Troubled Production / Live-Action TV

"It hasn't had this epiphany and turned the corner. It's not a happy ship, the good ship Voyager. If I had not gone there, I think I would have always wondered, 'Maybe I should have gone. Maybe it would have worked out. Maybe I would have been involved in the new series. Maybe that was a missed opportunity.' Now I know that none of that is true, that I didn’t miss out on any opportunities. It wasn't going to be fun."
Ron D. Moore on leaving Star Trek: Voyager

    open/close all folders 

    A 
  • Airwolf had to deal with a star (Jan-Michael Vincent) with drinking problems who got arrested four times in four years and consistent budget overruns.
  • ALF had several problems during its run, mainly due to the difficulty in staging a traditional sitcom with a puppet (ALF) as the main star (in fact, the show was not shot in front of a live studio audience because of this). To accommodate the puppeteers the floor of the set was riddled with trapdoors, adding a whole new and nervewracking dimension to the human cast's attempts to hit their marks. There was reportedly so much tension among the actors that one of the leads, Max Wright, simply walked off the set after the finale was shot and never said goodbye to anyone. He disliked the puppet, claiming that it got the best lines. Paul Fusco also was very particular about ALF, and disliked rehearsal. Even years later, Tina Fey discussed how, when working on NBC's 75th anniversary special, ALF's crew was very hard to work with.
  • The attempt to relaunch All My Children and One Life to Live online was filled with unfortunate production problems that ultimately resulted in the soap operas being canceled again:
    • Once Prospect Park purchased the license to the two soaps after they were canceled by ABC, they struggled for over a year to secure financing and their project was put on hiatus until they worked out deals with the many labor unions. Several members of the OLTL cast joined General Hospital as their characters to continue work during the hiatus.
    • Prospect Park's contract required that production had to begin by a certain date, or else they would lose the license. Once funding was finally secured, the production team had only eight weeks to lease a soundstage in Connecticut, build 30 sets, begin writing episodes, casting (or re-casting) the actors, and begin production. Once cameras finally began rolling, they were writing episodes almost on the fly.
    • Reception to the episodes were mixed. Many of the original viewers of the soaps were 50+, and were not quick to embrace their move online. It was also clear that an online soap opera was not as good of an idea as originally believed, since online viewers are more accustomed to binge-watching an entire storyline instead of watching it unfold over months or years. In response, Oprah Winfry's OWN cable network began showing repeats of the online episodes, though this was ultimately unsuccessful.
    • Then, due to budget cuts, the number of episodes premiering a week was reduced from 4 to 2, causing much outrage among fans. Additionally, this caused an agreement for the shows to air on a cable network in Canada to end, removing a source of revenue for the show.
    • Next, Prospect Park got into a nasty battle with the union representing the behind the scenes staff on All My Children, which further highlighted the issues the firm was having with the show. To make the economics for the shows to work, Prospect Park got the unions to make certain concessions, contingent on the shows sticking to a below-broadcast budget. The union indicated that Prospect Park was not keeping to those reduced budgets - in some cases, spending DOUBLE the contracted budget on an episode (roughly equal to the cost of an hour-long broadcast soap episode!). This served to shut down production several weeks early, forcing the shows into an early hiatus....
    • Then Prospect Park sued ABC for killing off two OLTL characters they had leased to General Hospital, believing they were trying to sabotage their efforts. This resulted in OLTL being put on hiatus after 40 episodes, and OLTL's actors on General Hospital were written off and brought back as different characters for legal reasons. Then AMC was canceled too after 43 episodes. Neither show was ever able to wrap up their 40+ year old storylines. Oh well, at least they tried!
  • Production on Andromeda had an absolute whale of a time thanks to the antics of lead actor Kevin Sorbo, who demanded that the show focus more and more on him at the expense of his co-stars, as well as executive demands to make the show more episodic and maintain the status quo at all costs. All of these factors led to showrunner Robert Hewitt Wolfe being fired after the end of season two, taking all pretense of character or story development along with him. Wolfe has since written a one-act play, Coda, which is a compressed form of his original plan for the series. Sorbo's antics also put a permanent dent in the actor's career, and he soon descended into religious fundamentalism, being unable to secure roles in anything except TV movies and Christploitation films such as God's Not Dead.
  • The A-Team didn't start out as one, but it sure flamed into one in a hurry. For starters, George Peppard, who had a reputation for being notoriously moody, made clear that he (and the other stars, with the exception of Dwight Schultz) did not want Melinda Culea (or any female) to be added as full on team members. Then, budgets were cut and scripts would be handed out with varying degrees of completeness. Finally, with ratings tanking, relations between Peppard and Mr. T grew so toxic that producers hired Peppard's friend, Robert Vaughn to try and smooth things over. It didn't work and the show was cancelled. T and Peppard eventually buried the hatchet before Peppard's death.
  • The Avengers had this during its sixth season. After Diana Rigg announced she was leaving, searches were held to find a replacement actress - including toying with the idea of a number of guest actresses. Patrick Macnee was apparently not aware this was going on at first. Linda Thorson was chosen as she was dating producer John Bryce - who was brought in to replace Brian Clemens and Albert Fennell. This change was because the studio wished to bring the show "back to realism" and Bryce had produced the Cathy Gale episodes. He also had to hurriedly shoot seven episodes to ship off to America with the last of the Emma Peel episodes. He only completed three before he was replaced by Clemens and Fennell again. Rigg also had to be brought back to hurriedly shoot a new introduction episode for Tara King. What's more, the network in America aired the show up against Rowan and Martin's Laugh-in, one of the most popular shows in the country at the time. Due to declining ratings it was almost immediately cancelled.
    B 
  • Bewitched got some of this from Day 1. The show's very first rehearsal occurred on Nov 22, 1963: the day President John F. Kennedy was assassinated, and production was slightly delayed as a result. Once production did get going, Dick York's famous troubles immediately became apparent. He was addicted to pain-killers as a result of a disabling back-injury he had experienced a few years before, and frequently came on set loopy and out of it, sometimes not at all. ABC executives wanted him fired from the very beginning, but the cast and crew fought to keep him in because of how well he performed his character, Darrin. After four seasons, this had gotten so bad, there were frequent episodes of Darrin doing nothing but laying in bed or not appearing at all. After the fifth season, he was finally fired following a seizure episode on-set that left him in the hospital for a long time. He was replaced with Dick Sargent for the rest of the series. Similar problems also happened with Alice Pearce, Irene Vernon, and Robert F. Simon who were all replaced for various reasons ranging from death (Pearce) to retirement (Vernon) to simply being unavailable (Simon). Also, as the show went on, Elizabeth Montgomery (who played lead Samantha) and William Asher (the show's main director)'s marriage began falling apart, causing a lot of friction on set, and Montgomery had all-but-completely lost interest in the show and her character a few seasons before the end.
  • Break the Bank (1985). According to a biography, host Gene Rayburn was mainly picked for his name recognition (he was most famously the host of Match Game, which lasted for most of The '70s) and, despite being known as a "silly" host on that show, was told not to joke around. He was later replaced with Joe Farago, and Rayburn became so frustrated that he placed an embargo on the episodes he hosted (to the point that they have never been rerun). This, combined with Entertainment Weekly accidentally revealing that he was older than the industry had thought, pretty much ended Rayburn's hosting career.

