Actors Leaving TV Shows

Beckett! Abbie! McDreamy! Jon! Liz! Has a Lead Character's Exit Ever Prompted You to Abandon a Show?

“I’m never watching this show again!” “If he’s out, I’m out, too!” “This had damn well better be a dream sequence!” “Bye, Felicia!”

It’s a common — and understandable — refrain among TV fans every time a beloved character gets killed off or a series lead exits a long-running show.

Heck, my own mother made a very similar declaration back on March 23, 2014 — the day The Good Wife‘s Will Gardner was gunned down in a horrific courtroom shooting.

“Oh, Mom, don’t be silly — you know you’re going to tune in next week,” I replied, but that’s because I treat most series to which I’ve become addicted the same way I treat an open, family-size bag of Doritos: I just can’t quit consuming — even when it’s reached the point of stomach cramps and self-loathing and “I really need to make better life choices.”

My mom actually did finish out Season 5, but somewhere in the midst of Season 6, episodes of CBS’ acclaimed legal drama began to pile up on her DVR. The magic, it seems, was gone — and with it, her loyalty.

I mention The Great Will Gardner Debate in the wake of a string of high-profile character deaths on popular, serialized dramas: Grey’s Anatomy‘s McDreamy, Game of Thrones‘ Jon Snow, and in just the last few weeks, The 100‘s Lexa, Sleepy Hollow‘s Abbie and (maybe) The Blacklist‘s Liz. Let’s not forget Nina Dobrev’s Elena leaving The Vampire Diaires prior to Season 7, too. When ABC announced Monday that a potential Season 9 of its procedural Castle would not include star Stana Katic, the “I’m outta here” drumbeats from the show’s fandom reached deafening levels (at least here in the TVLine comments section).

Each of the above cases — as well as the hundreds of examples that preceded it, and the hundreds that will inevitably follow — is different, of course.

Sometimes an actor wants out. Sometimes producers want an actor out. Sometimes it’s a cost-cutting measure. Sometimes it’s a way to shake up a stagnant series. Sometimes it’s nothing more than a bold/boneheaded storytelling decision.

As a viewer, I try to give writers the benefit of the doubt. Particularly in the action/sci-fi/superhero genres, where life-or-death decisions are made every episode, killing off a fan-favorite character raises the stakes and reminds us that no one is safe. On the other hand, if it’s only minor characters who wind up taking dirt naps season after season, I often find myself nodding off, as well.

Then again, if an actor or character is your main reason for watching a show in the first place, why would you want to go on without ’em — especially if there’s a lingering feeling that they were underserved on their way to the exit? Isn’t it better to pull the plug quickly and decisively than to feel your enthusiasm for a once-beloved series drain like helium from a sad balloon lingering in the corner behind the couch?

These are the greatest conundrums we face as viewers — along with the overarching horror that there is simply too much good television to consume in a 168-hour week. But in the end, isn’t it better to have lost a TV love than never to have loved at all?

On that note, I turn it over to you. Have you ever quit a beloved series after a character was killed off or an actor exited? Were there shows you stuck with despite your angst — where you wound up applauding or at least respecting the decision? Which recent TV death stung the hardest? Hit the comments with your thoughts!

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. Ames says:

    I stopped watching The Good Wife cold turkey after Will’s death. I didn’t even watch the episode right after it that Josh Charles was still in via flashback. I had stopped watching Grey’s long before McDreamy’s demise, but that was what it took to get my Mom to quit. I stopped watching TVD after Nina Dobrev left, and I absolutely will quit watching Castle now that Beckett won’t be a part of the show (and it seems they are doubling down on poor choices by forcing Hayley on us as a poor man’s substitute).

    • Diana says:

      Add The Blacklist too.

      • Reality says:

        Uh, no. Blacklist will be better.

        • JT says:

          People really buy Liz being dead? The moment Red mentioned his people will handle it. That being Liz’s corpse. The green light went off. It’s almost like everyone thought Liz killed Tom only to find out she kept him alive and tortured him. I mean maybe Liz really did croak but it’s hard for me to imagine they really would drag out just who exactly is Red to Liz storyline for almost 3 seasons only for it just…… woops! I’m sure we all have an idea but at this point. A cryptic painting with Liz at Red’s grave or a Rocket Man montage will not cut it.

          • Rachel says:

            I believe she’s not dead and Mr. Kaplan came up with a plan to fake her death right after Liz kicked Red out of the room after she had her baby. It would make sense because then she gets some time off for her baby in real life. Although the one thing that made me think she might actually be dead was the spinoff show with Tom. Tom will definitely have the baby and so he’ll be moving on and it would make no sense for Liz to be alive and not be with them. I don’t know, it’s confusing to me. I just really hope she’s not actually dead.

          • scott says:

            The blacklist is one on my list, the whole reason for watching it is the chemistry between liz and red, could not even bring myself to watch more than 5 minutes of the next episode, a shame as was one of my favourite shows, already took it off being recorded on planner on sky.

