A popular TV show can easily run for ten seasons or more. A network isn’t going to give up the golden goose that easily, even if the show has obviously run its course and burned through all possible interesting storylines between its characters. The solution to this is obvious – just add more characters.
Adding new members to the cast of a popular TV show is a very risky move. The audience can quickly turn on someone who they don’t feel fits in with the established characters that they love. The Internet has also made it easy for disgruntled fans to make their voices heard, which they will do, especially if they feel a new character was introduced to pander to kids or is just a pretty face.
We are here today to look at the worst additions to the casts of great TV shows– from Prince Oberyn’s daughters who didn’t inherit his acting ability and charisma, to the elderly woman who almost brought down the twenty-year career of Frasier Crane.
Here are the 15 Worst Additions To The Casts Of Popular TV Shows.
15. The Sand Snakes – Game Of Thrones
The Dorne storyline was always going to present an issue for the writers of Game of Thrones. This is because we still aren’t sure where it is going in the books. The death of Oberyn Martell was too important to skip, so they couldn’t remove Dorne completely.
In the A Song of Ice and Fire book series, the Dorne storyline involves a plot by Arianne Martell to crown Myrcella Baratheon. The show replaced this with a plot to kill Myrcella by Oberyn’s vengeful daughters, who refer to themselves as the Sand Snakes.
The debut of the Sand Snakes is regarded as the “jump the shark” moment of Game of Thrones by many. Their awful acting, combined with the horrible fight choreography during their battle against Bronn gave them a bad first impression.
14. Cole & Lucy – Scrubs
Scrubs ended with an excellent eighth season. The ABC network wasn’t quite ready to let go of Scrubs, due to its high ratings. They approached the show’s creator about creating another season, which could involve some of the old characters passing on the torch to new ones. Money won out in the end and a magic wand was waved over the corpse of Scrubs, which brought it back for a zombie ninth season.
The vast majority of Scrubs fans will agree that the show shouldn’t have been continued, which can be seen by how much the ratings dropped towards the end. Scrubs might have been salvageable if the new young leads were as interesting or engaging enough as the original cast members, but they weren’t.
It may have been possible for Scrubs to have redeemed Cole (who was an arrogant jerk) and Lucy (who was an overly-whimsical bore) if they had been given another season, but Scrubs was finally allowed to pass away at the end of Season 9.
13. Doctor Pulaski – Star Trek: The Next Generation
The first season of Star Trek: The Next Generation lost two members of its case during its run. Denise Crosby left the show partway through the first season, as she felt she was being underutilized, while Gates McFadden was fired due to conflicting with the head writer. McFadden would later return for the third season of the show after the fans and her former cast mates convinced her to.
In the second season of Star Trek: The Next Generation, the role of the chief medical officer aboard the Enterprise was taken by Katherine Pulaski, played by Diana Muldaur.
Doctor Pulaski didn’t gel well with the rest of the Enterprise crew, which was mainly due to the fact that she was crotchety and quick to jump down everyone’s throats when they didn’t agree with her.
It especially didn’t help that Pulaski was often mean and dismissive towards Data (though her attitude cooled over the season), as he was quickly becoming the most popular character of the show. The fans let their voices be heard and Gates McFadden returned for the third season of the show.
12. Criss Cross – 30 Rock
The question of who Liz Lemon was going to end up with in 30 Rock was something that fans had been waiting to see resolved since the first season. Tina Fey foolishly stated that Liz would never end up with Jack, which killed a lot of the intrigue, but fans still held out hope for the two of them.
Liz Lemon ended up in a relationship with a character named Criss Cross, played by James Marsden. The biggest mistake the creators of 30 Rock made was not properly introducing the audience to Criss, as he is already dating Liz when he debuted on the show. This made a lot of fans think that he wasn’t going to stick around for long, as Liz had previous boyfriends played by well-known actors who left after a few episodes.
Criss Cross ended up sticking around. He never really clicked with the fans, due to being boring and his conflicts with Liz being uninteresting. Every other previous suitor of Liz Lemon was far more interesting and would have made for a more satisfying romantic partner for her than Criss was, which left a lot of fans disappointed when they stayed together.
11. Nikki & Paulo – Lost
Lost was one of the first TV shows that catered to its vocal online fanbase. This is often given as the reason why Shannon was killed off so early, as she was the least popular character on the show to most of the fans.
