The teenage years are some of the most formative and important of a person's life. That's what makes those high school years seem a lot longer than they really are. This time frame in a person's life is chock-full of monumental choices and important decisions, that allow people to choose how they want to be perceived as an adult.
Teenagers tend to be heavy consumers of pop culture and media, which makes them an extremely important demographic for television networks. As a result of this, it comes as a shock to nobody that new shows aimed at teens pop up every few months, as networks try to keep up with trends and appeal to as many people as possible.
This leads to many teen shows that have short lifespans, as the market has place for so many of these shows at a time. There are even some shows that are actually quite successful, but unfortunately the actors get typecast in the roles that made them successful. These are just a few reasons why some actors aren't able to branch out and end up falling out of the spotlight when their show goes under.
Here are the 15 Teen Stars Whose Careers Flopped After Their TV Shows Ended
15 Topher Grace
It can be hard for an actor to separate themselves from an iconic role, especially if said actor did for eight years. To many, Topher Grace and his character on That 70’s Show, Eric Forman, are one and the same.
Apparently, movie and network executives were of this mindset. After That 70’s Show wrapped in 2006, Grace got little more than supporting roles in both TV and film. When the show dropped off the air, the main character fell off the map.
Short of being cast in Spider-Man 3 and Mona Lisa Smile, the post-television landscape has proven itself to be barren for Grace. A small role in Interstellar in 2014 marks the most recent high profile role for he was able to snag.
14 Victoria Justice
Victoria Justice won the hearts of fans during her time on Zoey 101. When that show ended she tried launching her own show called Victorious. Even with fan favorite Justice in the driver's seat, the show didn't last more than three years.
The entire cast, except for Ariana Grande, disappeared from the public eye. Justice herself continued to try acting and even released some singles, seemingly trying to take the Hannah Montana route to worldwide fame. Unfortunately, she was never able to reach the level of popularity she had as Lola on Zoe 101.
Justice's lackluster music career and handful of television roles don't do her much good in 2017. Since falling out of the limelight with the end of Victorious, the only thing that brought Justice back into contemporary minds was an old clip that went viral of her throwing shade at Ariana Grande.
13 Mitchel Musso
Hannah Montana is not only responsible for putting mega-star Miley Cyrus on the map, but also for introducing the world to Mitchel Musso. Musso, who played one of Hannah's best friends Oliver Oken, showed potential for stardom at a young age. When the show's impressively long run came to an end Musso joined Disney channel teammate Kyle Massey on Pair of Kings.
His new show didn't last nearly as long as Hannah Montana and was critically maimed, seemingly killing Musso’s interest in acting. Since the shows collapse, one would be hard-pressed to find Musso in anything other than reruns.
Beyond television, Musso has dabbled at music, film, and voice acting. He experienced moderate success in animation, voicing Jeremy on Phineas and Ferb. Unfortunately on the music side, his last release was in 2010. Musso has since faded almost completely from both screen and radio.
12 Keke Palmer
With a breakout role on Akeelah and the Bee, Keke Palmer had all the makings of a star. During the late 2000’s, Palmer headed the surprisingly well written show True Jackson VP, which aired directly after one of the most popular adolescent shows of all-time, iCarly.
Then came the early 2010’s and the disappearance of Palmer’s star power came with it. When True Jackson VP was canceled in 2011, Palmer went from instantly recognizable teen icon to archaic novelty seemingly overnight.
Palmer may have left the spotlight behind, but she continues to act and make music. In 2016; she made an appearance on Scream Queens, put out an album called Waited to Breath, and was on Grease Live!. While she still very much has a career, Palmer may have peaked too soon as she has stayed mostly quiet so far in 2017.
11 Orlando Brown
Being a popular character on a tv show can be a great boom to any actor's career - just look at Henry Winkler. However, as we saw with Topher Grace, it can also be a hinderance. Orlando Brown landed a role on That's So Raven in 2003, a show that proved to be successful enough for two spinoffs.
For Brown, that success was short-lived. The first spinoff, Corey in the House, only brought two cast members over to the new series and Orlando was not one of them. When That's so Raven stopped airing in 2007, Brown stopped getting roles all together.
Recently, Brown had a small role in Straight Outta Compton. In general, he deliberately stays away from acting in order to focus on his music. He released a single in 2016 and claims to have been purposefully excluded from the second spinoff that aired in 2017, Raven’s Home.
10 Amanda Bynes
Amanda Bynes was an American sweetheart in the early 2000’s, starring on both All That and The Amanda Show. Beyond television, Bynes also starred in several films including Big Fat Liar and She's the Man.
After her time on Nickelodeon, Bynes shifted exclusively to film. After years of work in Hollywood, Bynes announced her desire to retire from acting. Her performance in 2010's Easy A is the most recent film in which she made an appearance.
After Easy A, Bynes went to school for fashion design and has since started a new career in that industry. However, earlier this year Bynes said that she would be interested in returning to acting, as long as it was in television.
9 Melissa Joan Hart
Melissa Joan Hart’s long career in show business started out with her doing commercials as a child. At 15, Hart landed a role on the show Clarissa Explains It All, which led to her starring role on Sabrina the Teenage Witch.
By the time Sabrina ended in 2003, Hart was 27 years old, making the “teenage” part of the title a little hard to believe. This wasn't her last time playing the friendly witch, as she has come back to provide her voice in some animated films. Hart continued to find work in tv movies and guest appearances in shows like Law and Order.
Currently, Hart produced and starred in the Lifetime movie A Very Merry Toy Store, which aired in November of this year.
8 Drake Bell
Although he had been acting since childhood, Drake Bell really began to gain popularity during his time on The Amanda Show. His skit “Totally Kyle” was one of the most memorable and beloved on the show. As with many Amanda show alumni, he ended up with his own show, Drake and Josh. The show starred himself and fellow Amanda show co-star Josh Peck.