          • Mary S says:

            If you saw the finale you know that Liz is alive, Tom was joining her, and she was kidnapped by someone who claimed to be her father. Screen to black, with the opening of Season 4 already set up…What I don’t know is how they will write Tom out and into a spin-off.. Neither of them will be easy to write as single parents…how can you be a spy (or whatever) and handle the responsibilities of being the parent of an infant???

      • Westside Sue says:

        I’m with you Diana. The show is based on Red’s relationship with Liz. The so-called Blacklist people are the side stories.

    • Myself says:

      So, here’s the thing…
      The Good Wife still is very good, even, and maybe because, Alicia was so damn lost (the elections’ stories were not that hot, but they had some good moments).
      Grey’s is so much better without Dereck. I’m suddenly in love with Meredith again, is like she can be interesting again.
      The vampire Diaries is still finding it’s legs, but those producers were right, it was always about the Salvatores, and is always better to watch without Elena whining, believe me.
      So… I’d just like to tell you, maybe you could take a look again, I’m pretty sure that you would probably realize that the reason you stopped watching (the writing problems, the snooze fest or the illogical moves) are not there anymore. Just give it a second go, the character you deem most important to a show, can be the exact reason it’s not working anymore. ;)

      • TJ says:

        I agree… Good Wife and Grey’s is still good if not better. That’s why it’s sad The Good Wife is ending.

      • Violet says:

        In total agreement with you @ Myself. In some cases it is better when that certain character has left, it leaves the door open for creative writing. Otherwise we get stagnant story telling. Case in point TVD Dobrev’s exit, I was never so thankful for an actress to leave as I was that one. It was the same old story telling over and over and over again and I’m pretty sure it’s what prompted the actress to leave in the first place.

    • Mary says:

      Me too-I’m done with Castle and hope they just end it this season with a happy ending, which is what the fans and everyone on the show deserve.

      • Karen Padecky says:

        Speak for yourself please..maybe that’s what you want, so just don’t watch.

        • Celina says:

          Maybe YOU’re the only one who wants to keep watching. Don’t go telling people to just turn off the tv. The fans want a proper ending.

          • Kim says:

            I am with Celina! I will not watch season 9 of #Castle. ABC should have given us a proper ending with a short season 9

          • Karen Padecky says:

            I’m a fan too and have a right to my opinion. These comments always get people that bash, the people who are faithfully viewers of a show don’t usually comment to say’s always the negative people.

          • dragons3 says:

            She’s not the only one. I’ll watch Castle if there’s a season 9. For me, the Beckett/Castle storyline was my least favorite part of the show. If season 9 isn’t interesting or good, then I’ll quit watching. There are many shows that I watch/have watched because a particular actor/actress was in the cast. There isn’t one show I’ve stopped watching just because someone left the cast. There have been some I’ve stopped watching when it became obvious that the quality/interest was no longer there, but I’m mostly inclined to give it a chance first.

          • Jill B says:

            I’m with dragon3. Beckett had become boring. She seemed to be walking through her scenes. No more ‘let’s separate’ nonsense.Just get us back to the funny charming Castle of Season 1.

        • Lily21 says:

          I have stopped watching other shows at the loss of a star, and also at the insertion of a spoiler (the Buffy/Spike thing ruined Buffy for me; and I won’t be watching Sleepy Hollow now.

          But news that Katic will be leaving Castle cheered me up, TBH.

          I quit watching it when it became the Beckett Is A Superhero show, peeked in occasionally after the wedding, and then gave up because the storylines were so stupid. But without her (and whatever annoying thing there was between her and the showrunners, or the other actors, and I don’t care what that was)……. well, they have to try something new now, and I will take another look. I liked the first 2 seasons a LOT; I love mysteries and suspense, but eh, angsty romance is a dime a dozen. So maybe it will go back to being smart mystery solving. It can’t really get worse.

          • I didn’t love the Buffy/Spike relationship but I thought that the show was great. More importantly, if DB hadn’t left Buffy, we would have never had the superior 5 seasons of Angel.

      • Chris says:

        Totally agree, not a hope in hell of me watching S9, not the slightest bit interested. Beckett has always been the lead character for me, Castle has told her story, Stana Katic was the shining light in the show, and that light has now been turned off

      • Sarah says:

        I agree. They put me off Castle with the nonsense they pulled earlier this season. I watched anyway, but I hated it. This might be the end.

    • TJ says:

      I have quit a show because the story line is weak or the acting is bad. I quit if I just don’t like any of the characters at all. I quit OUAT because they were going to bring the Frozen sisters on. I screamed at the tv at the end of that season finale and swore I wouldn’t watch again. That has to be the most pissed off I have been at a tv show that I actually really liked. I quit a few this year thanks to the long winter break. The show came back and I hadn’t missed it. I couldn’t remember what had happened so I deleted the series recording. There is just too much good television out there now. I would never quit a show that I think is really good because they killed someone off. It’s a good show, so keep watching!

      • Lyn says:

        I gave up on OUAT because Michael Raymond James was so dreadfully miscast and the plot was going off the rails. I nearly quit Downton Abbey when Matthew was killed.

