10 TV Shows That Switched Main Characters

A series finale may not be the only time you say goodbye to beloved characters.


A television show can have as original and interesting a concept as it wants, but what keeps the viewers coming back, and what will always be remembered, is the characters.

In writing classes, you are told that television viewership retention is the lowest in any creative medium. Where films and video games often have the opening twenty minutes to convince the audience to carry on with it, television scripts are given just the opening five minutes to really grab the attention of the audience before they are likely to turn off.

A strong lead character can make all the difference in that respect.

Whether it is their personality or an immediate action, a great protagonist will invite a viewer to become attached to them, but will also allow them to live in that fictional world vicariously. Seeing Rick Grimes explore an apocalyptic wasteland for the first time allows the audience to journey through the world of The Walking Dead right alongside him.

Television with multiple seasons can be huge commitments though. Many television shows, whether thanks to decisions in the writer's room, real-world controversies or the actor simply growing tired of playing the same role year after year, are forced into the most drastic change any series can undertake: passing the position of lead onto a different character. Sometimes it works, but sometimes, it's as much of a gamble as you'd think.


Beware major spoilers ahead.

In this post: 
Posted On: 

Lover of all things zombie. Secretly wishing for the apocalypse, but only on easy difficulty. Top of the world leaderboards for a couple of songs on Pro Drums on Rock Band 4. Can name every world flag. Currently doing my MA in Creative Writing in an attempt to do something with my life.