Nikki and Paulo were added to the cast of Lost in its third season. They were presented as fellow survivors of the plane crash who had been there the whole time. They immediately incited a backlash from fans, for numerous reasons.
Fans still believed that Lost was planned out beforehand, so they reacted poorly to new characters. It also didn’t help that Nikki and Paulo argued like children and generally acted immaturely in the face of their situation, as well as their lack of connection to the overall story.
The tale of Nikki and Paulo came to an end when they were mistakenly buried alive, as they were both paralyzed after being bitten by a spider. This was in direct response to the response they received from the fans. It’s possible that the producers may have gone a little overboard in how horrific the fate of these characters was.
10. Lila West – Dexter
Michael C. Hall became something of a sex symbol after the first season of Dexter had aired. This was one of those instances where women were attracted as much to the nuance and personality of the Dexter character than they were of his physical appearance.
The character of Lila West could almost have stepped out of the pages of a Dexter fan fiction story. She is one of the antagonists of the second season, who briefly becomes Dexter’s lover. Lila is a mysterious foreign beauty, who almost immediately sees through Dexter’s disguise (which even his own sister hadn’t done).
The emotionless Dexter falls for her charms and even leaves Rita for a time. It is later revealed that Lila is also a pyromaniac, which acts as an inferior stand-in for the more interesting serial killer villains that Dexter would face before and after he met her.
9. Kennedy – Buffy The Vampire Slayer
Anyone who followed Tara as Willow’s girlfriend in Buffy the Vampire Slayer was always going to have a hard time being accepted by the fans. There are many who saw the relationship between Tara and Willow as important, due to how it was a lesbian relationship in a prime time show that wasn’t just for titillation.
Willow would later date a girl named Kennedy, who would quickly draw the ire of the fanbase. Joss Whedon had set out to create a character who was the total opposite of Tara and was far more confident in herself.
He may have done this a little too well, as Kennedy’s assertiveness was seen as abuse towards Willow by many. The Buffy fans felt that she was a spoilt brat, who was using Willow as a sex object. It’s telling that Kennedy was voted as one of the “21 Most Annoying TV Characters Ever” by Entertainment Weekly.
8. Mike & Emily – Friends
Friends had a lot of characters who acted as temporary love interests to the main cast members. There was one who ended up sticking around a lot longer than he should have: Mike Hannigan.
Mike was played by Paul Rudd. He ended up being the one who married Phoebe in the final season. Paul Rudd has all of the charisma of a sink full of dirty dishes and every scene he was in seemed to introduce a black hole of comedy to the episode.
One of other the most hated characters in Friends is Emily Waltham. A lot of the negative aspects of Emily’s behavior came about due to necessity. She tried to force Ross to never see Rachel again, which involved a lot of her acting unreasonably and being bitchy towards him.
7. Tori Scott – Saved By The Bell
Saved by the Bell had a tumultuous final season. This is because NBC unexpectedly doubled the number of episodes. The new episodes caused problems with some of the actors, as they were only contractually obliged to film some of them.
This is why Jessie and Kelly don’t appear in some of the episodes in the last season, as their actresses were unwilling to sign up for more. As such a new character was created at the last minute to help fill in the gap.
Tori Scott was a tough biker chick, who quickly gets on Zack’s bad side. The two of them ended up dating for a time, though it didn’t last for long, as the final episode of the season had been filmed before Tori’s actress had joined the cast, so she wasn’t allowed to become as relevant as she could have been.
6. Tom Sloane – Daria
The creators of Daria felt that it was unrealistic that a teenage girl should go through high school without ever going on a serious date or having a boyfriend. This was what led to the creation of Tom Sloane, who was intended to be Daria’s first proper boyfriend. This wasn’t a bad idea, but it was implemented poorly.
Tom was introduced as the boyfriend of Daria’s best friend Jane. Tom eventually leaves Jane for Daria, which causes a conflict between the two.
One of the main complaints about this storyline is that Daria’s character is defined by her morality (even though she exhibits it in the smuggest way possible). The friendship between Daria and Jane was also one of the most genuine on television. The fans reacted poorly to Daria betraying Jane by pursuing her boyfriend.
The mistakes involved with Tom’s introduction could have been forgiven if he was an interesting character on his own, but he wasn’t. His only defining trait was that he was from a wealthy family, but he dressed/acted like he wasn’t. Tom was just too boring compared to the rest of the cast to make an impression, which is why many Daria fans wish he had never been added to the show.
