10 TV Shows That Recast Major Characters (For The Better)

Everything worked out for the best.

Red Dwarf Kryten

The simple nature of TV shows, being comprised of massive ensemble casts and often spanning many years of production, often means that recasting is essential for a number of reasons.

Perhaps the original actor wasn't available, maybe there were "creative differences," or it's possible that the showrunners simply wanted to deliver a fresh take on the character.

Whatever the reason, these major TV characters - whether members of the main cast or memorable supporting players - were all recast during their show's run.

While recasting can often result in an awkward period of adjustment for audiences, in the case of these 10 characters, it was absolutely, positively for the better.

These recastings all allowed actors who were ultimately better-suited to the parts to take over, regardless of what the original motivation behind the recast actually was.

Few shows get this lucky when it comes to replacing cast members, of course, but it just goes to show that personnel changes need not be an inherently terrible thing...

10. Frank Constanza - Seinfeld

Red Dwarf Kryten

Outside of Seinfeld's central quartet, Frank Constanza is unquestionably one of the show's most beloved supporting characters, George's (Jason Alexander) interminably awkward, irate father, as played so deliciously by the inimitable Jerry Stiller.

But Stiller wasn't in fact the first actor to play Frank, with the part originally played by John Randolph in his introductory season four episode, "The Handicap Spot."

Randolph's delivery was ultimately far more stiff and serious-minded than Stiller's, to the extent that Larry David actually went back and had Randolph's scenes re-shot with Stiller in 1995 to ensure consistency as the show entered syndication.

You can still check out the full Randolph performance for yourself on streaming releases of the series, but without Stiller's looser, more free-wheeling vision of the character, it's tough to imagine that Frank would've enjoyed such a lengthy recurring tenure throughout the rest of the show.

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Stay at home dad who spends as much time teaching his kids the merits of Martin Scorsese as possible (against the missus' wishes). General video game, TV and film nut. Occasional sports fan. Full time loon.