Biggest TV Deaths

May Sweeps Massacre: 40+ Deaths From Once, Originals, NCIS and More — Which Loss Hit You Hardest?

May sweeps is winding down, and not a moment too soon, because we’re not sure how many more characters we can bear to lose.

Since officially kicking off April 28, sweeps has laid claim to over three dozen deaths on ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox and The CW. During the past three-and-a-half weeks, fan faves such as Once Upon a Time‘s Robin Hood, The Flash‘s Henry Allen and Legends of Tomorrow‘s Leonard Snart met their end. (Some less beloved folks — cough, Vandal Savage, cough — also got what was coming to them.)

As if a single loss isn’t hard enough, several series — including Once, Arrow, Blindspot, Supernatural and Grimm — offed multiple characters. Meanwhile, The Originals and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. both bid adieu to two series regulars, and NCIS boldly offed a popular character to set the stage for another, even more popular character’s exit.

But TV’s most high-stakes period doesn’t end until May 25, so there is still time for more carnage. (The weeks leading up to sweeps were pretty bloody, as well. Review those major demises here.)

Browse our gallery of sweeps deaths below (or click here), which we will update as more faves fall, then drop a comment: Which loss hit you hardest?

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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103 Comments
  1. Gilded Lady says:

    Davina’s on The Originals hit me way harder than I expected because those screams were so agonizing to listen to. Cami’s hurt even more because Leah Pipes was given such greater writing and she killed it.

    The temporary coma deaths of the entire rest of the family + Klaus’ pain coma just gutted me. It’s been ages since a show I enjoyed had such a bleak run of end episodes.

    • Wordsmith says:

      I agree on both counts. The Originals really sold those deaths and took the necessary time to give them the proper emotional weight and dramatic consequence. Neither felt like a throw-away moment or an afterthought.

  2. What about Norma Bates?
    That one definitely hurt.

  3. Elinor says:

    Robin Hood’s. Hands down. It’s the worst most nonsensical death that goes against the very core of Once Upon a Time. For me, it betrays what the show stands for: Hope, 2nd chances, family and that it pays to be good. The fanbase feels shaken and very betrayed from what I can tell.

    • jj says:

      I watch OUAT and I don’t feel betrayed.

      • Night Owl says:

        I’m with you JJ.

      • Red Robin says:

        You’re part of the exception. Many do feel betrayed, including myself. You don’t even have to be a Robin Hood fan to see how utterly dark and pointless the death was on a show alledgedly about hope and second chances. Destruction of a soul? Really?

        Not to mention not to utilize the character or to explore his background at all as a series regular in favor of 2 characters many are quickly getting fed up with.

    • Morgan says:

      Agreed. They wrote him a crap story & then didn’t bother to give him anything and then just killed him out of nowhere. Really disappointed with how that was handled.

    • Henry P says:

      The very core of Once Upon a Time? You really are investing the show with a depth beyond what’s justified. I do enjoy the show but it is not a deep morality tale!

    • Eve says:

      I absolutely agree. Of course it is the very core of OUAT. We’ve been promised/hinted at a happy ending for Regina (and no, I won’t accept any other substitute HE like family cause all others have their partners as HE) AND for Robin. What happened to HIS happy ending. Roland is an orphan now. And the woman who is responsible for all that misery is alive and kicking.
      The core of the show, like hope and love has been driven into the ground with his death. It was epic, tho, they filmed it in a very nice way but.. I don’t see the point.

      • jj says:

        and what about Graham’s happy ending? or Neal’s happy ending? among others. The show has never been about absolutely everyone getting a happy ending.

        • M says:

          Everyone gets a happy ending except people who get in the way of Hook, like Neal and Graham. Robin is added to their number because the show insisted on ruining a decent sacrifice storyline by bringing Hook back, meaning they had to get rid of someone else to pretend the stakes were still high, and to obliterate his being to answer the question of why they couldn’t just pop down to the underworld and bring him back. All three of those men were good people who had tragic lives, and two of them had children, and yet they’re all permanently dead and the pirate is resurrected? It does kill the idea that the show is about happy endings.

        • Red Robin says:

          Well, thanks to the Underworld arc, we now know dead people can still move on to a happy ending in the afterlife. And as far as I know from his talk with Emma in the bug, Neal moved on and Graham still has his soul. How do these characters compare to Robin Hood again? Because he longer exists to even get a HE in the afterlife.