    C 
  • Central Park West has the infamy of being one of the biggest television flops of the 90's, and looking back at its production, it's not hard to see why.
    • The show was developed as a sequel series to Melrose Place, and was slotted in CBS' schedule at a time when they were being trounced in the ratings due to FOX taking over the rights to NFL games. CBS subsequently decided to retool their entire programming lineup to cater to younger viewers, and CPW was rushed into development alongside cover stories and features explaining how revolutionary and sexy the new program was. In the end, all it did was create Hype Backlash among potential viewers.
    • The show's first two episodes went up against anniversary installments of Beverly Hills 90210 and Melrose when FOX learned of the launch. According to the book Gen X TV: The Brady Bunch to Melrose Place, the show was given no time to grow and cultivate viewers organically like its predecessors, leaving it dead right out of the gate. Additionally, the show was spending a large amount of its budget on location shooting in New York (even in winter conditions). This and other factors drove each episode's budget up to more than $1 million per episode.
    • Once it became clear that the show's ratings were garbage, the network was forced to stick with it in the hopes that it would get better (and to attempt to recoup their lost investment of nearly $15 million). CBS spent millions of dollars revamping the series. Mariel Hemingway (who played the lead character, Stephanie) exercised her option to quit and Gerald McRaney and Raquel Welch were brought on as a fellow media tycoon and his ex-wife. Welch later admitted that she essentially took the role for the money because she wasn't getting the plum lead roles that she used to, even though her agent told her to stay away from it. The show was retooled as a Dynasty clone in an attempt to appeal to older viewers, but it was too late. The remaining episodes were burned off by airing two episodes per week, and CBS President Les Moonves later admitted the network had made a terrible mistake when they attempted to get away from their roots.
  • It's something of a miracle that Charmed managed to last eight seasons, given how rocky the road was almost from the start.
    • The show's creator, Constance M. Burge, left after season 2 (though stayed on as an Executive Consultant until season 5) because she disagreed with the introduction of Cole Turner. Season 2 had been taken up with a love triangle between Piper, Dan, and Leo, and Burge didn't want Season 3 to be dominated by a love story too.
    • During the third season, tension between actresses Shannen Doherty and Alyssa Milano was reportedly incredibly heated. Doherty ultimately left the show during the break between seasons 3 and 4, something which had also happened for similar reasons on her previous show Beverly Hills 90210. This forced the writers to kill off Prue offscreen, and Doherty later denied producers any rights to use archive footage of her on the show. Her image was also never used on the show again, as it would reportedly cost $8,000 just for a picture of her. As a result of this, it took much longer for the first three seasons to come out on DVD, and an action figure of Prue was never made.
    • Holly Marie Combs, good friends with Doherty, was rumoured to want to leave the show after season 3 as well, but forced to stay by contract.
    • After Doherty left, Rose McGowan was brought in as Paige, a long-lost Halliwell sister to replace Prue. She revealed in an interview that she thought the role would only last two seasons (the length of her initial contract), and did not expect to become a series regular for five seasons. She was also incredibly unhappy at how her character was being written in the fifth season, supposedly angrily going to the writers and saying "Paige isn't a ho!", which was fixed afterwards. She has been quoted as saying "each year, Charmed would get renewed and each year I would cry."
    • The lead actresses were incredibly unhappy with the increasingly stripperiffic outfits the sisters would be forced to wear. The sisters would frequently be transformed into various magical creatures that would require a different skimpy outfit (mermaid, genie, Valkyrie, wood nymph etc.) and before the eighth season went to producers to protest against it. The show's costume designer for five years was fired and replaced with a new one, the sisters' clothing becoming a little more modest.
    • For the final season, the network slashed the budget in half. As a result, series regular Dorian Gregory was Put on a Bus and Brian Krause had to be temporarily written out for ten episodes. The network also demanded new cast members be brought on, leading to the creation of Billie — a character intended for a spin-off that never happened (due to negative fan reactions). Shannen Doherty was not even asked to appear in the finale episode and a picture was not even used due to the costs. Producers claimed they would have had to drop one or two of the returning cast members had they used a picture of Doherty.
  • Cheers had its share of issues over the years, including poor ratings early on, Shelley Long often not getting along with the rest of the cast, the illness and death of Nicholas Colasanto during the third season, and recurring actor Jay Thomas being fired and having a bridge dropped on his character after insulting screen wife Rhea Perlman in a radio interview, but all things told it was a pretty non-troubled production until the final season (season 11) rolled around.
    • After the end of season 10, the long-serving showrunner team of Cheri Eichen, Bill Steinkellner and Phoef Sutton departed, leaving the far less experienced duo of Tom Anderson and Dan O'Shannon to take over. Running out of ideas, writers started focusing a lot more on the flaws of the characters in order to create comedic tension, along with recycling a script from spin-off show Wings wholesale.
    • Near the middle of the season, lead actor Ted Danson announced that it would be his final season. The writers approached Woody Harrelson to take over as the lead actor, but he declined unless Danson stayed on. Other actors were also starting to grow bored of their roles and wanted out of the series, too, forcing the writers to hustle their resources together to write in an ending that made sense. This eventually resulted in series creators Glen and Les Charles — who had mostly stayed in hands-off executive producer roles since Shelley Long left the series and was replaced by Kirstie Alley at the start of Season 6 — having to come back and write the finale themselves after Anderson and O'Shannon couldn't come up with a workable storyline. As the season came to a close, many characters were given closure that seemed to come almost out of nowhere. Lillith's actress, Bebe Neuwirth, also strangely disappeared mid-season and made very few appearances.
    • The final episode was set to be filmed and Shelley Long was brought back. The writers had a minor feud over whether to allow Diane and Sam to be together. Shoots took so long that Long had to go back to her other commitments, and the episode's closing scene in the bar was filmed without her. The scene was also done in secret without a studio audience, meaning a laugh track had to be added after the fact. The final episode proved to be one of the most watched and remembered series finales in television history.
    • Then there's the matter of Kelsey Grammer's substance abuse, which took a spike in this season. Costars noticed that he was oddly difficult to work with and would often be nearly catatonic between takes. After several intervention attempts, Grammer finally got help. He would ultimately not make a full recovery until the early seasons of the spinoff Frasier.
  • Part of the reason The BBC's 26-episode miniseries Churchill's People was such a catastrophic flop was a severely troubled production.
    • Series creator Gerard Savory had been pitching the idea of adapting Winston Churchill's four-volume A History of the English-Speaking Peoples into a dramatic prestige project since shortly after Churchill himself died in 1965. Unfortunately, the books are saturated not just with Churchill's political biases, but with his personal interests, focusing on political and military minutiae and having little to say about social history or the development of agriculture and industry (Clement Attlee quipped that Churchill should have called the books Things in History That Interested Me). This meant the stories and characters had to be largely invented by the writers to bring key moments in the history of Britain and its former colonies to life. Almost every episode had a different writer and a different director, resulting in highly variable quality for both the scripts (which wheeled back and forth between stilted Info Dumps and anachronistic lines such as "I'll smash your face in!") and, despite the "who's who" of acting talent present (name a stage or TV performer active in Britain in the 1970s and they probably appeared in an episode), the performances.
    • It took until early 1973 for production to finally begin, and with the energy crisis gripping Britain at the time, the budget for the series was slashed to a meagre £1.25 million (less than £50,000 per episode). This resulted in the series being entirely shot on cheap studio sets, even for outdoor scenes, and the tacky effects (such as visible nozzles spraying "fog" on a suspiciously flat Scottish heath) and "crowds" of a dozen people at most were pathetically obvious throughout. Individual incidents also set production back; Dennis Waterman, playing King Harold II on the eve of the Battle of Hastings, accidentally hit himself in the eye not with an arrow (as allegedly happened to the real Harold) but with the lace of his cloak, requiring medical attention and a return to the makeup chair. Finally, the series was scheduled to begin as part of the celebration of what would have been Churchill's 100th birthday in 1974, but industrial action at the BBC led it to be postponed until New Year's Eve that year. Then-new BBC1 controller Brian Cowgill declared the results "untransmittable", and later said that if it was "part of the inheritance" upon taking over the position of controller, then he "rather wished [he] hadn't been included in the will."
    • The fallout was almost immediate. Critics were already suspicious when the BBC refused to screen the episodes for them in advance (one observed that such a gesture was "seldom due to forgetfulness or modesty"), and when the first episode, "Pritân", boasted a script that seemed more concerned than anything else with the linguistic argument that Britain is only so named because of a misunderstanding by the Roman invadersnote  and used pitifully obvious rubber props for dismembered body parts, the reviews were overwhelmingly negative. The Sunday Telegraph described it as "a co-production disaster" that "not only sounds like a school's radio programme, it looks like it too." It was originally scheduled for Mondays at 9:25pm, but audience figures dropped so quickly (not helped by the series' airing opposite the popular ITV drama Public Eye) that it was booted to later in the evening and replaced with Kojak. By the time the final episode, "Death of Liberty", shuddered off the screens in June 1975, the series had been all but forgotten by the public. And since the series was a co-production with Time-Life, it also aired on American public television to even smaller audiences. Such was the failure of the series that the BBC had to overhaul the procedure whereby it commissioned new dramas, and it hasn't commissioned anything similarly large-scale since then.
  • Countdown with Keith Olbermann became this near the end of its existence, and the experience put Keith Olbermann's career as a political commentator on hiatus for several years. Where to begin?
    • It started as a case of getting Screwed by the Network. In 2008, Meet the Press moderator Tim Russert suddenly died of a heart attack at NBC's Washington bureau. Russert had been a champion of Countdown and defended it against NBC executives who did not like Olbermann's left-wing message and/or style.note  Without Russert to vouch for him, Olbermann's enemies within NBC began trying to turn his colleagues against him.
    • In 2010, Olbermann made some hefty donations to three congressional candidates ahead of the November midterm election, in reported violation of an MSNBC policy barring personalities from doing so. He was suspended indefinitely. A fierce backlash from Olbermann's viewers — some of whom noted that conservative MSNBC commentator Joe Scarborough had made similar donations with no repercussions from the network — forced MSNBC to allow Olbermann back by the end of the week. Over the following months, Olbermann's relations with MSNBC deteriorated.
    • On January 21, 2011, Olbermann was told about forty minutes into his newscast that he had been released from his MSNBC contract. In his quickly improvised farewell speech, Olbermann thanked his viewers and staff, but notably neglected to mention MSNBC President Phil Griffin and NBC News President Steve Capus.note 
    • Several months later, in June 2011, it was announced that Olbermann had been hired by the indie progressive network Current TV, and would relaunch Countdown and air it in his old timeslot. On top of getting his show back, Olbermann and Current TV worked out a deal where Olbermann would wield considerable power as the network's chief news officer, and also own an equity stake. He also got a new studio and several well-known pundits and celebrities as contributors. He was slated to become Current TV's signature prime-time anchor. The premiere drew more viewers than CNN. Quick fix, right?
    • ...But within the year, the new Countdown devolved into a mess. Current TV failed to deliver on a promised High Definition studio and simulcast channel, while Olbermann reportedly became an abusive Prime Donna behind the scenes. He started airing shows completely in the dark to cut costs, then refused to come to work for extended periods of time or major news events. In March 2012, Current TV decided to cut Olbermann loose and terminated his contract.
    • In the end, despite a court settlement, everyone lost. Without Olbermann's ratings, MSNBC went into such a decline (posting its worst ratings in a decade by February 2015) that it decided to re-tool itself away from the left-wing opinion style that Olbermann had popularized on the network. Current TV, now unable to bank on Olbermann's star power, was eventually sold to Al Jazeera. Olbermann himself withdrew from political commentary — rejoining ESPN for a time — until he joined GQ magazine in 2016 and launched The Resistance with Keith Olbermann covering the presidency of Donald Trump.