    • wgsecretary says:

      Actually, you may want to check out this season of Vampire Diaries. It’s the best one in a while. I think they actually improved after she left. Most of the actors on that show who have left did so by their own choice. So, I’m more ok with that.

    • Kathleen A. DeWees says:

      I also left THE GOOD WIFE — without Will, the show’s whole premise was gone — so why watch? I have kept with other shows even when a main character left because it didn’t really impact the meaning of the show. But the only reason that Alicia went to that firm was for Will — and their sexual tension was the backbone of that show.

    • AtM says:

      If JON SNOW is not resurrected this coming season into the same body of “Kit Harrington” then I’m done with GoT.
      I stopped watch TVD when Elena left, not because I was a DE fan but I was simply bored with the characters left.
      I stopped watching Greys when Cristina left – I’m glad she was not killed off.
      I stopped watching Two and a half men when Charlie was killed off.
      I will come back to Arrow when Felicity dies.
      I will come back to Scandal when Fitz or Olitz dies for good.

    • Tina says:

      I also stopped watching The Good Wife after Will’s death and will not watch Castle if Beckett is not there. The dynamics of these shows depended on these relationships so why waste my time?

  2. LADY_in_MD says:

    I’ve never quit a show because of a character being killed off but seeing beloved characters (maybe) Liz , President David Palmer, Terri Bauer, Neil on OUAT to name a few being killed off of shows makes me very sad and tears are shed but I do believe the writers do it for a reason and trust its for the good of the show I’m watching

    • c-mo says:

      I understand killing off characters for a story but as “budget cuts”?!?!?! Firing Stana and Tamela, two beloved original cast members, was a network decision and not the decision of the writers, showrunners or anyone else affiliated with the show. The action is unconscionable and a sure way to lose the fans who tried to stay loyal during a less than stellar season.

      • Night Owl says:

        If it was a “network decision” as you mention, why hold it against the writers and show runners? In my opinion, they had to deal with the hand they were dealt.

        • Danielle says:

          There are other options, namely end the show. If you can no longer deliver the product you promised people, then stop delivering sloppy seconds.

          • e. says:

            Promised people? I don’t think you understand the relationship you have with these shows…

          • Danielle says:

            I understand the relationship I have with these shows just fine. It is a promise, maybe not some elementary school ‘pinky promise’, but there is an unspoken agreement between viewers of a show and the people who provide the show. That is, I promise to keep watching a show as long as they promise to keep supplying a product worth watching.

          • KCC says:

            Wanting the network to cancel a show because YOU don’t like the direction it’s taking is selfish. What gives you the right to define what’s “sloppy seconds?” I get it, they’ve been serving meat and potatoes for 8 years and now you’re going to get fish. If you don’t like fish, don’t eat it, but don’t deny others the opportunity to at least try it.

      • LADY_in_MD says:

        I don’t watch Castle but I can understand why the fans are upset

      • Mary says:


      • Brandi says:

        I agree with you. It’s one thing when Patrick Dempsey wants to move on so they kill him off. It’s another for the network to not invite one of its leads back and call it budget cuts. There won’t be a budget to cut a year from now. Especially after the way this season has gone. I do wish them all the luck. I don’t want anyone to lose their jobs.

        • Karen Padecky says:

          That’s the point..people not even giving a revamped show a chance. .fine if someone wants to bail on the show, but don’t take loyal fans choice to watch. You know there are people behind the scenes depending upon that show for their livelihood. . Also, we may not be privy to all the facts..They may not want to say the real reason. .

    • Liz says:

      I stopped watching OUAT after they killed of Neal as well, and I only recently tuned back in just to watch his scene with Emma. Definitely gave me some closure :)

      • Turtl says:

        Dramatic much??? Lol Neal was neither a lead character or a significant one for that matter…his character always had an expiry date.

        • Lyn says:

          Not to mention that he was terrible in that part. It was like casting Danny DeVito in Goodbye Mister Chips. Neil was supposed to have been raised with Rumple, lived in London with the Darlings, spent years with Killian and Pan and yet he spoke like a guido from Detroit?

    • Steven Trudell says:

      I’ve never quit a show before, but Castle without Becket will do it for me. That’s like Bones without Booth, NCIS without Gibbs, M.A.S.H. without Hawkeye, or Star Trek without Picard. I can understand (even if I don’t like it) if the actor wants to leave (like Ziva on NCIS), but to cut a major character for cost-cutting? No wonder why ABC is in trouble. Do they really think their ratings will be unaffected? Maybe this is their way to get rid of the show. I will be amazed if the show is not canceled in mid-season if they even try a season 9. It would be far better to have a short season 9 (10-13 episodes) with the full cast and end it properly.

  3. Bradley Marten's says:

    It’s weird that I’m up in arms over what’s happening on Castle when I’ve been through this with The X-Files, to which I stuck with. I’ve been through this with Stargate SG-1, to which I stuck with. The same can be said to an extent with Smallville and more recently, Arrow. I’m up in arms over Castle, not just because of Stana leaving, but the magic is not there, Plus they have not been making it exciting, they are not giving me reason to want to come back, the very same mistake The Vampire Diaries made.