Drake and Josh was a hit show that turned Bell into a teen heartthrob. When the show wrapped in 2007, Bell slipped away from stardom and never really found a sure fire way back into it. Bell has kept his career going by starring in some indie films, focusing on his music, and even returning to Nickelodeon when he played Timmy Turner in a live action Fairly Odd Parents movie.
Bell has found success providing the voice of Peter Parker on Ultimate Spider-Man, a role for which he earned critical acclaim. However, his main claim to fame in 2017 was his very active Twitter account. While this has kept him from completely disappearing, it's safe to say his glory days are behind him.
7 Mark-Paul Gosselaar
Few TV shows are as synonymous with a decade as Saved By the Bell is with the 90’s. It was the time of the sitcom and Saved By the Bell was easily one of the most popular shows around. One of the main characters was Zack Morris, who was played by Mark-Paul Gosselaar. He was perfect for role and played Zack for the entire series run of 86 episodes.
However, he was such a fan favorite that people had trouble seeing him as an actor that could play more than one character. In the years after Saved By the Bell, he and secured roles on shows like NYPD: Blue and Franklin and Bash. While these shows were moderately successful, he never managed to achieve his previous level of fame.
Gosselaar is currently working on Fox’s The Passage, a TV show set to air in 2018 that's based on the novel by Justin Cronin.
6 Brenda Song
Between The Suite Life of Zack and Cody and its spin-off The Suite Life on Deck, Brenda Song played a parodied version of Paris Hilton named London Tipton. Suite Life on Deck aired it’s last episode in 2011, and in its wake Song acted in a multitude of tv shows and movies.
She managed to land a small role in The Social Network. In the David Fincher film, she plays a college student who gets intimate with Jesse Eisenberg’s character in a public bathroom. This was a dramatic change from the character fans were used to seeing her play. While she no doubt had hoped that opportunity would set the stage for her to be a Hollywood regular, no meaningful roles were a direct result of that film.
Though she still acts to this day, she hasn’t really wowed critics or fans. She mostly sticks with TV now and her only staple character in recent memory is Angie Chen on CBS’ Pure Genius which was officially canceled after one season.
5 Mischa Barton
The OC was a soap opera made for teenagers, and has been called the American Degrassi. The show was well liked by fans and critics alike, and Mischa Barton hit it big with her portrayal of troubled rich kid Marissa Cooper.
After The O.C, Barton went on to play a variety of movie roles, ranging from romantic comedies to low-budget horror films. Barton has been in over 30 titles since the end of The O.C, but none have even come close to the success of her breakout role.
The most recent release of Barton’s is a film called Executor, which has no reviews on Rotten Tomatoes. However, Her 2015 film L.A. Slasher does have a Rotten Tomatoes score and it’s a whopping 0%.
4 Hilary Duff
Hilary Duff is most well known for her role as the titular Lizzie Mcguire. Similarly to some other people on this list, she had a number of hit songs to go along with her show. While she made a couple of hit movies like Cheaper by the Dozen and A Cinderella Story, they haven't stood the test of time every well.
After her show ended Duff, relied mainly on her music to keep her in the limelight. While it kept her famous, it was a far cry from the significant amount of attention she got playing Lizzie Mcguire. She has made appearances on already established shows including; Community, Raising Hope and Two and A Half Men.
Duff currently stars on TV Land’s Younger, which is her first major gig since 2004.
3 Matt Dallas
Known as the kid without the belly button, Matt Dallas played the titular character Kyle, on Kyle XY. The teen soap tells the story of an amnesia stricken clone struggling through the life of a regular teenager. The show marks the only memorable project featuring Dallas and its conclusion in 2009 marked the end of his five minutes of fame.
Dallas still makes the odd appearance here and there, mainly in small parts on television programs. He has done multiple science fiction and fantasy themed shows, like Anne & Jake and Eastwick, proving he has a particular interest in the genres.
Dallas is mainly focused on his family life nowadays, but his film Tell Me Your Name is set to come out in 2018. If it’s anything like his most recent film Painted Woman, it will fly under most people’s radar.
2 Chad Michael Murray
The nine year run of One Tree Hill makes it the longest running show we've seen yet. A massive success, One Tree Hill went off the air in 2012. Unlike most of the other actors mentioned, Murray left before the end of the series in 2009. This departure should have given him the freedom to transition to film as he was at the height of his powers, but he found little success.
Starring in a handful of unremarkable films after leaving, Murray found his way to the spotlight again on Agent Carter as Jack Thompson. Despite the show being generally liked by critics it never got the ratings it was looking for and was canceled after 18 episodes. It did however lead the way for his next job on Sun Records, a period drama that wrapped earlier this year.
Seeing as both of his more recent TV shows were canceled, Murray has moved back to film. He is currently filming The Beach House, an adaptation of Alice Monroe’s novel for the Hallmark channel.
1 Miranda Cosgrove
While also known for her roles in Drake and Josh and School of Rock, Miranda Cosgrove skyrocketed when she starred in iCarly. A hugely popular show that played on the Nickelodeon network from 2007 to 2012, Cosgrove was the second highest paid child actor on television earning $180,000 per episode.
When iCarly ended, Cosgrove wasn’t involved in anything besides the burgeoning franchise Despicable Me. She was in 2015’s critically panned thriller The Intruders, as well as the NBC sitcom Crowded, which only lasted one season.
This year she finished filming for the TV movie Spaced Out and reprised her role as Margo in Despicable Me 3. Cosgrove got the role of Margo at the height of her career in 2010, when she was still playing Carly Shay. Currently, it seems like the only thing keeping her in show business is her connection to the wildly successful Illumination franchise.