Departed Creator [Trivia] YKTTW Discussion

Departed Creator [Trivia]
A creator who eventually departs from his/her own show
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(permanent link) added: 2014-06-29 09:44:53 sponsor: justanotherrandomlurker edited by: Patachou (last reply: 2015-02-11 05:30:55)

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A common occurence in some series is when an actor may leave the show for a number of different reasons, and whenever this happens, that actor's character is usually Put on a Bus, or may even be McLeaned, or switched with The Other Darrin.

But it's not just actors who will leave a show, in some cases, even the creators may eventually decide to leave the show they created behind. Likewise, this too can also be due to a number of different reasons: more often than not, creators may feel they have done all they can do with the show, and - if it's successful enough - turn it over to the rest of the production staff to carry on without them. Other times, a creator may leave as a result of Executive Meddling brought on by Creative Differences.

Of course, with the voice of the show gone, the fate of the show's future is always rocky and uncertain, though a number of shows have managed to maintain a strong continuation after the creator's departure - in some cases, even longer than when under the creator's control.

As noted above, when it's an actor who leaves a show, see Put on a Bus. Supertrope to Creative Differences; subtrope of Screw This, I'm Outta Here!. Also compare Running the Asylum and Author Existence Failure.


  • Clover Studios, Suda 51 and Keiji Inafune were affiliated to Capcom and creators of Devil May Cry, Killer7 and Mega Man among others. They all depart from the company at different times, for similar reasons: too much meddling executives (and as Inafking revealed, Capcom has him overworked).
  • Walt Disney began working on plans for what was to be known as EPCOT (Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow - eventually known as Walt Disney World), which became his most ambitious project, and because he wanted to devote all of his focus on the EPCOT project, he turned over his production company to his creative staff to continue to produce films, television programs, shorts, etc. without him. Mary Poppins was the last film that he was involved with.

Comic Books

  • Jim Henson was in the process of selling off his Classic Muppet characters to the Walt Disney company, on the grounds that having the characters and properties within a reputatable company would ensure their stable and solid future, especially from a financial viewpoint. During negotiations with Disney, Henson was to be retained trainer for new performers, and a creative consultant on new Muppet projects for fifteen years. Unfortunately, Henson passed away during the time of negotiations. The Muppets do continue to go on without him, however.

Live-Action TV
  • Combat. Series creator Robert Pirosh left the show after the filming of the pilot episode, citing Creative Differences with ABC; the pilot episode was the only episode he was involved with - writing and producing it.
  • M*A*S*H
    • Creator Larry Gelbart walked away from the series after it's first four seasons, on the grounds that he felt it was time for him to look for other, different projects to work on.
    • Following Gelbart's departure, co-producer Gene Reynolds took over the show completely for one season before he too walked away to focus on different projects; however, Reynolds did continue to serve as a creative consultant for the series.
  • Head writer David Milch left NYPD Blue when his drug addiction became so overwhelming he couldn't work on the show any more.
  • Lorne Michaels left Saturday Night Live after season 5 along with the original cast. After the show was almost cancelled several times he came back and hasn't left since.
  • Seinfeld. Co-creator and showrunner Larry David left the series after seven seasons, on the grounds that he felt he had given the show all he had, and did all he could with it, leaving a large void to fill in the writing department. David did, however, continue to provide the voice of George Steinbrenner for another season.
  • Sesame Street. Jon Stone was the most influential force behind the series from it's creation in 1969 up till its 25th season in 1993. Stone was among many of the show's original production staff who was strongly displeased with the show's shift in tone (due to competition with Barney & Friends) and the infamous Around the Corner era; during a seminar, Stone unwittingly went on record saying the show was being, "Dumbed down," and due to a clause in his contract that stated he could not give the show any negative publicity, he was fired as a result.
  • Eric Kripke left Supernatural after the fifth season, since that was all he had planned for the show. However, the network wanted it to continue.
  • Writer and director Alan Ball departed from True Blood after its fifth season in order to pursue other projects.

Video Games
  • Minecraft creator Marcus "Notch" Persson ceded creative authority over the game to Jeb once it was officially launched in 2011, and recently retired from Mojang.

Western Animation
  • In October of 2014, Pendelton Ward revealed that he had stepped down as the showrunner of Adventure Time. He cited that while the show will always remain a labor of love, the pressure of having to oversee every little detail of the show finally got to him, and he needed to step down. He claims that he is quite relieved to no longer have to oversee the production of the show, but he gladly stays on as a script writer, storyboard artist, and the voice of Lumpy Space Princess.
  • Arthur.
    • Original head writer, Joe Fallon, departed from the series after the first five season, due to creative differences with the book series' original author and franchise creator, Marc Brown. note 
    • Around the same time of Fallon's departure, series story editor, Ken Scarborough had also left, for unknown reasons. However, as of Season 18, he has been writing for the show again.
  • Clarence creator Skyler Page was fired from Cartoon Network Studios after sexual harassing a member of the show's crew, combined with his erratic behavior as part of his bipolar disorder.
  • When Dexter's Laboratory got Un-Cancelled, Genndy Tartakovsky passed duties over to Chris Savino so he could focus on Samurai Jack.
  • Creator Mike Jupp ended his work as consultant and storyboard artist during the final episodes of The Dreamstone due to working on Martin Gates Productions follow up project Bimble's Bucket.
  • Lauren Faust had to quit working on My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic shortly after the first season was done, for unspecified reasons. Her influence was decreased to being a Creative Consultant during the show's second season, and starting with season 3, her influence is gone entirely.
  • Similar to the above, Craig McCracken gave Savino's team control over The Powerpuff Girls so he could focus on Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends.
  • John Kricfalusi was infamously fired from The Ren & Stimpy Show midway through Season Two over a number of alleged reasons, including failing to meet deadlines and constant censorship issues (the violent scenes in "Man's Best Friend" supposedly being the final nail in the coffin). Kricfalusi was offered a job as consultant, but severed ties with the show and network.
  • Rocko's Modern Life. Averted in with creator Joe Murray. Already limiting his involvement with the series during its final season, there were talks of possibly renewing it for another season, of which Murray said he would turn the show over to his creative staff to carry on without him; the show ultimately was not renewed for another season.
  • Done increasingly with Thomas And Friends. Rev W. Awdry (who wrote the original The Railway Series novels and acted as a partial consultant) severed ties with the show after taking too many liberties with his material. Britt Alcroft was fired as producer after the box office failure of Thomas And The Magic Railroad, with David Mitton and several remaining original staff leaving after Season Seven, leaving Hit Entertainment in full control of the show.
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