    D 
  • Season Two of Damages was severely troubled off-screen in a way that explains many of its on-screen problems. Most of these were down to casting a season secondary lead who had never done a TV drama series before and was completely unprepared for the bruising schedule and long days of recording. After some very bad behaviour, this led to the character who had been intended as the key figure in the season's plot having to have his involvement and screen time severely cut, leading to a very oddly-paced and unfocused season.
  • Deadwood became legendary for its behind the scenes trouble:
    • It was the most expensive regular series aired at the time, with the budget being $6 million an episode, largely dedicated to authentically recreating the titular Old West town, with interiors and exteriors functioning as elaborate, stage play-like sets, including lighting that could recreate the sun's position for a certain time of day. As such, it's the rare HBO series that's co-owned by another studio (Paramount Television).
    • Then there were problems with Creator/Showrunner David Milch, whose wildly unconventional style relied heavily on combining Purple Prose and Writing by the Seat of Your Pants. Actors spoke of only having a few minutes to rehearse Milch's extremely difficult, almost Shakespearean dialogue he wrote or rewrote just before the fact.
    • Beyond that, sequences and even entire episodes were left on the cutting room floor due to Milch's displeasure with them, with Milch even admitting that much of the third season had been reshot.
    • All these factors led to HBO cancelling the series after its third season, and The Movie meant to tie up loose ends being mired in Development Hell.
    • Several sources announced that the script to the finale movie had finally been completed in 2017...just in time for the death of Powers Boothe. It's very likely that his character Cy Tolliver was included in the script given his prominent role in the show, meaning it will have to be heavily rewritten if Milch doesn't drop it entirely.
  • Doctor Who has had many periods of difficulty and many individual stories which went catastrophically wrong, particularly during the Classic series:
    • "The Reign of Terror" (Series 1) has a minor example that doesn't really affect the quality of what is shown on screen, but is notable for being one of the most surreal production stories in television. The main director, Henric Hirsch, had a mental breakdown during the shoot due partially to the punishing shooting schedule and the mutual dislike between himself and William Hartnell, and ended up in hospital. Another director had to be drafted in at short notice to finish the job, but no surviving members of the cast or crew are able to remember who it was. John Gorrie is the man usually credited with it and he doesn't remember doing it. The alternate theory is that the episode was effectively co-directed by producer Verity Lambert and assistant director Tim Combe. For the record, the actual episode does not credit a director.note 
    • The Web Planet's (Series 2) demanding nature took its toll on the production. The first episode required a 16-minute overrun, brought about by a variety of flubbed lines, missed cues, equipment problems, and troubles with the Zarbi costumes, one of which broke and had to be repaired. The start of recording on the third was delayed when it was found that some of the sets had not been delivered to the studio, and the Carsenome floor had not been painted. Lighting and camera problems continued to plague the increasingly frazzled cast, and this time taping went 37 minutes beyond the schedule. One of the Zarbi operators, his vision impaired by his costume, ran right into the camera. So rushed was the recording, however, that this blooper was retained in the finished episode.
    • "The Celestial Toymaker" (Series 3) was going to centre around two characters from a popular absurdist play, who never appear in the play itself, actually showing up. This caused a full-blown copyright dispute. Similarly, the budget was starved and the producer was forced to go ahead with the point of the script removed and No Budget, resulting in a famously poor story with little in the way of structure, no Doctor and most of the action being characters playing board games. The BBC ended up in legal action anyway due to an adlib from Billy Bunter Expy Cyril saying "my friends call me Billy", which caused the people who owned the Billy Bunter IP to attempt to sue. The BBC had to release a public statement saying Cyril was a perfectly legal Captain Ersatz. The fiction-world idea eventually did happen in the show, in a much more careful form, in "The Mind Robber".
    • The DVD release of The Underwater Menace was also a troubled production. Episode 3, then the only existing episode, was released as part of the Lost in Time boxset in 2004. After Episode 2 was discovered in 2011, pressure was on to release it on DVD too. The two missing episodes were originally slated to be animated (As other stories' missing episodes had been), but this was cancelled after the animation company went bust, and the DVD was cancelled too. Then, in October 2015, the story was finally released with extremely basic tele-snap reconstructions of the missing episodes, which were significantly worse than both previous official efforts and popular fan-made ones.
    • Series 5 had serious problems with the scripts thanks to some poor production decisions. The producer and script editor had developed a habit of sinking lots of time, effort and money into various script ideas and then abandoning them halfway through, forcing various last-ditch efforts. Much got hastily reordered and even shoved back a season ("The Dominators" had been planned for Season 5 but was such a disaster it was edited down into five episodes and shoved into Season 6), which upset Patrick Troughton as it meant the material was under-rehearsed, eventually striking up a deal with the producers that for Season 6 he (and the rest of the cast) would only work on one story at a time. In order to churn out competent entertainment quickly, the producers decided to focus on Strictly Formula Base Under Siege plots using recycled monsters, which Troughton found boring and repetitive, and at the beginning of Season 6 he announced his intention to quit the role - just after these problems had been extinguished, too.
    • The ending of Series 6 was a fiasco due to multiple scripts falling through after production had started, and replacements being hurriedly written as well as extended with tons of Padding. "The War Games", the grand finale of the season, was written in mere weeks to take up the space of a six-parter and a four-parter that fell through. Several more stories had to be heavily rewritten - Troughton was going to quit at the end of the season, and lead companion Frazer Hines at first announced he would be going mid-season but later decided to quit at the end of the season with Troughton. This vacillation was bad enough to kill at least one story at the last minute - "The Prison in Space" was commissioned as a comedy serial that wrote out Jamie and when Hines announced that he was staying, the serial had to be rewritten to include him. The production team and director hated the script for various reasons (it was an outrageously sexist Mars-and-Venus Gender Contrast comedy set in a dystopian Matriarchy and included setpieces like Jamie disguising himself as a woman and, later, spanking Zoe to break her out of Straw Feminist brainwashing) and requested changes, and when the writer announced he was sick of rewriting the script the producer decided to cut his losses and commissioned "The Krotons" as a rush replacement. Between the production trainwreck and the lead actor departure the BBC was going to cancel the show, and so the finale is a Bolivian Army Ending that ended the Doctor's travels and kept ambiguous the Doctor's new face. The show was recommissioned because the BBC didn't have any better ideas for what to go in the slot, although it was a massive Retool.
    • "Spearhead from Space" (Series 7) was derailed when the video camera operators went on strike, leading producer Derrick Sherwin to make the whole thing on film instead. This made the whole thing very expensive, which was bad enough even before Derrick Sherwin and Peter Bryant were suddenly sent to rescue a disastrous German TV production mid-shoot. Barry Letts took over at the last minute, got it done — and got handed the producer job for the Jon Pertwee era as a result. (The film production unwittingly meant the serial could be released in HD in the distant future, which no other Classic serial can ever be due to quirks of the usual Video Inside, Film Outside production.)
    • "The Mind of Evil" (Series 8) ran seriously over budget to the point that director Timothy Combe (who had worked on the show before) was not invited back for another story. It also required a re-shoot at Dover Castle as one of the film negatives got damaged to the point it could not be used and there hadn't been time to shoot close ups. With no actors available, several production staff had to step in as extras.
    • "The Three Doctors" (Series 10): As well as William Hartnell's poor health, Patrick Troughton and Jon Pertwee did not get on well during recording, as Troughton's tendency to improvise whenever he thought that he could improve on the script made Pertwee uncomfortable. This had knock-on effects ten years later during the making of "The Five Doctors", with Terrance Dicks deliberately writing the script so that the Second and Third Doctors would not meet until everybody came together at the climax, which ended up disappointing both Troughton and Pertwee, who had become more friendly in the intervening years through doing fan conventions.
    • "Revenge of the Cybermen" (Series 12) suffered from a long string of bad luck attributed by the director to witchcraft. When scouting the ancient cave system of Wookey Hole - a place associated by the locals with bad luck and supposedly the grave of an ancient witch - for its suitability for location shoots, the director's wife found some Iron Age arrowheads and decided to take them home, unwittingly calling an ancient curse on the Doctor Who production team. First, the team encountered a strange individual in potholing gear who had apparently wandered into set, of whom the staff had no knowledge, which the director began to believe was the ghost of an Irish potholer who had died in the cave three years earlier. The boats used in the cave scenes repeatedly broke down; one production team member had to be replaced due to an attack of claustrophobia, and another was taken seriously ill. On a day when staff disobeyed instructions not to touch the 'Witch' formation (said to be the petrified body of the witch), Sarah Jane actress Elisabeth Sladen nearly died - her boat went haywire and she had to dive overboard to keep herself from smashing into the cavern wall, where a stuntman had to pull her out to save her from drowning, and who later fell ill. An electrician broke his leg when a ladder collapsed under him, and the pyrotechnician found nothing would light or work correctly. The director took the arrowheads from his wife and reburied them, after which production ran smoothly.
    • "The Brain of Morbius" (Season 13) was largely the result of two writers having a falling out. Terrance Dicks submitted a story concerning a robot building a new body for a Time Lord war criminal currently stuck as a disembodied brain, but the serial got stuck as the Bottle Episode of the season, so to save money the script editor Robert Holmes rewrote it from the ground up to replace the robot with a human character. This enraged Dicks, who felt the rewrite opened up massive plot holes - he saw the story as a Turned Against Their Masters scenario about a robot that cannot understand beauty building a new body for his master, while a human would be able to understand Morbius would rather be in a better body - and was also upset about how Holmes' rewrite turned the story into more of a Hammer Horror pastiche than science fiction. Eventually Dicks realised he'd lost the argument and suggested Holmes replace his name on the script with 'some bland pseudonym', so Holmes passive-aggressively credited the story to "Robin Bland".
    • Series 15: The previous producer Philip Hinchcliffe had been sacked due to Moral Guardians, and in revenge he boosted the budgets for the final two serials of Season 14, meaning that incoming producer Graham Williams was money-starved just at the time a crippling UK recession and industrial strikes hit. On Underworld, the budget was so low they couldn't even afford sets, so they just used (poorly executed) CSO to put the actors into Miniature Effects). The companion character Leela was originally intended to be added for only three stories in Season 14 but was kept around as a regular due to the incoming team's desire to cause as little upset as possible with everything else going wrong. Executive Meddling forced the writers to remove all of the horror from the scripts of what had at the time been a Gothic Horror show - jokes were used to plug the gaps but with varying degrees of wit. Long-serving script editor Robert Holmes quit halfway through the season due to a combination of money problems and burnout. The stories were hastily re-edited to insert a toyetic Robot Dog Kid-Appeal Character added by executive mandate and shown out of order, spoiling the character development going on. Tom Baker's mental health, which had begun failing him in Season 14, tanked - he loathed both companion characters, wanted to be the sole star, and started threatening to quit in order to Wag the Director into letting him do whatever he wanted while also bullying his co-star Louise Jameson due to his dislike of the character she played, who quit after this series due to his treatment of her. The showrunners tried to keep Jameson in by writing her final story as if she was not leaving, leading to a terrible Strangled by the Red String ending of her inexplicably deciding to marry someone she'd just met. Despite all this, the fandom opinion of Season 15 is that it's So Okay, It's Average - two bad stories, one okayish story, and three good ones (including two all-time classics).
    • Series 17 essentially had the problems of Series 15 turned Up to Eleven. Series 16 hadn't been entirely trouble-free, not least because Graham Williams was sidelined for most of the season due to health problems, but things were held together by production manager John Nathan-Turner on the filming side and script editor Anthony Read in the production office. However, Read quit at the end of the season, along with both Romana's actress Mary Tamm and K-9's voice actor John Leeson. The companion losses weren't too damaging, as new Romana actress Lalla Ward proved way more popular than her predecessor, and David Brierly was a capable enough replacement for Leeson. Read's replacement with Douglas Adams proved far more damaging; whereas Read did a lot to hold the production team and cast together, Adams was more interested in goofing around — including going on a pub crawl in Paris with the director of "Destiny of the Daleks" during the filming of "City of Death" — and rewriting scripts to incorporate his off-beat brand of humour. (Adams himself would later complain that once you put some funny bits in a script, the actors treated it like a panto even in the serious bits.) Combined with Baker acting up more than ever (now with even his tempestuous offscreen love-life bleeding into production note ) and the budget problems and labour disputes returning (in the latter case managing to totally derail production of the season finale "Shada") both Williams and Adams unsurprisingly decided to call it quits at the end of the season. Seasons 16-17 was also the victim of Executive Meddling, with BBC bosses first saying that it couldn't be horrific because of the Moral Guardians, and then that Adams needed to tone down the comedy. And if Doctor Who can't be scary or funny, there's not much left.
    • Even among the chaos of Series 17, "Nightmare of Eden" stands out for having one of the most troubled, disastrous shoots in the show's entire run. Already suffering the usual behind-the-scenes issues, things went further south with the hiring of ageing director Alan Bromly. Not only did Bromly not get along with Baker, Ward, or Brierly at all, he insisted on using outdated shooting schedules and production techniques, making things even harder for the crew. Baker frequently refused to follow instructions and constantly picked fights with Bromly, and later on in the shoot, when it became obvious that literally no-one on the crew supported him in his arguments with the lead actor, Bromly quit, leaving Graham Williams to direct the remainder of the episode, and visual effects designer Colin Mapson to oversee editing and post-production. On the last day of filming, one of the production assistants had t-shirts reading "I survived the Nightmare of Eden!" printed up for the rest of the crew.
    • "The Leisure Hive" (Series 18). Tom Baker and Lalla Ward's tumultuous off-screen relationship was at a nadir, causing the mood on set to be distinctly chilly. Director Lovett Bickford's management of the shoot caused it to go so badly over budget that John Nathan-Turner was severely reprimanded by his superiors. Bickford would never work on the series again.
    • "Warriors of the Deep" (Series 21). Margaret Thatcher announced an election and all the studio space was given to the coverage, meaning this serial lost two weeks of valuable production time. Thus most scenes were shot in one take and much of it was not even rehearsed. There were many rewrites, partially to Bowdlerise/remove political subtext that might influence the election, and partially due to fan adviser Ian Levine being obsessed with preventing Series Continuity Errors. The Myrka costume was completed only half an hour before filming and the paint and glue on it weren't dry — it visibly smears on the sets as it staggers around, the actors inside the costume being light-headed from the fumes. Peter Davison had No Stunt Double and got tossed into an ice-cold pool of water (after being assured that it was warm) because the BBC didn't have the budget to afford warm water. The writer wanted the base to be dark and the sets had been built with that in mind, but Lawful Stupid BBC studio engineers insisted on lighting it as if it was on the surface of the sun, in line with regulations intended for chat shows. This story became an iconic example of the show being awful — and Executive Meddling to kill the show began, with the Fight Scene Failure of the Myrka sequence screened by execs to demonstrate why it didn't deserve to live.
    • "Frontios" (Series 21) has a sad air hanging over its production, with the deaths of two people involved before going before the cameras. Production designer Barrie Robbins killed himself after having done much of the preparation work and was replaced by David Buckingham. The role of Range was originally given to Peter Arne, but he was murdered in his own home - the crime remains unsolved, although the prime suspect (a student Arne was in a relationship with) was later found dead in the Thames, it's not clear what the motive was. William Lucas was cast to replace him. In addition, the Tractator costumes proved overly constrictive and badly ventilated, requiring rewrites for the former and air to be pumped in during recording breaks for the latter.
    • The latter stages of Series 22 had a troubled time thanks to some location filming mishaps. The initial location shoot for "The Mark of the Rani" had to be abandoned halfway through due to atrocious weather conditions, forcing it to be remounted later on at considerable cost. Then, midway through the already-expensive Spanish location shoot for "The Two Doctors", the production team were informed by the film processing lab that the footage which had already been shot was unusable due to a scratch on the negative, forcing them to extend the shoot and fly guest actors James Saxon and Lawrence Payne back out to Spain, only for the team to later be told that the lab had made a mistake, and that there was actually nothing wrong with the original footage. During the shoot there was also a major spat between director Peter Moffat and Producer John Nathan-Turner, which resulted in the latter deciding not to hire Moffat for the show again (and possibly also not film outside the UK again, although it ended up being academic due to the latter seasons not having big enough budgets to permit international shoots). As a result of the money eaten up by these two serials, Nathan-Turner ordered script editor Eric Saward to put a script named "Timelash" into production next, as it could be done on a low budget. Saward objected to this, as he had wanted to move it back to the following year due to the writer's glaringly obvious inexperience, but Nathan-Turner overruled him. Making things worse, Saward didn't have much time to mentor the writer, as he himself was busy writing "Revelation of the Daleks", and further budget cuts to "Timelash" ended up resulting in an infamously cheap, poorly-regarded story. Then, just to really stick the knife in, the BBC told the production team that they were pulling the plug on the show, as they felt it had gone too far off the rails...
    • The "Trial of a Time Lord" arc (Series 23). Producer John Nathan-Turner and script editor Eric Saward were desperately trying to keep the show on the television after it had been Un-Cancelled, seeing the serial as their 'trial' to prove to executives trying to kill the show that it still had value. They also both loathed each other and their mutual egotism caused them to purposefully derail each other's ideas out of spite. Saward, against JNT's wishes, recruited Robert Holmes to write an arc, and he came up with an excellent plot with an ambiguous ending which involved the Doctor fighting the Valeyard while falling down an abyss with no clear winner... before he himself dropped dead. JNT canned this because he felt that it would give the executives a way in to kill the show. Saward refused to change the ending, as he wanted to preserve Holmes' memory and promptly resigned as script editor. JNT handed it to Pip and Jane Baker, who were famous for their Campy style and told them to write an unambiguous happy ending, without telling them any of what Saward had planned (as legal reasons made this impossible). The result was a complete Gainax Ending, and the show went through several soft reboots in the final three seasons that followed.
    • "Time and the Rani" (Series 24): Considering how late in the day most of the key production staffers and even Sylvester McCoy himself were brought in, this was somewhat inevitable. It also didn't help that the new script editor Andrew Cartmel didn't get along at all with writers Pip and Jane Baker, who repeatedly told him that as a novice with no prior TV experience he had no business trying to advise them on anything other than what was or wasn't feasible on the show's budget — which was actually the thing he was least qualified to advise them on — and didn't even always take his advice on that front. In particular, they refused to remove a scripted scene where King Solomon is abducted in the midst of the argument over who is the rightful mother of a baby just as his guard prepares to split it in two with an axe so as to give one half to each "mother"; the Bakers refused to back down on this until John Nathan-Turner pointed out that if neither he nor Cartmel were familiar with that parable, odds are most viewers at home wouldn't be either.
    • After the location filming for "The Greatest Show in the Galaxy" had been completed, the studio sessions were cancelled because of asbestos contamination. At first it was thought that the serial would have to be abandoned, but eventually it was found possible to erect a tent in the car park at Elstree Studios and film there. (It was actually very fortuitous that they were working on that particular serial because the tents made this arrangement possible. With any other serial around that time they might have had to simply throw out the location footage, but JNT was desperate to avoid another "Shada" debacle and arranged the makeshift solution.)
    • The first shoot of the 2005 revival series was a very troubled affair. The full details have never been made public, but by all accounts the director set about making himself unpopular, and after the first week of shooting they managed to be three weeks behind schedule. Christopher Eccleston has since implied in interviews that tensions on-set were among the reasons he decided to quit the show after the first series. He returned to film and theater and speaks fondly of his fans from the show, but did not participate in any of the events or episodes in the run-up to the show's 50th anniversary in 2013.
    • In a less tense version of this, Russell T. Davies had never managed a Sci-Fi series before, and didn't really know how to properly budget it. This led him to blow the majority of the first series' budget on its second episode, "The End of the World". While the rest of Series 1 did struggle a little because of it — the settings and sets are noticeably limited — the show was already a guaranteed success from the revival's initial episode and remains fondly remembered today despite this.
    • "Planet of the Dead" (the first of the 2009 specials) was made when the new production team was being trained by the old one. Due to location shooting in Dubai and David Tennant only having a small gap in his schedule in which to film, the team only had six days to shoot. Unfortunately the double-decker bus prop on which the story relied got heavily damaged while transporting to Dubai. Russell T. Davies decided to Throw It In! and added lines in the script addressing the damage to the bus (which results in a plot hole, or at least a major What an Idiot moment, as the driver's confidence that he can go back through the portal unscathed wasn't changed despite the massive damage it now was written as causing to the bus), but couldn't do a lot about the sandstorm that prevented shooting for several precious days!
    • The Moffat era (Series 5 onward) had multiple problems getting the TARDIS set(s) to work. The original intention was for a large console room and they planned for other rooms in the same style, like a laboratory and a kitchen, but construction went massively overbudget and several questionable design decisions were made that led to parts of the set being actively dangerous to operate. This is why you rarely see the Time Rotor in motion during Series 5 - merely running it was a huge risk that chanced blowing a very expensive handblown glass prop. For Series 6, the set was heavily revised to make repairs easier (most of the wall panels and lighting housing were changed out) but had many of the same problems. It was so bad that Series 7 had to build a new TARDIS interior from scratch with No Budget, focusing on practicality of shooting — and that had to be revised heavily for Series 8 owing to the changeover from the Eleventh Doctor to the Twelfth. So, the Moffat tenure started out with a set that was designed to last for at least three years, and ended up having to build a new set each year for four years!
    • "Let's Kill Hitler" (Series 6): Steven Moffat was overseeing six episodes of Doctor Who, making three film-length episodes of Sherlock and writing The Adventures of Tintin, and was stretched too thin and overworked. When filming was due to commence, Moffat's only option was to hand the actors his first draft and hope for the best. Most of the problems people have with the episode (apart from premise problems) are things like lazy filler jokes ("One minute she's going to marry you and then she's going to kill you." "She's a woman.") and the lack of anything addressing the brutal finale of the last series, which likely would have been fixed had Moffat had more time to write it.
    • The Monks Trilogy (Series 10), a mid-season 3-part storyline, suffered a truly sad case of this. Steven Moffat's mother took deathly ill as he was working on the scripts for "Extremis" and "The Pyramid at the End of the World". While he managed to get "Extremis" into shooting shape, with only days left before filming was to start on the two episodes and no hope of pushing back production to later, the exhausted Moffat was not able to revise "Pyramid"'s script with co-writer Peter Harness; Moffat typed up the final draft of "Pyramid" at his mother's hospital bedside. She ultimately succumbed to her illness. As with "Let's Kill Hitler", this personal stress shows in the finished product's Idiot Plot and its Cliffhanger that hinges on the villains suddenly disregarding the rules they laid down earlier. While Moffat did not write the conclusion "The Lie of the Land" (Toby Whithouse handled that), it was shot in the following production block and it's hard not to see its shortcomings (Third Act Stupidity on the part of the villains, a bizarre tonal shift during an extremely dramatic standoff, some out-of-character behavior for the Doctor such as a regeneration fake-out, a sentimental climax involving Bill's mother, a lot of recycled plot beats, etc.) as things that might have been ironed out had Moffat not been enduring bereavement at the time.
  • Downton Abbey had its first season go off pretty swimmingly, ending up as one of the most acclaimed shows of the year... and then spent the next five years in a morass of problems.
    • Many of the actors grew increasingly unhappy with how little they were given to do as the show's scope grew larger, with several of them quitting along the way. Some of these were major characters, forcing Julian Fellowes to hastily write their deaths to explain their absence. The most damaging was Dan Stevens as half of the show's major romantic couple Matthew Crawley. Fellowes was so furious at Stevens for this that he refused to so much as let his name be spoken on set for the remainder of the show, and even downplayed Matthew's huge role in the first three series as much as possible, with him hardly ever being mentioned again. This led to the show feeling more like a trashy soap opera and less the highbrow drama as intended, and reviews quickly soured.
    • Fellowes' obsession with Scenery Porn and portraying the lives of the early 20th century upper class led to more and more discomfort on set, especially his insistence on writing scenes around the dinner table which he then micromanaged and caused to take far longer to film than they should have... all while the food went bad under the lights and everyone had to suffer the stink.
    • Finally, his writing strategy was to only write the first half of each series ahead of time, then wait to write the rest until filming was underway and he could see how the actors played off each other. This sometimes resulted in some very awkward storytelling as he decided to beef up a character's role, only to discover their actor couldn't commit to the show any further. The worst of these was Charles Edwards as Edith's love interest Michael Gregson, whose departure was so clearly a bad story option that Fellowes simply had him go missing in Germany and left his fate unknown for two years... before finally giving up and having Gregson discovered to have been killed.
    • By the time the show ended, it was widely regarded as a joke and Fellowes' slow Creator Breakdown over all the problems left his reputation quite a bit lower than when he'd started.