    • ralphpal says:

      Remember the fans made them bring jackson back and when the new team came on it kinda made sense

    • Castlefan says:

      For me the difference is that David Duchovny chose to leave XF and was never disrespected or under-valued. I think the treatment of Stana Katic and Tamala Jones has left a bad taste in the mouth. So I also stuck with X-Files (and really enjoyed the recent season) but just felt too disgusted to watch Castle last Monday. I may watch the end of season 8 eventually, but not for a long time and certainly not season 9. Season 8 has generally not been that good so the news just removed the last of my loyalty. I’ve no problem with them making a different sort of show but would prefer that they didn’t pretend it was Castle. #NoStanaNoCastle

  4. Not gonna be watching Arrow after they killed off the black canary, that’s for sure.

    • Karen says:

      Funny, cause that’s the show I’ll come back to if she’s really dead. She made me quit it.

    • xomar says:

      yes, same. I usually only drop shows when I lose interest, but with arrow it’s a combination of both killing of my favorite character and the show just shifting its focus on things I don’t care about (in this case the olicity relationship)

    • Cris says:

      Same. Laurel had the best growth on the show, I hate the writers for killing her off.

    • Lindsey says:

      Ugh the screwed up big with her death. She is Oliver’s endgame in the comics so to kill her off was a big effing mistake

    • Jim says:

      I’m quitting Arrow. And much of it based on the death. Plus mostly Guggenheim’s comment and attitude in an interview about the death. He stated he didn’t care about the comic book and internet fan base, he was going to do what he felt best for the show. Guess he doesn’t realize who is responsible for the success of the show.

      • Mary S says:

        I don’t know who Guggenheim is, I never read the comic books, and I didn’t even know there was an “internet fan base” – so I am watching it from a totally different perspective than many people here. I just like the show. I am sorry that Laurel got killed, but I’m certainly not going to quit watching. I enjoy the show. I have always liked “comic book” shows, whether I had ever read the comic or not. It is a form of escapism, watching superheroes “save the city” or “save the world” – It’s fun, and is far better than watching the news about real people being harmed or killed,. I have no preconceived notions about this fantasy world, I just roll with the flow.
        BUT, Castle minus Kate…that’s a hard pill to swallow. I’ll give it one or two episodes to win me, but they need to come up with something really spectacular to keep my interest.
        The Blacklist without Liz is inconceivable…SHE is the reason he’s working with the Feds…without her, why would he continue?? Tom can take the baby away, no great loss, but Red without Liz just isn’t right…we haven’t learned his connection to her yet, though I am sure we all have theories.. I will watch when it returns, just to see if her death was all a ruse to keep her safe…Otherwise, nothing to see, nothing to see, just move on….

    • tvjunkie says:

      I wouldn’t say I’ve quit the show yet, but it certainly went from must see to whenever I get around to it, at least to finish out the season. Not sure if I’ll bother beyond that.

    • Gorgia Madman says:

      Glad the Black Canary is gone. She looked like a Victoria’s Secret model in leather and a mask. The White Canary rocked it for me.

  5. Karen says:


    I stopped watching Good Wife, not after Will but after the green screen Kalinda nonsense. I was done with that show and Julianna at that point.

    Also stopped watching Grey’s after Derek will killed by a truck. But it was leading up to that. It wasn’t just Derek. It was Mark and Lexie getting planes dropped on them. It was George hit by a bus. It was Shonda Rhimes being horrible show runner and killing off all her great characters cause she has issues with the actors.

    • Laura says:

      on Grey’s it was the actors playing Lexie, George and Mark that all asked to be written out/not renewing their contracts. You can’t blame that on Shondra.
      McDreamy – that one is on Shondra

      • Mb says:

        They asked to be written out, not killed off. But the only way she knows how to get rid of characters is killing them, with Burke and izzie being the exception.

        • rowan77 says:

          Do you really think that those actors didn’t want to act out a death scene? A good death scene that makes people cry? Actors live for that. Killing them off gave the actors and the characters one last big moment before leaving the series. The actors are not upset. Shonda may not like Patrick, but she did give him a killer episode (no pun intended) that was focused almost exclusively on his character for most of it. That was very good of her.

        • Lauren says:

          Exactly. It would have been so easy to write Lexi and Mark off and make longtime fans happy. They get new jobs in another state and move there together. Happy ending and leaves room for them to come back for guest spots. Doctors move around all the time. She did that with Christina (because she loves Sandra Oh). But no, Instead, she killed them in a ridiculous plane crash. Lazy and a slap in the face to fans.

      • koopaqt says:

        Mark didn’t want to be written off the show. He begged to stay, but Shonda said that Lexie was always his end game and so she made him basically die of a broken heart. They could have brought back his character. He had a daughter and other things to look forward to.

      • Lucifer says:

        So when the actors on Sleepy Hollow and The 100 asked to be written off, it’s blamed on the showrunners “forcing them out.” But when probably over a dozen actors have up and quit Shonda’s TV productions, it’s simply “they just wanted to leave.”

    • Luli says:

      Well in my opinion you are missing one of Grey’s best seasons yet. I’m loving season 12, and I think that ever since they killed Derek the show has been a breath of fresh air, and more fun. And this is coming froma big MerDer fan.

