Fall TV Preview

16 Fall TV Cliffhangers: Which Stars Should Be Saved? And Which Characters Are Expendable?

The close of the TV season for many an actor signals the opening of “Waiting Season” — aka the sometimes torturous few weeks during which they watch for an official “pick-up letter” inviting them back for the fall. And make no mistake, even those with the cushiest of gigs eyeball Mr. Postman.

“I don’t think as an actor you ever feel confident,” Community’s Yvette Nicole Brown shared with TVLine recently. “Until I get the letter… saying [my option has been] picked up, I don’t rejoice. I could be on Modern Family and not feel confident about it.”

For at least four Smash cast members and one 90210 resident, to cite some early examples, option pick-ups were not meant to be. And for more than a dozen other primetime stars, the future is to varying degrees colored by a big question mark — in some instances only because of how the season-gone-by ended.

Here, TVLine singles out 16 familiar faces whose fates remain fluid, and weighs in on why they should stay (or how they could go). Skim our list then tell us who you think is indispensable, and whose number may be up.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Spikenalabama says:

    Yes, please let Arizona die on GA!!!!

  2. Britney says:

    Kono will live, I’m tired of seeing new members always stealing Grace Park spot. Everytime there a new lady (white chick) in the team, they would automatic kick Grace out. Why is that? Its not fair to Grace.

  3. Debra says:

    Cory Monteith was already confirmed as returning to Glee in season 4. So putting him in this list is completely pointless.

  4. JessicaR says:

    Arizona CANNOT die! Shonda already killed off half of a popular couple in Mark and Lexie, but it would be really stupid to kill off half of another popular couple in Arizona and Callie. I love them and would be very disappointed if they didn’t end up together in the end. I’ve never been one to say that I would stop watching a show if this person or that couple dies or breaks-up or whatever, but I think if Arizona dies, I might think about it.

  5. Gerald says:

    Didn’t miss Tristan Wilds in the last few episodes of 90210. I found his character laughable that he was “in demand” as a DJ. It’d be sad for Annie to lose a brother, but he wouldn’t be missed by me.
    And no offence to Corey Montieth, but he can’t act and sing that well (compared to the rest of the men) and certainly can’t dance. I don’t care for his character and think Rachel would be better off exploring other relationsips than hanging on to that one.

  6. julia says:

    “Arizona did not survive the wait for rescue or trip home — and then we’d sit back and witness Emmy-caliber work from Sara Ramirez.”
    I like this idea because I know tha SaRa can give hell of a performance, but God no, I can’t live without my Calzona.
    Jessica Capshaw is not leaving, people.

  7. Emma says:

    Arizona has to live, as a Calzona fan it would just not make sense and would be a total cop out if they kill her just like that. Ideally I wouldn’t like anyone else from hrey’s to die but if it must be one, let it be Mark!!

  8. Ally says:

    The following is the list of network shows I watch and which characters I find most and least expendable:
    Grey’s Anatomy LEAST EXPENDABLE Meredith, Lexie, Alex, Mark, Arizona. MOST EXPENDABLE April, Chief, Owen, Teddy, Bailey

    Hawaii 5-0 LEAST EXPENDABLE Steve, Kono MOST EXPENDABLE Danny, Max

    Vampire Diaries LEAST EXPENDABLE Damon, Elena, Stephen, Bonnie MOST EXPENDABLE Tyler, Matt, Bonnie, Jeremy

    Revenge LEAST EXPENDABLE Emily, Nolan, Daniel MOST EXPENDABLE Declan, Fauxmanda, Victoria, Lydia

    Hart of Dixie LEAST EXPENDABLE Zoe, Wade, Lavon MOST EXPENDABLE Lemon,

    Smash LEAST EXPENDABLE Karen, Tom, Eileen, Ivy MOST EXPENDABLE Julia, Derek, Michael, Frank

    Private Practice LEAST EXPENDABLE Charlotte, Cooper, Addison, Amelia MOST EXPENDABLE Violet, Sheldon, Sam, Keith, Pete

    Nikita LEAST EXPENDABLE Nikita, Birkoff, Alex MOST EXPENDABLE Amanda, Fletcher, Michael

    Glee LEAST EXPENDABLE Finn, Rachel, Quinn, Santana MOST EXPENDABLE Puck, Brittany, Blaine, Joe

    Parenthood LEAST EXPENDABLE Adam, Sarah, Julia, Kristina, Asked MOST EXPENDABLE Crosby, Haddie

  9. Linda says:

    Peter from Body of Proof

  10. Elizabeth says:

    I was really upset with the ending of Glee – I cannot see the show without Finn and I honestly thought it was a bit of a cop-out for the finale.

  11. Ashley says:

    Kono better survive…I like Catherine and all, but Kono rocks.

  12. Kat says:

    I would be devastated if any of the NCIS left. After nine seasons, to lose any of them would hurt the show in my opinion. They have such chemistry together. But I honestly believe they will all be back. Would you want to give up being on the number one drama on tv that can beat American Idol and Dancing, I know I wouldn’t.