    E 
  • The 1992-93 BBC soap opera Eldorado is widely regarded as one of the biggest misfires in the corporation's history, and many of the reasons for the audience apathy that led to its getting the axe after just one year can be traced back to a very troubled production.
    • Eldorado began life as Little England, a series about a community of British expats struggling to maintain a sense of national and cultural identity while forging new lives for themselves on Spain's Costa del Sol. Creator Tony Holland, who had given the BBC its first hit soap opera in decades in EastEnders, submitted the idea for a competition held by the corporation to solicit ideas for a new soap opera to compete with commercial rival ITV's long-running audience magnets Coronation Street and Emmerdale, at a time when the BBC's audience share was lagging behind ITV and the government was considering turning it over to private ownership. At a November 1991 meeting, BBC1 controller Jonathan Powell and two other executives approved Little England to enter production.
    • Problems set in almost immediately. Holland was paired with EastEnders producer and longtime friend Julia Smith, who would handle the production while Holland and EastEnders scriptwriter Tony Jordan handled the scripts. They had just six months to put the series together for its premiere, and decided to build the sets on a remote Spanish hillside miles from the nearest city, Fuengirola. Where EastEnders' Albert Square had been built in eight months and in England, the Spanish construction crew had just half that time to build the more ambitious Little England set, which featured an authentic old town with a church, a shopping plaza, and the British expats' apartment complex. Construction quickly fell behind schedule, so that when shooting began, they had to rewrite the scripts to use the sets that were available until construction finished.note 
    • Producer Julia Smith took charge of casting; she often gambled on casting unknowns, and while this had paid off on EastEnders (with, for example, Leslie Grantham as "Dirty" Den Watts), she seemed to aim lower for Little England. Though some of the actors, such as Campbell Morrison, Jesse Birdsall, Patricia Brake, and Faith Kent, were seasoned veterans, many others had little or no prior acting experience and/or a weak grasp of English; most notably, German student and timeshare salesman Kai Maurer, who had never acted before in his life and didn't even know what a readthrough was until he participated in one with the rest of the cast, was cast as windsurfing instructor Dieter after a single five-minute audition. Campbell Morrison recalled in an interview that, at the first readthrough, a director came to him with a message from Julia Smith telling him his reading was too over-the-top broad Scots; Morrison replied that he was the least of Smith's worries.
    • Then, Executive Meddling began to strangle the production. With British television now reaching audiences all over Europe, Smith, under pressure from BBC executives, told Holland and Jordan that they had to place more emphasis on the non-British characters. Over time, further non-British characters were added to the cast, characters Holland and Jordan had no idea how to write for (or even which language they should use - English, which was unrealistic, or their native languages, which British audiences wouldn't understand). Finally, the BBC told Holland the title, Little England, might put off audiences in Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland, and ordered the series re-christened Eldorado.
    • When filming finally started in late spring of 1992, the sets were still not finished, and the shooting schedule was organised so that five weeks of episodes would be ready to air when the series premiered in July. Scenes were shot at breakneck speed, done in single takes except in the event of major line flubs or technical malfunctions, and with no time for the crew to reflect on whether or not a scene should be re-written or dropped altogether. As the sets were mostly stone walls and tiles, the sound had heavy echo problems that could not be resolved before the episodes were due to air (particularly in scenes involving female characters in stiletto heels, the "clackety-clack" of which nearly drowned out the dialogue). Tony Jordan recalled in an interview that the first time he attended a day's shooting, the scene being shot bore almost no resemblance to the scenes he and Tony Holland had written. The increasingly stressed Holland and Julia Smith, whose working relationship had already had many fractious moments over the years, turned on each other and fell out permanently.
    • The series was launched in a blitz of publicity (which may have done more harm than good as said publicity featured multiple Spoilers), and Eldorado began airing three times a week starting on 6 July 1992. Although ITV tried to "strangle the series at birth" by airing an hour-long episode of Coronation Street at the same time, the first episode drew an audience of over eight million, but by the third episode, this figure had dropped to five million, and to barely half that figure six weeks later. The press attacked the series mercilessly, finding the characters without believability (the central plot from the premiere, in which a middle-aged restaurateur returns from a trip back to England with his new 17-year-old wife, was particularly criticised), the acting amateurish, and the handling of the international cast (when they spoke in their native languages, there were no subtitles; when they spoke in English, they had almost impenetrable or comically over-the-top accents) laughable.
    • Because of the heavy investment of licence-payer money in the series, the BBC tried to salvage it as best they could with a change of personnel. Julia Smith was the first to go (ostensibly due to ill health; she died five years later), replaced by another EastEnders producer in Corinne Hollingworth. She scrapped the idea of scenes in languages other than English without subtitles, chose not to renew the contracts of over half a dozen cast members (including Kai Maurer), and held the writing to a higher standard. Tony Holland left voluntarily not long after, utterly disillusioned with how far the series had deviated from his original vision.
    • Although the remaining cast and crew felt the changes to the scripts and the production were a dramatic improvement and ratings began to rise again, the damage had been done, and the appointment of John Birt as BBC Director General in late 1992 and Alan Yentob as BBC1 controller a few months later sounded the death knell for the series. The last episode aired on 9 July 1993; it was fifteen years before the BBC commissioned another new soap opera (the similarly short-lived Australia-set Out of the Blue). Tony Holland never wrote for British television again, and the once stellar reputation of executive producer Verity Lambert (who, thirty years earlier, had been a central figure in the creation of Doctor Who) never quite recovered (although she did go on to produce several series of Jonathan Creek).