  6. Angela Catraghn says:

    Yes. I’ve stopped watching shows for lead character deaths and I’m tired of seeing women die.
    I stopped watching Teen Wolf after Crystal Reed decided to exit.
    I stopped watching The OC after Marissa’s death.
    I stopped watching Grey’s after McDreamy’s death.
    I will stop watching Castle without Beckett.
    I will stop watching Jane The Virgin if Michael dies.

    I will say The Good Wife did a very good job with moving forward after the loss of Will. It wasn’t the same but it was still good.

    I don’t think Castle has the power to do that, at all.

  7. AD says:

    Beckett will be the first one I’ll quit after. The difference for me with Patrick Dempsey & Nina Dobrev’s departures from their respective shows was that there were enough other characters & relationships on those shows to keep me invested. Castle literally only has Ryan/Esposito as a RL left that i care about so unfortunately, it’s not enough for me to hang on to the show. That & I really love Beckett & Stana & they did her dirty. So, solidarity.

    • Mary says:

      I agree, those two are the show and the rest are supporting characters. This use to be my must see TV but it now sits on my DVR and if I have nothing better to do I watch. This year hasn’t really pulled me in and with Beckett out of the picture I doubt it will be worth watching.

    • Christina says:

      I had quit Grey’s well before Patrick Dempsey’s exit, but that was different. Like you said, that show was more of an ensemble, so there were more characters to stay for. I see nothing to stay for now that Beckett/Stana is gone. Even if I could stay, I won’t because of how this all went down!

    • PoeticNobleLandMermaid says:

      This is exactly how I feel. I’ve been upset by a lot of character deaths over the years and even taken a little time off from shows because the deaths temporarily lessened my enthusiasm for them, but the only ones that cause me to cut ties completely are when that character is so intrinsically part of the show’s premise that TPTB trying to carry on without them and pretend that it’ll still even remotely resemble the show the audience fell in love with is madness. This has happened twice for me, (and both times were this year!) first with Sleepy Hollow, and now Castle.

    • TinLV says:

      I agree with everything you said. I didn’t stop watching Grey’s when Dempsey left because there are so many other characters I care about on that show, so many other stories to tell, and truthfully, I thought Mer/Der had grown a bit stale. But the situation is different on Castle. It has a much smaller ensemble, and losing Beckett leaves a big hole in the cast, not to mention Tamala is leaving too. Besides, can anyone really picture Castle with anyone else ? I already stopped my dvr from recording the rest of this season and have no plans to watch the next season.

    • TLH says:

      I agree.. Castle only needs 4 people to carry on, castle, Beckett, Ryan & Esposito, everyone else can go. Never really watched Grey’s, too many annoying characters.
      I am enjoying VD without Elana, because there are so many other characters to be invested in.

  8. Lily says:

    I’m sure some people are going to mention Sweets from Bones, which I will never understand. His part was relatively small most of the times (so, not a lead character) but those people who say “stopped watching after they killed Sweets”… that’s just insane to me. He wasn’t what made the show great. He is missed, obviously, but the show is doing well without him.

    • Sweets is a perfect example of positive cast changes. He was okay, nice guy and all, but Aubrey is so, so, so much more fun and entertaining, not even a comparison! I’m glad he left!

    • B says:

      My interest in Bones waned when Brennan went to the Maluku Islands and Booth went to Afghanistan, and I never fully got it back. I watched on and off during season six. The episode they killed Sweets in was my first one back in a while. So I didn’t completely stop watching because of his death, but it kept me from coming back. I think it’s more likely that people who quit watching because of a death have already lost interest.

    • Lillian says:

      One thing I didn’t understand about Sweets’ death is why they had to examine his bones (series name notwithstanding). We know how he died. They didn’t do that to Vincent (who I still mourn).

  9. sandy says:

    Will definitely stop watching Castle w/o Beckett. This is a NoGo!

  10. This season of Castle has felt so off and I’m forcing myself through these last few episodes but I’m definitely quitting after the finale. Also done with Sleepy Hollow if it gets renewed. Once Michael Weatherly’s gone, I’m quitting NCIS (have been thisclose to quitting for a while and the news that he’s leaving made the decision for me). Stuck with GA after Derek’s death but I still miss him.

  11. Riley says:

    I was done with HOUSE the minute we found out Lisa Edelstein would be off the show. I hung in there painfully after season 5 just for her and Cuddy but that show sadly went downhill.

    • c-mo says:

      That one hurt almost as bad as Beckett leaving…

    • MBF says:

      I was going to say House as well. It wasn’t really a conscious, “oh they’re cutting Lisa, I’m out” though. I stuck with it as he tried to find a new team after his group left but eventually it just wasn’t the same show anymore once Cuddy wasn’t there and I just gradually stopped watching.

  12. Jason says:

    I stopped watching Agents of Shield after they killed Trip. They teased this thing with him and simmons for no reason only to kill him off to make Skye feel guilty. it felt so cheap it took me out of the show to see someone that looked like be reduced to nothing

    • e. says:

      LOL!!! These tease relationships before killing every character off. its part of the trope, its part of the process. If you killing off a character you invest the time before it building up that character’s value. Any show-runner that doesn’t do this will likely be out of a job quickly.