      • carolyn says:

        I agree with you all about Robin Hood and Roland and Regina when they killed obin I was really pissed an there is a part of me that wants to give up on Once Upone a time because if the is no Robin then Regina has no great love to defeat the Evil Queen Henry is not enough. Talking off Henry the author he really is the one with the power to bring ack Robin with true love heres hoping the writers find away to bring back both Robin and Roland and the hope will return to the show and to all off us and Regina,

    • Broken says:

      Robin Hood. I’m still not okay.

  4. cbdotorg04 says:

    Robin Hood! Defenitely!

  5. Wordsmith says:

    Heroic sacrifice always gets me, so Snart/Captain Cold’s death had some impact for me.
    Still holding out hope that he somehow Clara Oswald-ed himself and splinter versions of him have now been scattered across the timeline so that he can randomly pop up later.

    • acurat says:

      He was written out of the show as Wentworth Miller (playing Snart/Cold with former Prison Break actor Dominic Purcell) did not want to commit to two seasons in his original contract. So they wrote him out. However, the showrunners since they own The Flash (where he first appeared), Arrow, Supergirl, and Legends signed him to a number of episodes next year so he can appear on all four shows instead – which will change it up for him as well give the showrunners an opportunity to use him in different ways across all their shows. It should be interesting.

  6. Marco says:

    Mayfair’s first name was Bethany.

  7. What about Abby from Sleepy Hollow?

  8. My sad death is Captain Cold and Henry West.

  9. Hurley says:

    I don’t watch Grimm, but choked by your sheets!?! Had a good laugh over that one!

    • The scene was particularly funny since a child did it through a voodoo doll like thing with her powers and called her mom up in a dream to “Mommy, I want to show you something.” Of course, the scene was followed by the hilarious dialogue between the child’s parents:
      “We need to have a talk with our daughter.”
      “What about?”
      “Killing people.”

      MY FAVORITE SHOW <3

  10. no one says:

    shaggydog :(

  11. Mary says:

    Lincoln and Ward/Hive we on a Quinjet, not the Zephyr, because just about everyone else was on the Zephyr. They took off from the top of it with the bomb.

  12. Annette says:

    Ziva David! They could’ve explained her absence in another way w/o Cote de Pablo! Like maybe Ziva was seriously hurt & that’s why Orli brought Tali to Tony.

    Also, don’t ask me why Ziva kept Tali a secret cause everyone knows Ziva never would’ve done that.

    All this is on the showrunner.

    • SHT says:

      I agree about Ziva. I did not really like that ending at all. They could have written something better for her. I just could not believe that an agent like Ziva would be caught flat footed like that.

    • sab says:

      Ziva. There was no need to kill her. Such a strong character, she would have never kept her daughter a secret. I thought it was disrespectful to Tony, Ziva and the fans. Yep, I fault the show runner.

      • Yes they did have to kill her. Cote had stated she will not come back to NCIS. If we ever want a guest appearance by Tony, she had to go or people would ask where she was. I, personallly never liked Ziva. I think the episode was to much based around her. I think after 13 yrs MW deserved more of a story based around him and not overshadowed by a character who left years ago.

        • Annette says:

          Well, good luck on Tony making an appearance. Michael is saying the exact same thing Cote did at the beginning, he’s open to guest appearances.

  13. Larc says:

    Ziva if it actually happened, which I doubt. Next would be Robin. But I’m not that bothered by it since I never really warmed up to the character. More concerned for how it affected Regina.

  14. Isa says:

    Cami’s death was such an unnecessary one. She was so well developed and they gave a great storyline. But then they cut it. She’s the only curious scholar in there and I’m sure she’s the only one who is able to help Hayley and Hope. The Originals’ writers made the biggest mistake on killing Cami off.

  15. Lola says:

    Lincoln on SHIELD and Henry on Flash are going to sting for quite a while…

    I noticed you didn’t include Giyera from AoS on this list or the sweeps scorecard?

  16. citizenlen9 says:

    Cami’s death was devastating. She died just 10 episodes earlier, turned into a vampire then killed again because these writers are misogynistic. Her character’s purpose were conveniently handed to others which added insult to her fans. But Leah Pipes gave the most amazing gut wrenching performance. She will me missed and the show lost their finest actress.

