The biggest and best TV shows end up being just as complex as even the hugest movies, involving Avengers-sized ensemble casts whose schedules and creative visions must all be delicately managed.
As such it's little surprise that actors often end up ducking out abruptly for one of many reasons - perhaps there were scheduling issues, the actor lost their passion for the role, or more distressingly, their actions off-set led to them being let go.
Whether the reason was completely harmless or incredibly concerning, these 10 notable TV characters all made incredibly hasty exits from their respective series, more often than not leaving fans heavily divided in the process.
In some cases there was clearly little else the showrunners could do but make the best of a difficult situation, while in others a more committed, deliberate effort was made to ensure that audiences were left surprised.
From characters who were randomly killed off to those for whom the door was left open in case they one day wished to return, these are the most jarringly out-of-nowhere exits in recent TV history...
10. Michelle Rodriguez (Ana Lucia Cortez) - Lost
Lost fans were extremely excited when it was announced that Michelle Rodriguez had joined the cast for the show's second season, playing tail section survivor Ana Lucia Cortez.
Though Ana Lucia's antagonistic ways quickly made her one of the series' most-loathed characters, fans nevertheless expected her to stick around for the long haul.
A big shock it was, then, when she was suddenly shot to death by Michael (Harold Perrineau) along with Libby (Cynthia Watros) near the end of season two.
The deaths of Ana Lucia and Libby came so abruptly that many fans even speculated that they'd both been hastily written off the show due to their separate DUI arrests during filming.
However, both Rodriguez and the show's producers have since confirmed that the plan was always for Ana Lucia to be a single-season character, and the charges had nothing to do with her sudden departure.