Second Episode Substitute
A character that was in the pilot, is eliminated in the second episode, and replaced by a similar character for the remainder of the series.
Motion To Discard

(permanent link) added: 2013-01-29 09:43:03 sponsor: thewriter (last reply: 2013-02-11 14:49:15)

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The intersection of Suspiciously Similar Substitute and Second Episode Introduction. This trope is when a character featured in the pilot episode (and clearly meant to be a main player in the series) is missing from the second episode, replaced by a similar character for the rest of the series' run. Note that this is not a case of The Other Darrin occurring between the first and second episodes, the substitute is explicitly a different character.

Contrast Decoy Protagonist.

Examples:

Live-Action Television
  • * The pilot of Seinfeld has Jerry and George interact with Claire, the Deadpan Snarker waitress at Pete's Luncheonette, originally meant to be the female role of the series. In the second episode, "The Stake Out", Claire is gone, the diner is Monk's Cafe, and the female role is Jerry's ex girlfriend, Elaine (though she appears at the end of "Male Unbonding", the second episode produced, to help Jerry come up with ideas to avoid a childhood friend). NBC felt the show was too "male-centric" and demanded there be a female role (although if Claire was meant to be the female role, one might wonder why she was dropped in the first place).
  • The Pilot of New Girl had Coach as the third roommate to Nick and Schmidt. However his actor Damon Wayans Jr. was already committed to another TV show on a different Network, ABC's Happy Endings, so the second episode of New Girl had him replaced with Winston.
  • Juliette O'Hara replaced Lassiter's original partner in the second episode of Psych.
  • Hogan's Heroes featured a Russian POW named Vladmir in its pilot episode, though when the series was picked up, actor Leonid Kinsky refused to renew his contact, as he disliked how lightly the Nazis were portrayed; so saying, Larry Hovis as Carter was promoted to full time regular, after initially appearing as a one-shot guest character in the pilot.
  • In the pilot of Eureka, the head of Global Dynamics was a character named Warren King. He was replaced by Nathan Stark (offscreen) starting in the second episode.
  • Star Trek changed the lead of the series between the first and second (recorded) episodes, even though the network didn't air them in production order.
    • Star Trek: The Original Series. Other changes between the 1st pilot "The Cage" and the 2nd pilot "Where No Man Has Gone Before":
      • Number One (Majel Barrett) was replaced by Commander Spock, who went on to star in the series as well.
      • Ship's doctor Dr. Phillip Boyce is replaced by Dr. Mark Piper. Piper is himself replaced by Dr. Leonard McCoy for the series.
  • Babylon5's chief surgeon, Doctor Kyle, was replaced by Doctor Franklin. The Resident Telepath, Lyta Alexander, was replaced by Talia Winters (who was later written out and replaced with Lyta Alexander)
    • The Babylon5 pilot movie featured a First Officer called Laurel Takashima. In the actual series she was replaced by First Officer Susan Ivanova.
  • In The Sarah Jane Adventures Kelsey, a female school chum character in the first episode is repalced by Clyde, a male school chum character in the second.
  • In the original Series/CSI the Audience Surrogate character, Holly Gribbs was quickly replaced with the eerily similar Sara Sidle because she was generally hated by test audiences... the creators had anticipated as much. As a result, they decided for Holly to die (rather than recover) in the second episode.
  • Night Court changed defense attorneys several times, but the first time was between the pilot and second episode where Gail Strickland as Sheila Garnder was replaced with Paula Kelly as Liz Williams.
  • The pilot of Seinfeld has Jerry and George interact with Claire, the Deadpan Snarker waitress at Pete's Luncheonette, originally meant to be the female role of the series. In the second episode, "The Stake Out", Claire is gone, the diner is Monk's Cafe, and the female role is Jerry's ex girlfriend, Elaine (though she appears at the end of "Male Unbonding", the second episode produced, to help Jerry come up with ideas to avoid a childhood friend). NBC felt the show was too "male-centric" and demanded there be a female role (although if Claire was meant to be the female role, one might wonder why she was dropped in the first place).

Literature

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