    F 
  • Family Feud had its share of backstage troubles from original host Richard Dawson, particularly in the later years. Namely, he was a prima donna who was often at odds with the producer, even barring him from the set and debating with him on answers. Mark Goodson once remarked that Dawson gave him "tsoris" (Yiddish for "trouble").
  • E! Network's Fashion Police struggled greatly at the beginning of 2015, starting with the death of Joan Rivers, the show's star and main attraction for most and the departure of George Kotsiopoulos. The show limped on with comedienne Kathy Griffin sitting in for Rivers and Brad Goreski replacing Kotsiopoulos. However, scandal struck after the 2015 Academy Awards, after host Giuliana Rancic joked that attendee Zendaya Coleman looked like she smelled of "patchouli oil" and "weed" because she chose to wear her hair in dreadlocks that night. Rancic apologized, but that didn't stop both Griffin (no stranger to controversial statements herself) and Kelly Osbourne from quitting soon after. When the dust finally settled, E! announced they were putting the show on hiatus until September to "refresh" it before next award season, which led to a new panel comprising of Rancic, Goreski, Joan's daughter Melissa, Margaret Cho and NeNe Leakes from the sixth season onwards.

    G 
  • The Get Down, the 2016 Netflix Period Piece about the birth of hip-hop by Baz Luhrmann, had problems from the start. The project was in Development Hell for some time (so much so that a joke name for the show on set was "The Shut Down"). It ran massively over budget, eventually costing $120 million, due to the unusual approach to the show (making it one of the most expensive TV shows ever). The music and dance elements added money, as well as securing the rights to the Nothing but Hits soundtrack. Additional problems were caused by Luhrmann's lack of experience in television. The show ultimately had the embarrassing distinction of being the very first Netflix show to be cancelled after just one season, after five years of all their shows getting at least two.
  • Growing Pains started having problems when its lead actor, Kirk Cameron, became a born-again Christian during the height of the show's popularity. He caused creative problems, objecting to the smallest suggestion of innuendo. He even got his co-star Julie McCullough fired, because she had posed naked for Playboy.

