8 TV Shows Saved By Ridiculously Last Minute Changes

The shows you love were almost terrible.

Lost Jack

If you’ve ever imagined what it’s like to write a TV show, you might think the finished product matches the initial creative vision of the visionaries behind the scenes. In reality, though, things are very different.

Re-writes, re-shoots and completely random unexpected events can mean that the TV show you watch on screen bears little resemblance to its original form. Sometimes, these changes are for the worse, but often they can completely save a show from obscurity.

It's true: not every change is a disaster on a par with Fred Flintstone having an alien friend or Cuckoo swapping out Andy Samberg for Taylor Lautner, so let's take a look at the changes that rescued their shows, rather than ruined them.

8. Frasier Was Almost About A Housebound Paraplegic

Lost Jack

Frasier stands the test of time as one of the greatest sitcoms ever made, one of the few spinoffs to match and surpass the show it span off from in terms of both quality and longevity – although Cheers was still a great show in its own right.

But everyone’s favourite pompous radio psychiatrist was almost very different. Actor Kelsey Grammer, who played the character on Cheers, was reluctant to play the same role again, and so initially co-creators David Angell, Peter Casey and David Lee came up with a new idea. They cast Grammer as a housebound, paraplegic publishing magnate instead. Thankfully for all concerned, Paramount thought it was terrible and insisted on a Frasier Crane spinoff. The good doctor was relocated from Boston to Seattle and the rest, as they say, is history.

Except it isn’t – there was still one more big change for Frasier before the show would hit the screen. The role of Roz Doyle, Frasier’s spunky, unlucky-in-love friend and producer, initially went to Lisa Kudrow. After a few rehearsals it was decided that Kudrow, although funny, was not the right fit for the character, and Peri Gilpin was cast in her stead. Kudrow didn’t need to be downhearted for long though, as she soon landed the role of Pheobe Buffay in a little sitcom called Friends. You might have heard of it.


David is an office drone and freelance writer for WhatCulture and Moviepilot, among others. He's also foolishly writing a serialised novel on Jukepop and has his own irregularly updated website. He's available for freelance work. Reach out on Twitter to @davefox990