  13. Jenni says:

    I think the NCIS three will be back-they all love the show and get along great as a cast. It is my favorite show and without one of the “Gibblets” it just wouldn’t be the same.
    On Grey’s, I am more worried for Arizona. Why kill Lexie and then Mark when you could have let them died together or live and just leave Seattle together to begin with? I like Arizona and Mark and their newly formed friendship and hope neither are killed off. As much as I love Sara Ramirez I do not want to see her miserable all the time next season.
    And Kono better make it…Grace Park deserves a good storyline this season.

  14. Michael says:

    I could see Michael leaving NCIS it sound like things have gotten bad backstage we all remember when Ziva call Tony deadweight well from what the spoiler have said that how the actress really feels about him

    • Michael isn’t going anywhere. He’s a staple of the NCIS family. As far as Ziva calling him names, the two of them do that all the time. It’s like little kids punching each other in the arm as a show of love. They will both be back.

      • Michael says:

        No its not its called being a bully which she is

        • Oh, so Ziva’s a bully, huh? What does that make Tony then? What about all the times he’s picked on McGee and played jokes on McGee and Ziva?

          And what spoiler are you talking about, how the actress really feels? You know nothing about how the actors feel towards one another…..but it’s been shown time and time again how much they enjoy working together.

          As for Sean, Michael and Pauley, I have no doubt they will be back on screen in Season 10. Who would want to give up working on the #1 drama on network tv! I can’t even imagine NCIS without any of the cast….just wouldn’t be right.

          • Amen to that – they are a family of sorts and I know Cote signed a contract for two years so she’ll be back for sure. Hoping the rest of them will follow because it wouldn’t be the same without them.

  15. Steffy says:

    The Naomi Show is what’s making people not care about 90210. McCord is a good actor, but the identity of 90210 has been flipped to cater to the joke that Naomi Clark has become. Lets start by bringing in extra after extra to put her in pointless storylines. And meanwhile have a very much fan loved character in Erin Silver ignored till the 2nd half. A very much fan loved and you can check on twitter, on youtube, on Tumblr, no one excuse me but majority does not want Dixon played by Tristan Wilds to die. Alot of them including Jessica Lowndes have shifted support towards Adrianna and Dixon, Shenae Grimes spoke heavily for not killing off the character. So that’s that on what we want, sorry to disappoint some posters here, as for Austin, he has been a cardboard character w/ no life. His only draw was Naomi aside from that a waste of storyline and space on this show. Teddy is back and that’s actually great, here’s an idea, send Austin packing to the ranch he came from, bring back Ethan and go with Liam, Teddy, Dixon, Ethan as your draws. Shift the Naomi show back to Silver, Ade, Annie, Naomi.

  16. Sam must stay on PP Addison must say yes Sam is hot that other guy is FUGLY

  17. Fowler says:

    I wish they would get rid of Finn from Glee… and I would not be sad to see Mercedes and Brittany go, too. Brittany just isn’t funny anymore – I’d much rather see more of cute, bubbly Sugar Motta.

  18. Amelia Hale says:

    Don’t touch my Arizona!!!!

  19. Kayla says:

    Greys- I don’t want anyone else to die. :( I love the whole three way thing that mark Callie and Arizona have I just dont know if Mark can ever be Mark again after such a traumatic loss which scares me. Im not sure I want to see Sloan in depression. Lexie should’ve never died it’s just not fair :'( and if Arizona does die I really really really hope that Sloan and Callie get together I love them as sex buddies. :)

    PP- I’m in love with Violet I think she’s such a strong and powerful character. Addison honestly bugs the life out of me and I don’t really care who she winds up with. Although I must say Sam and Addison I still think is wrong because of Naiomi and just because she’s not their doesn’t mean that she shouldn’t count for something. I’m so upset that Pete is gone I love him and violet and Lucas :(

  20. Whitney says:

    I am completly obsessed with NCIS and I don’t think the show would be the same without its core characters because they’re so much like a family. Unfortunatly I do think they will kill/injure at least one character, not that I want them too. The actors/actresses who play Ducky, Palmer, Vance (ew I hate him), and Ziva already signed contracts for next year and wont be dying any time soon (or at all, I hope…well except for Vance, Jenny was wayyyy better), but DiNozzo, McGee, and Abby didn’t sign contracts yet. I will cry if any of the three of them are dead, but I guess of the three of them my least favorite is McGee. I think he will live though considering he is just starting to mature. I don’t think DiNozzo is dead because of the whole Tiva thing. So, even though I hate to say this, things don’t look too good for Abby. I don’t think she will die though considering Gibbs was on top of her and no one else can play the role like she can, but I do think she will be injured. Maybe a bad concussion or a coma? This will provide developments in Sean’s character McGee.

  21. Mary Gardia says:

    You cannot possibly kill off Victoria and Charlotte on Revenge….ON GA,get rid of Kevner…why kill off Lexie…highly uncalled for….

  22. Jeff says:

    NCIS is amazing. It’s still as good as it was when it was newer. The characters just seem to get better and better. I think it could go another ten seasons. I do wish Lauren holly was still on the show even know those episodes were great!

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