    H 
  • Douglas Adams described the creation of the TV version of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy as "not a happy production. There was a personality clash between myself and the director. And between the cast and the director. And between the tea lady and the director." Said director, Alan Bell, puts the blame on Douglas, claiming they used to make lists of his ridiculous unfilmable ideas, to which Adams would reply that Bell "cheerfully admits he will say what suits him rather than what happens to be the case. And therefore there's no point in arguing." John Lloyd, the producer and co-writer of the radio show, was annoyed that he was made "associate producer" (he felt that the fact his credit literally explodes in the ending credits was a comment on how meaningless it was) and thought Bell was too concerned with getting things done efficiently, rather than getting them done right. The second series simply didn't happen: Adams wouldn't do it without Lloyd or Geoffrey Perkins; Bell wouldn't do it with them. It was suggested that Perkins could be script editor (since this would minimise his interaction with Bell), and he viewed the possibility of trying to wring scripts out of Adams under these conditions with horror. Adams then suggested replacing Bell with Pennant Roberts, who had directed several of his scripts on Doctor Who, but this was declined on the grounds that a writer having any say in the choice of director (or, for that matter, a drama director handling what was classed as a sitcom) simply wasn't done in those days. Nobody would back down, so...
  • In its final years, the original run of The Hollywood Squares taped in Las Vegas. According to Word of God, these episodes were troubled because center square Paul Lynde was upset with the lodging accommodations, and his mood was bringing down everyone else.
  • The Hogan Family is another show affected by infamous cast shuffling problems. The show was originally titled Valerie for the first couple seasons, and was a vehicle for star Valerie Harper, who was fresh off her success with The Mary Tyler Moore Show and Rhoda. After Harper got into a dispute with show producers over the direction of the series, she was fired, and her character was killed off in a car accident. The show was then titled Valerie's Family: The Hogans, with Sandy Duncan replacing Harper as the main character, taking over as the aunt of the family. After another season, the series was again retitled The Hogan Family after enough time had passed since Harper's departure. The show channel hopped from NBC to CBS in 1990, where it lasted for one final season.
  • Filming on House of Cards' sixth season was interrupted by the Great Hollywood Sex Scandal of 2017, namely, Anthony Rapp's accusation that Kevin Spacey molested him 30 years earlier, when he was fourteen. Netflix quickly announced that this would be the show's final season (though this was always the plan anyway), and shortly afterward shut down production indefinitely as similar stories about Spacey came pouring in. He was then sent for an unspecified "evaluation and treatment," throwing further doubt on whether the season would be completed. And then eight crew members came forward with accounts of Spacey's predatory behavior which made them deeply uncomfortable around him. Spacey was fired a week later. In the end, production on Season 6 resumed with Robin Wright becoming the sole lead.

    I 
  • The first season of Iron Fist (2017) had a shooting schedule so insanely tight that Finn Jones was often given his fight choreography just fifteen minutes before filming startednote  This certainly helps explain the many complaints about his unconvincing fighting. Fortunately, The Defenders would greatly redeem many of the reservations people had about Danny's skill due to being helmed by Marco Ramirez and Doug Petrie, the showrunners from season 2 of Daredevil, instead of the notorious Scott Buck.
  • The short-lived 1983 ABC sitcom It's Not Easy was originally supposed to debut in the 1982 season. The series (about a divorced couple living across from each other to make visitation easier on the kids) was originally intended to star Gerald McRaney (who was available because his show Simon & Simon was on the bubble in terms of possible cancellation) and Larry Breeding. The pilot was shot, but soon after CBS announced they were picking up Simon and Simon (thus removing McRaney from the production, with former The White Shadow star Ken Howard replacing him) while the series was taken off the fall schedule. Then, on September 28, 1983, Larry Breeding was killed in a car accident, with the show held back until the 1983 season (by which time game-show host Bert Convy had replaced Breeding).

    J 
  • In the late summer of 1993, with Michael Jackson having just launched the Asian leg of his Dangerous tour, the rest of the Jackson family was preparing a Jackson Family Honors pretaped television Award Show / charity benefit for December that would feature most of the family (plus other acts like Dionne Warwick and Celine Dion) performing their hits and presenting a pair of humanitarian awards to Berry Gordy and Elizabeth Taylor. And then...
    • The family's press conference announcing the show doubled as a show of public support for Michael in the wake of a 13-year-old boy accusing him of child molestation. In the wake of this, NBC postponed the show to the following February, while Michael prematurely ended his tour due to drug problems that necessitated an overseas stay in rehab. Michael returned to the U.S. at the end of '93, and settled out of court with his accuser in January 1994.
    • The show was set to go at the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada rather than the originally announced Atlantic City, New Jersey. While this was something of a step up (the MGM Grand being a shiny-new venue at the time), there were issues with the guest list. The Jacksons wanted Oprah Winfrey, who had interviewed Michael for a blockbuster ABC special the previous February, to host the show, but she turned them down. And Black Sheep of the family La Toya, who claimed that she'd seen evidence suggesting Michael was a pedophile, wanted to participate. She claimed she was barred from the event and her husband Jack Gordon threatened to sneak her into it, but that didn't happen. (Years later she recanted her claims and was accepted back into the family.)
    • Neither Michael or Janet were willing to lodge with the rest of the family; each stayed elsewhere on the Strip. In fact, she only performed one number at the show and promptly left the venue altogether.
    • The show was held in the hotel-casino's arena; according to the Christoper Andersen book Michael Jackson Unauthorized the tickets, priced as high as $350, sold so poorly that 3,500 freebies were given away. Even then, hours before showtime the organizers rounded up young people to act as seat-fillers and Michael supporters via premade placards.
    • Interview footage with two attendees reveals that the show started 90 minutes late due to an extensive security check at the doors to the arena that kept audience members from getting to their seats.
    • The big climax was effectively Michael's presentation of Elizabeth Taylor's award. Trouble continued there — a heckler asked why he'd paid his accuser off, a comment that was edited out for the television broadcast. Then the whole segment went awry when she explained to the audience, who was clamoring for him to perform, that he didn't have anything prepared. She then had to discourage them from booing, all of which was included in the broadcast version. He did participate in the most-of-the-family finale, but that was it.
    • According to a Los Angeles Times article, the show raised $4.5 million, but only $100,000 of it went to charity. Several hundred thousand dollars' worth of the ticket money had to be refunded to upset patrons who paid full price for tickets that were heavily discounted by showtime. The Jacksons were also slow to pay the people who put the show on, and MGM Grand officials claimed to have been stiffed on the room service, wardrobe, and limousine bills they racked up.
  • In its first season, the Gold Rush! Spin-Off Jungle Gold, was a huge hit, with the Discovery Channel ordering six more episodes than were originally expected. In its second season, that order was cut to six and the series was canceled. This story in BuzzFeed explains why.
    • It began when Scott Lomu and George Wright, two Utah Mormons who'd been trying their luck mining for gold in Ghana after losing their shirts when the housing bubble burst came home, starting watching Gold Rush, and found it much duller than their experience. They got in touch with the producers, and told them that there was more drama in one day in Ghana than there was in a week in Alaska. The producers were sold, and soon they were headed back to Ghana flush with new investment.
    • At the time, gold mining in Ghana was booming. Most of those running the mining operations, however, were Chinese who did so illegally, without even getting permits, and paying no attention to environmental or labor laws. Miners also ran the risk of getting robbed by armed gangs. Lomu and Wright hoped their show could show that foreigners could make money in Ghanaian gold mining and follow the rules.
    • It didn't start off well. When Lomu went back to get the show started, he found the tribal chief he'd paid thousands to keep their claim secure had instead let the Chinese come in all over it. That had to be written off while a new mining location was found.
    • An attempt to avoid Unfortunate Implications instead wound up creating them. Ghanaian law forbids foreigners from mining claims 25 acres or less, although they can invest in companies that do. Since Lomu and Wright wanted to avoid the impressions the sight of two white men looking on while black Africans did backbreaking work would leave, they often faked doing work for the cameras. However, the episodes, when aired, didn't explain this, leaving many viewers with the impression that the two were mining illegally. By the end of the first season, three separate online petitions had been started asking Discovery to cancel the show, and Ghanaians living in the US were criticizing their government back home for allowing the show to be produced. Permits for starting the next season were thus delayed for weeks longer than had been expected.
    • During that second season, the first season began airing in Ghana. Viewers were outraged at the way their country was depicted, and gave government officials an earful. Many, including an investigating journalist, came to believe from one scene, a highlight of the first season in which Lomu chokeholds into unconsciousness a cocoa farmer who confronted the mining crews after they flattened some of his crop, that they had killed the man. The two heard that an armed militia was coming for them, and saw news reports that a warrant was out for their arrest on murder charges. Very soon producers had the helicopter they had contracted to do aerial shots fly them to the international airport in Accra, where they quickly left the country, supposedly for good.
    • Back home, Discovery did its part by moving the show from Fridays to Sundays, when its core demographic was mostly watching football instead, and dropping the order to six episodes. Before those had even finished airing, the decision was made to cancel the show. The second season has never been shown in Ghana.
    • It actually worked out well, mostly. The warrant, if it had ever existed, was dropped, and Lomu and Wright were able to return to Ghana on several occasions and retrieve their equipment (and, eventually, get jobs with another mining company working claims in Guyana). Many of the villagers they worked with said the two had treated them well. The government used the furore to deport many of the Chinese miners. However, the communities where the mining took place have suffered economically in their absence.

    K 
  • Kamen Rider takes this to an art form.
    • The first show had a shoestring budget, and lead actor Hiroshi Fujioka did all of his own stunts, which backfired when he was injured in a bike stunt gone wrong. For a handful of episodes, production had to make do with outtakes of Fujioka dubbed over by voice actor Rokuro Naya. On the other hand, the ensuing change in formula and introduction of Kamen Rider #2 gave the series a ratings boost, and created the franchise we all know and love.
    • Particularly infamous is the period from Hibiki to Den-O: Hibiki suffered from an infamous executive-mandated Retool in its last third. Production costs were skyhigh due to exotic location shoots and script demands (e.g. massive CGI monsters, sections where the show would become The Musical despite no-one at Toei having experience directing and shooting musical numbers), and the toy sales were low. Yet the re-tool came just as the show was turning the corner, and was universally hated by most cast members and staff. The re-tool was so disorganised that the script for the final episode was reportedly being written while the episode was being filmed.
    • Kamen Rider Kabuto suffered from a revolving door of main characters, thanks to some poor foresight and unlucky casting. At least two actors were popular idol singers who had to leave partway through to record and promote new albums. The actress playing the main female protagonist was diagnosed with cancer and had to be Put on a Bus.
    • In comparison Den-O got off light, with the main female protagonist having to leave due to suffering anemia from the stress of being on set, and having to be replace with a younger version of herself.

