10 Characters From Famous TV Shows Who Were Swept Under The Carpet
8. Most Of The First Season Cast - The Facts Of Life
The Facts of Life started out as a very different show than the one most people remember. During the first season, Mrs. Garrett was the housemother to a group of seven girls at Eastland Academy. In addition to Blair, Natalie, and Tootie, Cindy (Julie Anne Haddock), Sue Ann (Julie Piekarski), Nancy (Felice Schachter), and Molly (Molly Ringwald, yes, that Molly Ringwald) were part of the cast, as well as the school's headmaster, Mr. Steven Bradley (John Lawlor) and a teacher, Ms. Emily Mahoney (Jenny O'Hara). As you can guess, with a ten-person cast, finding stuff for all of them to do could be difficult, to say the least. It didn't help that most of the actresses had been cast before their characters had been fully fleshed out in a rush to get the show to production. The producers were quick to realize that this was not working, especially when the show did terrible in the ratings the first season. O'Hara was the first to be cut from the cast. After only four episodes, it was apparent that the writers had nothing for her to do. Lawlor lasted through the end of the season when he was written out of the series. At the beginning of the second season, the show was completely overhauled to focus on only Mrs. Garrett and four of her students, including new bad girl Jo. Haddock, Piekarski, Schachter, and Ringwald would continue to make occasional cameos through the second and third season, and all but Ringwald would return for a special reunion episode in season eight. But the four girls have never been remembered in the same light as their three co-stars who were retained for the remainder of the series.
Christopher A. Rothbauer is a freelance writer who specializes in nostalgic television and B-movies. His current project is the blog Saved by the Bell...Reviewed!, which reviews every episode of the Saved by the Bell franchise one week at a time. He lives in the southern Indiana suburbs of Louisville, Kentucky.