  13. Anna says:

    I stopped watching Grey’s Anatomy after Derek died. More specifically, I stopped after the episode that ended with the police at Mer’s door, about to tell her that Derek had died. I just couldn’t bring myself to watch it. I’ve watched the show since the very beginning, it followed me through my teenage-years and it just felt so… wrong for Derek not to be there.
    I realize that Dempsey wanted out and that many people think that the show is still great (which it very well might be), but the show died for me the moment the police showed up at Mer’s door. Which is sad, because I used to love this show. But I just can’t watch anymore.

    • Jane says:

      This was me with Grey’s anatomy as well, I grew up with it and it shaped some of my beliefs as well but I just couldn’t take the deaths anymore especially seeing as I was going through a personal one at the time and my place of hiding was filled with death. I at least finished season 11 but couldn’t stomach seeing Meredith go through all that mourning.

      And this is also going to apply to Castle as it was advertised as a duo and I can’t even imagine what the show would be like without Beckett.

    • Sophia says:

      I loved Derek. I know he had his flaws but I loved him to the core. And I stuck with Grey’s even thru all the crap after his death mostly for the small reminders we get from time to time. And I end up in tears every time his name is mentioned. Wow I must be a masochist

  14. Castle will be the first time I have, but I am definitely done. Like, not even watching the rest of this season done

  15. delta says:

    Yes. And Castle’s sadly next.

  16. liv says:

    After Chris Meloni left, SVU was dead to me.

  17. Amy says:

    I’ve had a similar reaction to The Good Wife. I just kept forgetting to catch up and now I’m a season…two seasons behind. I’ve never watched an episode of Greys after McDreamy’s death. It was actually spoiled for me and I didn’t even watch it.

    TV shows, like books are invitations into another world. Deaths are startling.

  18. Olivia says:

    I stopped watching NCIS after Ziva’s departure. I was already iffy on the show after several blunders made by writers in regards to Ziva’s character. I was getting tired of them toying with the whole Tony/Ziva thing. And then to top it ALL off, Ziva apologized a few times in S10 for not sleeping with Tony.

    The writers on the show constantly ignore the women and prefer the men. Ziva’s poorly written exit was the last straw. We were told by the showrunner that her exit was “something the fans will be satisfied with,” and “something that everyone wants.” Except it wasn’t. They turned Ziva into something she was not and turned her into a shell of her old self. She did not have a goodbye with any other characters and then was hardly mentioned for the remainder of the season.

    I probably would have stopped watching the show eventually, with or without Ziva – simply because they constantly made her the bad guy for not sleeping with Tony.

    • Hannah says:

      Ditto. I was not impressed with how NCIS handled Ziva at the end of her run. I have not watched a single episode since she left.

    • Tina says:

      I agree. Ziva leaving was a HUGE loss to the show, but them adding that no personality Bishop in a SAD, SAD pathetic attempt to take her place on the team is what is going to kill the show for SURE!
      She doesn’t fit at all, no talent or skills to replace Ziva”s multi faceted character.

      I hope they loose her QUICKY before we all loose the show. She’s dragging it down for sure.

  19. Cheryl says:

    It depends. It they kill Kate Beckett, then I won’t watch next season at all. If they tie it up for her character to be happy and move on to better things, then I will probably watch S9.

  20. wrstlgirl says:

    I quit watching SVU after Meloni left. On the flip side I came back to TVD after Dobrev left :-)

  21. . (@yikes77) says:

    I haven’t myself but I know someone who stopped Grey’s as soon as Lexie was toast. That said, Sleepy Hollow is on notice now that Nicole is out.

  22. Lindsey says:

    I stayed with Roswell after they killed off Alex and I stayed with Sons Of Anarchy when they killed off Opie because I loved the shows but when Elena left Vampire Diaries and killed off Will on The Good Wife I was done because those characters were central to the shows they were on and it seemed reckless to air more seasons when they weren’t there to help the series development.

  23. Duke says:

    CSI. I tried, but that series was just a total no-go after William Petersen left.

    • Night Owl says:

      I gave it a fair shake when William Petersen left. Sadly, I wasn’t impressed with the storylines when Laurence Fishburne was on the show, and I had quit watching it. It was the way the show changed that made me stop watching it, because I really like Laurence Fishburne.

      When they brought Ted Danson on, who I also like, I started watching it again. I was hoping they would turn the direction back to the way it was before Petersen left. I found myself enjoying the show again. However, when CSI was canceled, and Ted Danson moved to CSI Cyber, as much as I like him, I just couldn’t hop on board. I tried it originally, and I’m not a fan of CSI Cyber.

    • Spitey Spice says:

      Completely agree. I tried, but…no.

    • Brandon says:

      This is the exact thing i thought of when i read then article. Im surprised it took so long for it to be mentioned.