    L 
  • Of all shows, the Fox News docudrama series, Legends & Lies has had many production problems and setbacks. During production of The Patriots season (about the Revolutionary War), new scenes were frequently rewritten the night before they were to be shot, and the show's production was halted for a while after they ran out of funding. Several local crew members opted not to return for Season 3, citing "drama." Also, Season 3 (The Civil War) was completely filmed, but it may never see the light of day due to producer and commentator Bill O'Reilly's sexual harassment allegations and subsequent termination from Fox News. It's also very likely that Season 4 (supposedly about World War I) will never go into production at all.
  • Reality TV series Life of Kylie, about Kylie Jenner, faced this in July 2017 when they were Screwed by the Lawyers after a British artist complained about the logo being a a very close copy of her artwork. More about it at this article. Then there were accusations of Kylie being The Prima Donna and you can start to see how this show's production is starting to go.
  • The original 1980s version of the game show Lingo was put out by a production company that failed to pay most of its contestants due to financial difficulties. The same producer, Ralph Andrews, also had this hit on another show, a game show version of Yahtzee, around the same time.
  • The shooting of the pilot episode of Lost was interrupted by constant rain, resulting in their set getting flooded and some of the equipment washed away and/or waterlogged. They had to drive to the nearest town, which was something like half an hour away, to buy hairdryers to dry off the cameras. In addition, natural rain doesn't show up properly on camera, meaning they had to fake rain all over their poor actors at the same time as trying to keep equipment from getting washed away. Then there was the other problem they had just before shooting; Evangeline Lily, who is Canadian, had some problems with getting her work visa, causing them to delay her scenes and almost have to recast the female lead in the middle of shooting. And it was all nicely bookended when Matthew Fox was almost killed during filming of the series finale, when Terry O'Quinn was mistakenly given a real knife for their climactic fight scene.
  • Luck was the most personal project of David Milch's career, playing into his lifelong love of horse racing. Unfortunately, what seemed like a match made in heaven on paper when Michael Mann was brought in as the primary director quickly went south. Exact details are scarce, but Richard Kind and Nick Nolte have both testified that the two had very different ideas for what the show should be, and they were also both very used to getting their own way with the creative process by this point. And if that wasn't enough, despite numerous precautions while filming the actual horse race scenes, three horses were killed over the course of filming. HBO execs quickly canned it after a single season thanks to that public relations nightmare.

    M 
  • The Match Game-Hollywood Squares Hour was this, especially for Gene Rayburn who hosted the former segment. He disliked working with co-host Jon Bauman (best known as Bowzer of Sha Na Na) who emceed the Hollywood Squares portion instead of venerable host Peter Marshall and, according to announcer Gene Wood, was "dragged kicking and screaming" into the show. The latter segment was also plagued by Mark Goodson not "getting" the long-standing format of Squares, resulting in convoluted either-or questions with the celebrities not allowed to give Zingers or bluffs, as Squares is famous for. Since they were also not given the answers beforehand, many were forced to pull answers out of thin air, as noted by Rayburn. Longtime Goodson-Todman producer Ira Skutch quit working for Mark Goodson after it was cancelled.
  • The hugely-successful Moonlighting was fraught with production delays and on-set issues, to the point that its problems were lampshaded by ABC in an ad campaign:
    • While it was being produced, the series was one of the most expensive television programs ever made. As a result of overlapping, fast-paced dialogue between the main characters, the scripts often ran up to 120 pages, it cost more than $1.5 million dollars to film each episode, and production was almost always behind schedule (not helped by series creator Glenn Caron, who would often rewrite dialogue on-set during filming).
    • The well-known episode "The Dream Sequence Always Rings Twice" cost a then-unheard of $2 million to film and took 16 days to shoot, largely due to Caron's insistence that the filming use actual black-and-white film instead of shooting in color then decolorizing it. Even then, ABC was displeased with the episode and, fearing backlash from fans who wouldn't understand the concept, had a disclaimer run before the episode informing viewers of the filming change.
    • Cybill Shepherd (who played Maddie Hayes) was reportedly burned out by the long filming times and production issues, coupled with the fact that she would be receiving new script pages the day they were to be filmed. Not helping matters was the fact that Caron blamed her for the delays in production, referring to her as a star who "already reached the top of the mountain". Things got to the point where, in the fourth season, Caron reportedly left the production for good because of the tension between Shepherd and himself, arguing that he believed the network would pick her over him if it came down to a corporate decision.
    • Bruce Willis (who played David Addison), by contrast, started out the series being very friendly to Shepherd and the production crew. However, once Die Hard became a smash hit, he realized he was meant for a movie career and became detached from the job, as well as had a strained working relationship with Shepherd.
    • The production delays were so severe that ABC ran an ad campaign showing network executives waiting for new episodes to appear at their company headquarters. Further production delays (including Shepherd leaving production to give birth to twins and Willis suffering from a skiing accident) only exacerbated the problem.
    • When Shepherd returned from her post-pregnancy break, the writers forced her character into a storyline where she spontaneously married a random man she met on a train (in a bid to recreate the tension between David and Maddie), despite Shepherd herself vehemently protesting it. This led to a further ratings decline, and the series' eventual cancellation at the end of its fifth season.
  • Mystery Science Theater 3000 isn't perfect, being a series that brings big laughs with a small budget, but they do have some very interesting incidents.
    • Back in Season Two, there was The Sidehackers. Prior to this episode, Best Brains would choose a movie, someone would watch over part of it and if was worthy to riff, they'd go through it. When Frank Conniff found it, he thought it was good enough to riff on and the rights were acquired for it. Imagine their shock and horror when, partway through, there was a rape and murder scene. Unable to pull back, Best Brains ended up lopping out the entire scene and Trace, as Crow, added in a throwaway line mentioning what happened to the girl who suffered that fate. Not surprisingly, the production team decreed that they would watch the whole film before committing themselves to shooting an episode based on it in future.
    • The blooper reel Poopie! does show a number of incidents that has the Crow, Tom and Gypsy puppets malfunction in some way, mostly by Tom losing his dome or Crow's headnet falling off. One incident from the movie Danger!! Death Ray had a scene where Tom shoots Crow with a ray gun and Crow's seen lit up. As the scene comes to an end, Crow bursts into flames! The scene was actually kept in!
    • Another Poopie! blooper from The Hellcats episode showed that Frank couldn't say "I don't fink on soul brother" with a straight face at all! It was so bad, that they grabbed the best take and cut just before he and Trace burst out laughing.
    • The Sci-Fi Channel years suffered heavily from Executive Meddling. Sci-Fi executives demanded a recurring storyline, much to the crew's chagrin, and initially limited their movie output to Universal titles. The restrictions were relaxed somewhat for the final season.
    • The 2017 Netflix revival suffered from a very rushed production schedule compared to what the show had been like before, including an entirely new method of recording the theater segments that worked off time stamps rather than actually having the movie playing in front of them, which naturally leads to the odd joke's timing being a tad off.
    • The reason Gypsy appears so sparingly during the original ten seasons is that the puppet was very heavy, and Jim Mallon and Patrick Brantseg both started to suffer back problems if they worked with it for too long. The Netflix revival revamped her design to be operated from above, and her role is noticeably expanded.

    N 
  • NBC News and its sister outlets have been enduring one since the start of The New '10s, with its reputation and its previous ratings dominance taking serious hits in a series of increasingly disastrous episodes:
    • The controversial firings of Keith Olbermann (see above) and Ann Curry led ratings for both MSNBC and Today (which had been the consistently #1 morning news show for almost 20 years until that point) respectively to suffer. David Gregory, the longtime NBC political correspondent whose run on Meet the Press had been marred by gaffes and unfavorable comparisons to predecessor Tim Russert, was also fired under strange circumstances.
    • MSNBC went through a whole series of hirings and firings which led to a prolonged game of musical chairs with its schedule. Between 2011 and 2015, Ed Schultz's show changed time slots no less than five times before it was cancelled. The network also made some controversial new hires such as Ronan Farrow (Mia's son), who was given a weekday show solely on the basis of his social media presence. His show was cancelled after one year.
    • And it didn't stop there. In 2015, NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams was caught embellishing his involvement in a firefight during the Iraq War. An internal review by NBC reportedly discovered eleven other examples of fabulism by Williams. While he was not fired, in mid-June it was announced that he had been effectively demoted to serving as "breaking news anchor" for MSNBC while Lester Holt was promoted to lead anchor.
    • Things seemed to improve when Andrew Lack became NBC News chairman and ratings for Today, Meet the Press, NBC Nightly News, and MSNBC began to rebound. But this was offset by Lack's decision to hire former Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly, who was given a Sunday newsmagazine show and a special hour of Today — both of which tanked in the ratings.
    • In 2016-17, NBC was accused of sitting on two bombshell stories about sexual assault. First, The Washington Post scooped NBC on an infamous audiotape of then-presidential candidate Donald Trump behind the scenes on NBC's sydicated show Access Hollywood; this led to the firing of Today co-anchor Billy Bush. Then, Ronan Farrow wrote a New Yorker story detailing decades of abuse by producer Harvey Weinstein, with Farrow claiming that NBC stonewalled his story when he worked there.
    • The sexual abuse angle got even worse when — as part of a cascade of revelations about media figures following the Weinstein story — Matt Lauer was suddenly fired after twenty years co-hosting Today after several accounts of sexual harassment, one of which concerned a female subordinate of Lauer who was allegedly assaulted in his office.
  • Venezuelan screenwriter Ibsen Martinez was infamous for having walked off the production of his soap Por Estas Calles in the mid-nineties because of intense Executive Meddling. After two decades away from TV, he wanted to have a return to form by penning Nora, a co-production between Televen, Telemundo, and Cadena Tres, but after all the trouble behind the scenes he should have walked off this one too.
    • The trouble began even before filming. The soap was originally promoted under the name "Nora la emprendedora" ("Nora The Enterprising"), but it was changed because they realized it was ripe for joking / being confused with Dora la exploradora. It was announced around 2011, but production didn't fully begin until October 2013 because there was no national network willing to finance or broadcast the program, due to both Martinez's fame and Venezuela's economic situation.
    • The main actress, Colombian Carla Giraldo, was very temperamental and didn't get along with most of the Venezuelan production staff and cast, but to her merit she tried to be professional and amiable during promotional stints. Still, there was enough of the drama leaking that Martinez felt forced to give a press release declaring that no, he wasn't going to walk off this soap, and yes, there were problems but they were working on them.
    • The troubles with Giraldo increased when she was revealed to be pregnant during the production, so filming had to be rushed to get all her scenes in before the pregnancy showed too much. By the time she went on maternity leave they had advanced so much into filming, the production decided to film the rest of the soap before premiering because why not, conveniently forgetting that the last time someone in the country filmed a soap fully note  the resultant product bombed in the ratings.
    • Complicating matters were the famous protests of early 2014 in Caracas, where the soap was filming, which greatly disrupted the filming schedule as many of the protests were on the roads midway between the studios and the homes of the cast and crew.
    • Because Giraldo went back to her country to give birth and then decided not to come back to finish filming, Martinz was forced to rewrite the plot to get Nora out of the story and reform a villainesque character into a suitable love interest for the male protagonist.
    • The soap was finally premiered in September 2014, to tepid reception, mixed critics, and low ratings.

