Guest Star Overload
Look at all the people I recognize!

(permanent link) added: 2011-12-20 22:02:03 sponsor: Westrim (last reply: 2013-05-09 10:54:04)

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If a single episode has three or more guest stars in a single episode, it's generally a fair bet that something is going to happen to change the usual dynamic permanently and you're going to want to see it.

Guest stars have been used almost since television began- having someone that a fair chunk of the audience will at least vaguely recognize on your show for an episode or a recurring role is always a good way to maintain viewer interest. Sometimes two will appear. But if there are three guest stars, the show is getting into downright uncommon territory and the guest list is getting crowded.

They may appear because the episode is already special- series or season opening, series or season ending, because it's Sweeps Week, because the plot is taking a twist, or simply because that episode is when their schedules worked. This does not apply if several recurring characters show up unless they are explicitly also guest stars.

Compare Stunt Casting, All-Star Cast.

  • Kenneth Branagh's Hamlet had famous actors for almost every role, including the bit parts. Some reviewers criticized this, saying it was distracting, but others like Oancitizen commended it, saying it made you pay more attention to each line if the person speaking was someone famous.

Live-Action TV
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