  24. Sara C Westcott says:

    I had never quit a show before due to a main character leaving until I found out that Abbie died on Sleepy Hollow. I was half a season behind on the show and getting ready to catch up on my DVR, when I read that she was a goner and just like that, I deleted them all and canceled any future recordings. That show was all about the Abbie/Ichabod dynamic and I can’t see how they will get around that so I’M OUT.

    • PoeticNobleLandMermaid says:

      This is EXACTLY what happened with me, down to being half a season behind and immediately doing a mass deletion from my DVR! I’m glad I was so far behind; I’m furious enough about Abbie’s demise having only read about it, so I can’t imagine what people must be feeling who witnessed it live with no warning.

    • Marilyn says:

      Same here. Deleted the last half of the season and removed the show from my DVR

  25. No, it has never forced me to stop watching, I do miss certain characters, on certain shows.

  26. TaMara says:

    I left Greys after Christina left. I probably won’t tune into Sleep Hollow if it’s renewed. That’s off the top of my head. I’m sure there are more. I left Castle earlier this year, so I’m fine whatever they decide.

  27. Dotti says:

    Indeed i stopped watching NCIS after Sascha Alexander’s Kate died. I never accepted Ziva and simply stopped watching.

    • drhenning says:

      obviously you weren’t missed since NCIS grew in popularity after Kate was killed.. The loss of Ziva hasn’t done much either… When Tony goes…. let’s see how creative they can be.. I’ve been expecting for years for Ducky to hang it up since David M is up there age wise and live in NYC area. But.. he’s still there and I understand they make it easy for him to continue..

      • thisismenow says:

        What kind of flop logic? Please tell me you are not a real doctor. Because if you are, I feel bad for your patients. :(

    • ragnar51 says:

      Well, I didn’t totally stoop watching but I was very upset when Kate was killed off. Her chemistry with the entire cast was very special.

  28. Roger Buchana says:

    I don’t think anyone thinks Liz is dead on The Blacklist. Megan Boone just gave birth today. Makes perfect sense to ”kill” her off the show and let Megan recoup during the off season. and bring her back for season 4 premiere. Also, The Blacklist has the least amount of controversy in comparison with the other shows.

    Finally, Lexa was never a lead. She was a GREAT secondary character but not a lead.

  29. George H. says:

    Haven’t until now. Always thought people were silly for getting that invested into a show until I started watching Castle. Now that they basically fired Stana, I’m not even gonna watch any more to find out what happens to her this season. Seeing Beckett die on screen would really ruin the show for me.

  30. Kristy says:

    I stopped watching Grey’s after Sandra Oh left, but that is mostly because I was bored with the show. I’m done with Castle once Beckett is gone.

    • Rosanne says:

      I think being already bored and jaded with a show makes the death of a character more likely to stop watching. It’s not death but a dearth of good writing, acting, and plotting that turns me off a show.

  31. Kiki octavia says:

    Beckett out, im out
    Might as well just cancel Castle,its way long overdue anyway,even Nathan Fillion rumored to be out last season

  32. Tori Coop says:

    She wasn’t “the lead” but after Warren Leight got rid of Stephanie March (Alex Cabot) SVU exited my life.

  33. mazel tov says:

    Not yet but with Stana Katic gone, so am I. There is no reboot of Castle I will watch without her.

  34. Bwhit says:

    I haven’t, but I have my ‘deal breakers’. If they ever killed Casey on Chicago Fire, Elijah on the Originals or even Leonard on LOT (it’s a new show but he’s a must!), I would seriously think about not watching. I most likely would continue to see how it shakes out in the wake of their deaths, and drop it if their void was just too big to fill. I did say last summer that I would make an exception to the continuing rule if they killed Mike on Graceland, but it turned out okay and than the show got killed so there’s that lol!

    It may be just me, but I do feel like they are killing off main players at an alarming rate now for what I feel, is shock and awe.

    • mooshki says:

      Exactly. It seems to be the “cool” thing to do, but I think in the long run it’s going to make viewers get less attached to characters and shows.

  35. natalia h says:

    Yes, I have. The X Files comes to mind, I stopped watching when David Duchovny left.

    I think every other show, I stopped watching before major actors left (TVD, The Good Wife). And I know people are hurt Lexa left, but she was not the heart of the show, she was a secondary character, so it doesn’t really count. I HAVE watched some shows for secondary characters and if the show failed to hook me, then I quit them. Not fuzz.

    • Annie says:

      I’m glad you said this. I know losing Lexa was upsetting, but the show was never about her. People who watched from the start know it’s about the sky people. Lexa was only ever a guest star. Not even close to a lead. Hell, Lincoln was more of a main character than she was.

      • natalia h says:

        Exactly. it’s about The 100.

        (I’m still mourning the loss of Wick, honestly, and we didn’t even get to see what happened to him).

      • Luli says:

        Lexa had way more story than Lincoln ever had on the show. The actress may have been a guest star, but she still had a big presence on the show, more so than a lot of regulars. I haven’t watched the show since ep 8, I will watch it eventually, but I’m still pissed they killed her. I was gonna watch ep 9, but then I read about what happened in Polis and Lincoln so I didn’t. But I heard Lindsey was great in ep 11… So I’m excited about that.