  17. Elizabeth says:

    Losing Robin Hood hurt the most. I’m also going to miss Cami and Davina on The Originals.

  18. bluji says:

    Since The Dragon from May 15 OUAT is not on the slideshow (which is correct!), could he /please/ be removed from the sweeps scorecard?
    As for most touching death, Snart on LoT. He not only embraced his heroic side, finally, but also that first and last kiss with Sara… Oh man.

  19. The only death I truly felt was Meisner, though I watch 64 shows! He was a genuinely good guy, fighting evil, nothing shady or bad about him. He put up a fight and died doing what’s right! He’ll be missed the good side’s weaker without him!

  20. Ari says:

    The death of Laurel Lance / Black Canary on Arrow was THE WORST. Arrow writers don’t know what they’re doing and REALLY need to read a comic book! The ratings have dropped significantly since the April 6th episode today, with this weeks episode hitting a series low of only 1.94 million viewers. Supernatural is in its 11th season and it’s making those kinds of numbers these days. Guggenheim needs to be fired. Katie Cassidy is the only one on that show that can actually ACT and even won an award for her alcoholic storyline. Black Canary had SO many storylines left. What’s Felicitys storyline without banging Oliver? Can’t think of anything besides what she USED TO BE: the nerdy, likeable computer girl. She should’ve stayed that way because they have no chemistry. No Laurel….Goodbye Arrow!

    • jj says:

      just because you don’t like Felicity and Oliver doesn’t mean they don’t have chemistry. They were meant to be a couple but the writers put them together because of their chemistry and the fans reaction to that chemistry. You are not the authority on chemistry, nor are you the authority on acting. You can prefer one character without crapping on the other characters and actors.

  21. The worst was definitely Leonard Snart. He was hands down one of the best parts of that show, and it was just so senseless to kill him off that way. He better be stuck in the timeforce or some crap to make him come back in full character (and not just flashbacks) next season.

  22. Linda says:

    Leonard Snart (Legends of Tomorrow) and Henry Allen (The Flash) hurt the most for me.

  23. Jovana says:

    Camille, The Originals.

  24. Mary says:

    How does Kyle from GA count as a death? He was just introduced.

    • Aeol says:

      There were a lot of recurring characters on the list. These were all the deaths that occurred during May sweeps, not just “deaths of main characters.”

  25. Christina says:

    The loss that hit me the most is Tony DiNozzo leaving

    • He’s still alive and the door is open for guest appearances. Ziva could (possibly) come back, but I doubt it. Look for Weatherley if ‘Bull’ doesn’t work.
      P.S. I don’t care about the subject matter, (Dr Phil based character) so will probably either read or watch a DVD during that hour.

  26. Kate says:

    I’m still so relieved that Kate Beckett is not on that list. The last episode was far from perfect, but it could have been SO much worse…

  27. Marci says:

    Grimm: Good riddance, Bonaparte; R.I.P. Meisner (sniff, sniff)
    Hawaii Five-O: Gabriel–finally! Good riddance, you evil S.O.B. (And he’d better really be dead this time!)

  28. cami’s death was tragic and devastating

  29. Tom says:

    I guess Ziva’s hit me hardest, not that I watch Near Completely Indistinguishable Series. But I’ll tell you what my favorites were. Lincoln and Hive from Agents of SHIELD. I’m so glad they’re gone. I just hope they don’t come back

  30. Nicole says:

    Mayfair on blindspot!that show lost an interesting character and a great actress!

  31. Ralph says:

    Even though we KNEW it was coming Norma Bates. The unexpected timing and the way it was done. Also Henry Allen.

  32. Ekaterina says:

    I’ll never get over the death of Drake on IZombie, Roan and Lincoln on The 100, but the most painfull for me were deaths of Leonard Snart from Legends of Tomorrow, Lincoln from SHIELD, and my absolute fave Cami from The Originals…don’t know how to find strength to watch new seasons of these shows

  33. Ray says:

    Black Canary for season loss, Captain Cold for May sweeps.