5. Crystal Norris – True Blood
True Blood had some dark storylines, but none compare to the Werepanthers arc in the third season of the show. This was introduced through a character named Crystal Norris, who many True Blood fans try hard to forget ever existed.
Crystal is introduced to True Blood when Jason Stackhouse falls in love at first sight when he meets her for the first time. This is despite the fact that Crystal looks like a skeletal meth-addict, which no amount of soft lighting could cover up. It’s revealed that Crystal is actually a Werepanther and is engaged to marry the low-life leader of her pack, who is also involved in dealing drugs.
The Werepanther story ends with Crystal giving Jason viagra and raping him, in order to get pregnant. She later invites her other female relatives (many of whom are clearly underage) to do the same. Jason manages to escape from Crystal and her relatives, and the storyline is never mentioned again.
4. Seven – Married With Children
Studio executives used to have the notion that adding a child to the case of a show will make children want to watch it. The opposite is true: kids hate watching child actors because they wish it was them that was the celebrity and not the doofus on the screen.
Married with Children received its own kid character during the seventh season of the show. His name was Seven and he was as precocious and annoying as you can imagine. What made Seven’s addition to the show so bizarre is that Married with Children was pretty racy compared to the sitcoms of the day. It was filled with toilet humor and sex jokes, yet the executives felt that the show needed a younger audience.
Seven only lasted a couple of episodes before he was written out of the show, with only a brief mention that he had moved in with the neighbors to explain his absence. The later episodes in the series would mock Seven’s presence on the show.
3. Tracey Sketchit – Pokémon
No one could have anticipated how huge the Pokémon franchise would become. The series went from being a couple of Game Boy games that barely worked, to becoming one of the biggest media franchises on the planet.
It was this level of attention that caused the creators of the Pokémon anime to take a closer look at the series. They had never expected Pokémon to be seen outside of Japan, which is what caused them to have doubts about Brock. There were concerns over the idea that Brock’s design might be seen as racist.
The creators of the Pokémon anime decided to write Brock out of the show in the Orange Islands season. He was replaced by Tracey Sketchit, who was designed to be more “Anglo” in appearance.
Tracey never caught on with the audience, because he was just too boring. He added nothing to the dynamic of the group and his goal of becoming a Pokémon Watcher wasn’t that interesting. There was also an outcry by the fans to bring Brock back to the show. This led to Tracey being dumped off in Pallet Town and Brock returning to the group.
2. The Great Gazoo – The Flintstones
It might seem silly to say it out loud, but the people who watched a show about cavemen using prehistoric animals as gadgets stopped watching it because they found one of the characters to be too unrealistic.
In the final season of The Flintstones, Fred and Barney encounter an alien named The Great Gazoo, who has been exiled to Earth and must perform good deeds for those he meets. The Great Gazoo’s technology essentially gave him godlike powers, which totally changed the dynamic of the show.
The fans of The Flintstones tuned out, as they felt that The Great Gazoo altered the show to the point where it was unrecognizable. It didn’t help that The Great Gazoo was also really annoying and had a smug voice that made you want to punch him.
1. Gertrude Moon – Frasier
There is an episode of The Simpsons called “The Itchy & Scratchy & Poochie Show”, where a character named Roy is added to the show for a single episode. This was a response to a request by one of the executives at Fox that the writers should add a college-age character to the show. That kind of request is fairly common, as lots of shows have had to endure the addition of a sexy twenty-something to the cast in an effort to add intrigue and interest.
The creators of Frasier decided to go the Bizarro route and added a thoroughly loathsome and unlikeable old woman to the cast of the show. Gertrude Moon was the mother of Daphne, who became a recurring character in the last few seasons of the show.
She eventually moved in with Daphne and Niles, which allowed her to become more involved in the lives of the cast. There isn’t a single redeeming quality about Gertrude Moon: she is nasty, loathsome, and manipulative to those who are kind to her. Nothing could kill your interest in the plot of a Frasier episode than an old woman who complained all of the time.
The actress who played Gertrude was Millicent Martin, who played a character so utterly unlikeable that she made you want to change the channel more than you wanted to see her get her comeuppance.
Can you think of any other horrible additions to great TV shows? Let us know in the comments!
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