Molly Ephraim
Amanda Fuller, Flynn Morrison, and Molly Ephraim | Michael Ansell/ABC via Getty Images
  • Out: Molly Ephraim and Flynn Morrison
  • In: Molly McCook and Jet Jurgensmeyer

Last Man Standing fans can thank Fox for the show’s speedy revival in late 2018. Most of the original cast returned. However, Molly McCook replaced Molly Ephraim as Tim Allen’s middle daughter, Mandy. You may know Jet Jurgensmeyer from black-ish; he’s replacing Flynn Morrison as Boyd, the son of Kristin and Ryan.

Next: A medical drama known for heartbreaking departures

10. Grey’s Anatomy

April and Arizona in 'Grey's Anatomy'.
Grey’s Anatomy | ABC
  • Out: Jessica Capshaw and Sarah Drew
  • In: Chris Carmack, Josh Radnor, and Jennifer Grey

Grey’s Anatomy adds and cuts cast members at will. The latest to exit were Capshaw (Arizona Robbins) and Drew (April Kepner) due to the show’s creative direction. Season 15 features many new roles. Main character Meredith Grey’s love interest was briefly played by Radnor. Grey — yes, that one — will appear in multiple episodes, as revealed in a February episode. Jeff Perry will return for the first time since the seventh season.

Next: More mystery for a murder show.

11. NCIS: New Orleans 

Shalita Grant looking to the side while in an office.
NCIS: New Orleans | CBS
  • Out: Shalita Grant
  • In: Necar Zadegan

Fans are currently enjoying Season 5 of NCIS: New Orleans. Grant, who played Sonja Percy since Season 1, did not return to the NCIS spinoff. The only new cast member, Zadegan, previously appeared as Dr. Ko on The Good Doctor. Now she portrays a special agent.

Next: First rape allegations, then conflicting priorities

12. The Ranch

Danny Masterson in 'The Ranch'.
The Ranch | Netflix
  • Out: Dax Shepard (for the most part)

After Danny Masterson left The Ranch due to rape allegations, Shepard stepped in as cousin Luke Matthews for season three. Then, Netflix announced a fourth season slated for 2019. However, Shepard’s comedy pilot, Bless This Mess, was picked up by ABC for a six-episode series. He may briefly appear in The Ranch, but Shepard must prioritize his starring role in the new comedy series.

Next: A move from Chicago to ‘Hightown’ for this actress

13. Chicago Fire

Monica Raymund in 'Chicago Fire'.
Chicago Fire | NBC
  • Out: Monica Raymund
  • In: Annie Ilonzeh (Arrow, Charlie’s Angels) will “fill” her spot

Raymund, who played Gabby Dawson on Chicago Fire, decided not to return for season seven. She told the Chicago Tribune, “I knew that my six-year contract was coming to an end and I felt like I was hungry to explore a different role.” In March 2019, Raymund will begin filming the Starz series Hightown, a heroin epidemic drama.

Next: We can’t imagine how this show could go on without this person.

14. The X-Files

Gillian Anderson as Dana Scully on 'The X-Files'.
The X-Files | Fox
  • Out: Gillian Anderson

Technically, we don’t know when The X-Files will return — or if it will at all. Fox says it has no plans for another season, while creator Chris Carter says Season 11 isn’t the end. Either way, if The X-Files comes back, it would look a lot different, as Gillian Anderson announced she will not return. She implied on social media she was not happy with the recent season.

Next: One less “arrow” in this show’s quiver

15. Arrow

Paul Blackthorne as Larry Lance in 'Arrow'.
Arrow | The CW
  • Out: Paul Blackthorne and Willa Holland
  • In: Roy Harper (returning as series regular, Arsenal)

Blackthorne played Quentin Larry Lance on the DC Comics-inspired show, Arrow, for six seasons. (He also played Lance on Legends of Tomorrow and The Flash.) But he, as well as Holland (Thea Queen) will not return for Season 7.

Next: Sexual harassment allegations for a main character

16. Transparent

Jeffrey Tambor on 'Transparent'.
Transparent | Amazon
  • Out: Jeffrey Tambor

After both a former assistant and a co-star accused Tambor of sexual harassment, the Transparent star was fired. Slated for the fall of 2019, season five will not involve Tambor’s character Maura Pfefferman. After a major stall in production, reports Bustle, Transparent will conclude with “a two-hour mini musical” doubling as the series finale episode.

Next: Fans won’t get more of this show until 2020!

17. Doctor Who 

Peter Capaldi in 'Doctor Who'.
Doctor Who | BBC
  • In: Jodie Whittaker will remain as the 13th Doctor.
  • Sharon D. Clarke may return as Grace.
  • Shobna Gulati, Ravin J. Ganatra and Bhavnisha Parmar may resprise their role’s as Yaz’s mother, father and sister.

Doctor Who aired its only 2019 episode as a New Year’s Day special titled “Resolution.” Viewers must wait until 2020 to see a “whole new set of action packed adventures for the Thirteenth Doctor,” as showrunner Chris Chibnall explains.

Next: Netflix’s beloved political drama lost its main character.

18. House of Cards

Kevin Spacey plays Frank Underwood in Netflix's 'House of Cards'.
House of Cards | Netflix
  • Out: Kevin Spacey
  • In: Diane Lane and Greg Kinnear

After Season 5 aired, House of Cards lead, Kevin Spacey, was fired due to sexual assault allegations, and co-star Robin Wright stepped up as Claire Underwood. Tragically, HOC faces poor reviews post-Spacey.

Polygon may have put it best: “[Wright’s] efforts to salvage these episodes are nothing less than heroic.” The review goes on to state, “It’s a messy, incoherent and confusing eight hours of television without any strong idea of how to bring this show to a close.”

Next: This show dramatically fired its main star.

19. Lethal Weapon

  • Out: Clayne Crawford
  • In: Seann William Scott

Clayne Crawford, who plays Martin Riggs on Lethal Weapon, was fired from the show, reportedly due to bad behavior and outbursts on set. In Season 3, Murtaugh will get a new partner played by Seann William Scott. According to Deadline, the rumor is Scott will play Murtaugh’s brother.

Next: This show is losing literally its entire cast. 

20. Scream

Scream | MTV
  • Out: every single cast member

The third season of MTV’s “American anthology slasher TV show” will be a complete reboot; there isn’t a single cast member returning. Scream‘s fresh cast consists of Mary J. Blige, Tyga, C.J. Wallace, Keke Palmer, Giorgia Whigham, RJ Cyler, Jessica Sula, Giullian Yao Gioiello, and Tyler Posey. Originally set to premiere in March 2018, the show is rumored to air in the spring of 2019.

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