  34. BM says:

    Robin Hood and Ziva. The whole Robin is Regina’s soulmate suggested that they’re destined to be with each other – and if they were destined, then that suggests there was one person for each and they were it and if that’s the case, how can she find someone else?
    And Ziva’s death was completely pointless, especially since Kort said he didn’t even know she was in the house, so he didn’t even want to kill her. So, basically, the show said there was absolutely no reason for Ziva’s death. And that’s just cruel, and cruel for Tony, too, ’cause he has enough to deal with with potential “what if’s” and Tali without having to deal with the anger such a realization causes.

    • grazelled says:

      Still think Ziva is alive. They left enough clues that it might be possible, they sort of left that up to the viewers to decide with Tony going to Israel and Paris. She might be back depending on CBS/producers and CdP. BTW, not a Tiva shipper just think it would be nice to have Ziva alive.

      • Cote has stated in an interview she won’t come back. I think it was because of ‘a chatacter she had loved and cherished was being destroyed.’ I can’t remember the exact words. If they do bring her back, it would ruin DiNozzo’s exit. I felt that he deserved his own exit and not to be overshadowed by someone who had left years ago. I thought he deserved a lot better a story than he got after 13 yrs.

  35. Cathie says:

    Bring back Cami. Her death was so heartbreaking.

  36. Robin’s and Cami’s killed me. They were both nonsense and now two of my top OTPs are death

  37. piebokou says:

    I would have say Ziva, but since she ain’t thoughrely confirm dead, I’m not going to go on a sob fest yet. But I will shed some tear for Meisner already missing the spec contest him and Sean where on. Now we only have one set of abs left to feast upon. I will also miss Bonaparte he was an awesome villain. I think he may just has been the best villain on Grimm yet

  38. Marie says:

    Well, the worst of them all is laurel’s death. All I can say now is #nolaurelnoarrow

  39. Bwhit says:

    Leonard Snart because I loved his development from thief to hero…. I know Wentworth Miller isn’t gone for good from the universe so I hope they don’t only use Snart for flashbacks.

  40. Stamanah says:

    Ziva. I will never recover. It doesn’t matter that Cote left the show years ago. Ziva David will forever be the perfect TV character.

  41. Jeanna says:

    Robin Hood and Leonard Snart hurt the most. Although I understand Snart will appear in the other shows its just that Legends won’t be nearly as interesting without him!

  42. Elizabeth Richardson says:

    Hey lets talk May Sweeps Daytime Television. The death of Sage on The Young And The Restless! I’m still so mad I cannot give myself permission to watch the show.

  43. Celia says:

    Cami from The Originals. It was pointless and I feel like something is missing from the show now. I don’t think I’ll bother watching any more.

  44. Jen says:

    Cami’s death not only because it came out of nowhere (they turned her into a vampire 9 eps ago) but also because it was totally unnecessary. I still feel betrayed and disappointed as they killed the most well balanced and the only relatable character and gave us the BS excuse of ‘ran her course’. Needless to say I dropped the show after her death.

  45. The worst deaths were Cami on Originals and Robin on Once upon a Time!

  46. Maddy says:

    Camille O’Connell’s from The Originals death was hands down the most devastating death. Cami was such a well developed character and had so much potential as far as storylines goes; with her a newly turned vampire, the O’Connell legacy to fulfill, forming relationships with Vincent and Hayley and her romantic relationship with Klaus. Her death, following the narrative,(and her dying not 10 episodes earlier already) made no sense. Cami’s story had so much potential for more, and saying I’m sad to see her gone would be an understatement! She was the moral compass of the show, as well as the light, so without her, the show is definitely is missing it. That being said, Leah Pipes delivered the hell out it, and it was one of the best performances I’ve seen on TO. I can’t wait to see what Leah Pipes does next, because she’s an amazing actress!

  47. Leearnee Day says:

    Saddest death for me was Cami from The Originals. I cried for days. Leah Pipes was incredible.

  48. Denise says:

    I DONT BELIEVE ZIVA IS DEAD!!

  49. Camille O’Connell. It didn’t do a thing for the plot, the best actress (by far) was let go, and they killed the “light” of the show…and for what? The show is now as dead to me as my favorite character.

  50. Dan the critic says:

    Norma from Bates Motel, Abby from Sleepy Hollow, and Peter Pan from Once Upon a Time