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Many shows have had absentees during their run. Hell, some shows pretty much have it in the cast members’ contracts that they will only feature in half the episodes of a given season. But there are few shows which ditch their main characters altogether. Once in a blue moon in television, there will be moments where the cast are given the day off, they can’t make it to filming, or they walk out of the show altogether. This list compiles 10 shows wherein their mainest of main characters didn’t take part in at least one episode. I’m also providing a few exceptions wherein the character appeared VERY briefly or made an appearance as themselves at some point.

If the main actor has left a show and the show continues, it doesn’t count, however. For example, Charlie Sheen in Two And A Half Men? Doesn’t count. Zach Braff in Scrubs Season 9? Doesn’t count. One decent example would be Wiseguy. In this show, no one character appears in every episode. Jonathan Banks’ Frank McPike is absent in one episode during the entirety of the show’s history, but he isn’t the central character of the show, as that honour goes to Ken Wahl’s Vinnie Terranova, who is replaced in Season 4 by Steven Bauer’s Michael Santana. Neither of these characters were supposed to be anywhere else, Vinnie was in Seasons 1-3 and Santana was in Season 4, so they weren’t absent when they weren’t supposed to be.

So, what does count? Click “next” to find out!

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This article was first posted on December 10, 2013