  36. J. P. Freely says:

    The OC.
    And now, Sleepy Hollow

  37. Sara says:

    I always fall in love with the lead female character of a show and don’t care that much about the male character. That’s why I stopped watching House after Cuddy left and Angel after Cordelia left. Not gonna be watching Castle without Beckett.

  38. Tara says:

    I stopped watching Vampire Diaries when Nina Dobrev left. I won’t watch again until/if she comes back.

  39. Pamela says:

    The good wife (will) and greys anatony (Derek) have been the only two shows I stopped watching. However there are many shows I wished I stopped watching after someone left (not killed off but written out) because they indeed went downhill afterwards.

  40. percysowner says:

    I quit TVD after they killed of Katherine. She was the most interesting character on the show and I simply didn’t care after she was gone.

  41. Amber says:

    I stopped watching NCIS when Côte de Pablo left and I will stop watching Castle when Beckett is gone.

    The idea that Castle is just Nathan is insulting. Like it was said Nikki Heat was Castle and Beckett combined, Castle is Nathan and Stana combined.

    • lgg says:

      I hope stana gets another job in tv soon. Lets see if fillion can carry the show by himself i doubt it besides he needs to lose the gut.

  42. Ana says:

    Only on some shows. I dropped Grey’s Anatomy when it killed Derek. I didn’t even bother to watch the following episode dealing with his death. Granted, I was already on the edge with that show but that was the last straw. He was my favorite character in a disaster of characters. So, I dropped that one very happily. I was getting fed up with the ridiculous storylines.

    I didn’t do the same for The Good Wife or will do with Game of Thrones. The quality of both shows are a lot superior than Grey’s Anatomy and worth my time.

  43. Leela says:

    I almost quit watching Person of Interest after Carter’s death but I stayed because I love Amy Acker. I’m still watching POI b/c of Root and I blame her for this :3

  44. Tali says:

    Yeah, many times. Sometimes I watch a show for the show but most times its that special character that makes you watch and when that chara is gone so is the feeling. CSI after Gil left, Ally McBeal after Larry left, NCIS after Ziva left, McLeods Daughters after Claire left….

  45. Megan S. says:

    Yes! Turning Zac into a serial killer on Bones in season 3 was sloppy and terrible. It made no sense for the character and the writers used it as a cop-out due to the shortened writer’s strike season. I haven’t watched Bones since.

    • Lily says:

      then you misunderstood the story, he wasn’t a serial killer, he HELPED him find his next victim, but Zack never killed anyone. You’re missing something great if you haven’t watched since S3.

    • mooshki says:

      I kept watching, but I still miss Zack and I think they made a mistake taking him off the show.

  46. Terry says:

    Stopped watching Law & Order when Chris Noth left and Stargate SG1 when Michael Shanks left. (Eclectic taste in TV). I’m a bad fan though, I didn’t write nasty letters to the network, producers or remaining cast. I just changed the channel. Both shows managed just fine without me as a viewer by the way.
    I’m not sure about NCIS once Michael Weatherly leaves. I will check it out and see. If I do stop watching, I still won’t tweet nastiness to the executives or cast. I’m not THAT invested. If that makes me a bad fan, so be it.

    • PoeticNobleLandMermaid says:

      Just curious, did you start SG-1 back up when Michael Shanks returned a year after leaving? I’m asking because I probably would’ve reacted the same way (Daniel was my absolute favorite character), except I had the benefit of discovering the show on DVD around the time the 8th season was airing, so when I heard that he left and then returned I simply skipped the episodes without him and kept going! :)

      • you missed some great episodes in season 6, i hope you went back and rewatched at some point, you’re missing out on a great character in Jonas if not.

        • PoeticNobleLandMermaid says:

          Oh yes, that was just the first time around; Stargate SG-1 is still one of my all time favorite shows, so I couldn’t leave episodes unwatched for long! I recently started a rewatch from the beginning, which meant that one of my best friends had to sit through my passionate attempt to sell her on it at dinner the other night – still waiting to see if it succeeded :) .

          Still miffed we never got the promised third movie…

  47. Kosha, Slezak's Sister says:

    Oh Michael, this is your sister and I think you went a little overboard with your better to have loved quote. On that note, I’m very disappointed in this season of Castle. If they really wanted to save money, they should have fired the writers and kept the cast. I think they could have ad-libbed a better season! I’ll see how they end this season before I commit to next… Kosha!

  48. Flo says:

    I quit Homeland after Brody, but the writing got too horrid for me to keep caring. I stuck with XFiles after Mulder but Scully was such a strong character on her own. The writing was worth it, too. Sleepy Hollow turned out to be a huge mess after season 1. Abbie was the person I considered the lead character, the audience identifier and anchor of that show. Without her it’s as dead as the writing. I want it cancelled.

  49. Imzadi says:

    The only show, that comes to mind is Bones. When Sweets was killed, I was out. Bones was like comfort food and and old habit, so his exit and they way he died, just killed all the fun for me.

  50. zackkattackk843 says:

    If Abbie is gone, then so am I.