    P 
  • Pitfall, a short-lived game show hosted by Alex Trebek. The production company had trouble paying contestants their winnings, and even stiffed Alex on his salary — he still has the bounced check from the production company framed in his living room.
  • Power Rangers: Due to changing production companies, Executive Meddling and various other problems, it's a miracle that Power Rangers has remained the Long Runner franchise it is. Here are some highlights.
    • Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers: Season 1 hit its troubles when it turned out the series was more popular than anticipated. So when Fox Kids ordered an additional 20 episodes for Season 1, Saban asked TOEI to make new fight footage from Zyuranger exclusively for Power Rangers, known to fans as Zyu2, due to the original usable Zyuranger being exhausted (even so, they made two Post Script episodes which recycled a lot of already used footage in different context to kill time until they got the Zyu2 stuff). The original plan was to do even more exclusive footage for Power Rangers and introduce upgraded Dinozords, but because of the cost, it was decided to just adapt Dairanger's monster and zord footage instead with only 25 Zyu2 fights filmed.
    • Season 2 had it even worse. The last ten episodes spilled over to Season 2, which created a new problem when Saban and Bandai wanted to introduce new zords to get new toys on the shelves in time for the holidays. The decision was made to hack the Dairanger mecha footage prematurely, resulting in two different sources of footage being spliced together for the zord battles. The mecha from Dairanger would launch an attack and then cut to footage of the Zyu2 monster taking the hit and vice-versa. After the Zyu2 footage was bled dry, the situation was completely reversed. Now, the monsters came from Dairanger, meaning the zord battle didn't have to be spliced together, but since most of the Dairanger monster costumes were unusable for American footage and Power Rangers continued to use the Zyuranger costumes, the majority of Dairanger monsters never once appeared on screen with the Rangers. Instead, most of the ground fights were Rangers fighting Z-putties in American footage with the Dairanger monster barking orders in completely isolated footage before Zedd made the monster grow. To top it off, the actors playing the Red, Black, and Yellow Ranger were let go halfway through Season 2 due to contract disputes with the producers and during the interim of writing the replacements into the show, the production team had to use stand ins and recycled footage from earlier episodes to make it seem like the departed cast members were still on the show until they were able to write them out.
    • When production ran longer than expected for the movie, the TV series production was forced to film in Australia, leading to heavy use of stock footage for scenes that required sets they couldn't access at the time, such as the Command Center.
    • Power Rangers Turbo had production troubles in its first half. Producer Jonathan Tzachor wanted to embrace the source footage Gekisou Sentai Carranger's slapstick comedy and then story editor Doug Sloan wanted to continue Power Rangers Zeo's more serious bent of the franchise growing up. This led to severe mood whiplash, like a villain planting bombs that Rangers needed to deactivate before they blew up and kill people while having goofy concepts like Tommy reading the new zords' instruction manual. Eventually Doug Sloan left and was replaced with Judd Lynn right when it came time to jettison the old cast (save the new kid appeal character they just brought in) and replace them with a new cast. Then the crew didn't even have the decency to tell the actors they were all about to lose their jobs, until some of them overheard the makeup team gossiping about it. As Judd Lynn was in agreement on playing closer to Carranger's comedy, the product became a lot more cohesive in the show's second half.
    • Power Rangers Lost Galaxy: Hoo, boy:
      • They STARTED with having to turn a nature-themed Sentai into a space themed one, due to the success of Power Rangers in Space.
      • Then, early in the season, the Lights of Orion arc began, and it's near incomprehensible, because episodes were still being filmed in the week before their airdate.
      • When that finished, they began an arc involving the Galaxy Book, which would tie in with the two carrier Zords (which actually DID resemble the space theme to an extent, but they were rarely used in the source material so there wasn't a lot to work with), but then Valerie Vernon developed leukemia. Her character, Kendrix, was heavily involved in the plans for the Galaxy Book, which meant that arc had to rapidly be rewritten.
      • The original plan was for Patricia Ja Lee, the Pink Ranger from In Space, would take over. They filmed the hand off and an episode with her joining the team (which was an American-footage exclusive episode, referred to occasionally as 'Air Force One on the Megaship'), but then, due to pay issues, Patricia Ja Lee walked off the set. She was quickly swapped in with Karone, requiring ANOTHER two American-exclusive footage heavy episodes.
      • Still TRYING to do something resembling their originally planned arc, they send Terra Venture to the Lost Galaxy (the one in the title they supposedly were supposed to be heading towards). It turns out as essentially a Filler Arc, likely incorporating as much Sentai footage in order to save money for the finale (the show was likely bleeding money- even the cancellation of fellow Saban series The Mystic Knights of Tir Na Nóg, which had their budget funneled over here, didn't help).
      • Then, the series is pulled before the finale airs, later put out as a 'special presentation' with little promotion.
    • Power Rangers Lightspeed Rescue: While the show overall didn't seem to suffer massive issues, the team-up with the previous season... On top of drawing heavily on Sentai footage from the counterpart team-up special, which is rarely done for any team-up, given the diverging plots between Power Rangers and Super Sentai, it was originally released as a video tie-in for McDonald's, explaining why the episode focused more on a child actor than, say, the two teams teaming up. Amy Miller, the actress who portrayed the villain Trakeena, left the set shortly after filming began when she learned that the Lost Galaxy characters were essentially cameos in their own team-up and was replaced by another actress. While he remained for filming, Danny Slavin, who played the Red Lost Galaxy Ranger, is audibly redubbed with the voice of another actor at points.
    • Power Rangers Wild Force: The anniversary episode "Forever Red" was rife with problems. Originally conceived as a cult attempting to revive Dark Specter, the need to use abandoned Beetleborgs costumes and the want of a super weapon led to the usage of the Machine Empire and Serpentera. Scenes were filmed and cut out (including a bigger role for the Wild Force team outside of their brief cameo) and a major battle between classic Megazords and Serpentera were scuttled when Bandai insisted that Cole use a vehicle he gained just an episode earlier, leading to a Curbstomp Battle. Also, Leo's actor had been dissatisfied with his show's treatment in their crossover on Lightspeed Rescue, and only agreed to do it after most of the episode had already been shot. Hence his very late arrival, and the awkward bit where he demorphs just so the big morphing sequence can include all ten Rangers.
    • Power Rangers Dino Thunder: Not as bad as most, but Jason David Frank wanting to spend some time back with his family and run his martial arts school in the United States forced them to create a scenario where Tommy is trapped in his morphed state, then invisible. Like the Karone incident, it did lead to an awesome moment. Production also had to change course when Bakuryuu Sentai Abaranger's apparent Sixth Ranger, AbareMax, turned out to be a powerup for the Red Ranger instead of giving the powers to Devon as reportedly planned.
    • Power Rangers S.P.D.: Executive Meddling led to a good chunk of the series' budget being placed onto the series finale, which had a major CGI battle between the SWAT Megazord and the Bigger Bad. However, this led to them being unable to do a number of things, including hiring an actor for Sixth Ranger Sam, the Omega Ranger. As well, many episodes were taken wholesale from its Super Sentai counterpart Tokusou Sentai Dekaranger. When Canada accidentally aired the second crossover episode between SPD and Dino Thunder, ABC held back that part for a good length of time before finally letting it air. Speaking of that episode, budget problems led to them to not even consider bringing back Jason David Frank who was back in the States. Frank has stated he was never asked to return. He was never seen out of his suit, and his voice was shemped by Trent's actor Jeffery Parazzo, as they couldn't afford to bring in a specially cast voice actor and Parazzo was already available.
    • Power Rangers Operation Overdrive was hit by budget cuts from Disney, forcing the creators to make more Sentai footage-heavy episodes.
    • Power Rangers Jungle Fury was hit by the Writer's Strike.
    • As a whole, the Disney-era Rangers series suffered from Troubled Production. It was bought up when Disney attempted to get the Fox Family Channel and Saban's collection of series (specifically Digimon) and the series as a whole clashed with Disney's family-friendly attitude. While they did show some care during the early years, their apathy soon started to show. They attempted to shut down the series at least three times and even attempted to start up an animated version to avoid paying TOEI money.
    • This came to a dramatic end with the production of Power Rangers RPM. Chronicled in part in History of Power Rangers, Bruce Kallish had decided to move onto a new project, and Disney planned on FINALLY cancelling power rangers, but Bandai Europe had Disney under contract for one more season. To that end, a new producer was brought on: Eddie Guzelian. The only problem? Guzelian was primarily an animated creator, putting him into a new role entirely with not only dealing with live action conventions, but the unique production way the sentai/power rangers transition works.
      • To his credit though, Guzelian did watch several episodes before production began, getting a feel for the show, and trying to take the franchise in a new direction by pitching a post apocalyptic series to try and revitalize interest among not only boys, but also to an older audience as well. The only problem? The sentai series they were working off of, Engine Sentai Go-onger was a parody series, so they ended up in a similar situation to Lost Galaxy in trying to splice 1 series into another entirely different situation.
      • On top of this, there were script delays going into production, in part due to the difficulty in writing around the sentai footage, and rumors of production overshot in part due to a higher use of live footage instead of stock things.
      • And to top it off, Guzelian was fired DURING production, with 2 writers who'd come on to help with the production quitting in protest. Old Power Rangers Alumni Judd Lynn was brought in to help finish the production, forcing him to do a behind the scenes episode to buy him some time to catch up with the work. All in all, not exactly the easiest production to do, only compounded by the fact Disney kept hiding RPM in its scheduling due to its lack of edutainment and higher violence levels putting some executives off. Even though Power Rangers wasn't renewed under Disney's management afterwards, the fact that this production could even be finished with all the issues it had, and be well regarded by older fans as well is quite the feat.
    • Power Rangers Samurai: A feature on Den of Geek with story editor James W. Bates confirmed that Jonathan Tzachor was responsible for the extensive rewrites of fifteen episodes to make it a carbon copy of Shinkenger.
    • Power Rangers Megaforce: James W. Bates stayed on for this season, which was hit by problems in about every area except the filming.
      • When the Power Rangers franchise was bought back by Saban Brands, it Channel Hopped over to Nickelodeon, where it was slapped with a "20 episodes per season" limit that split each adaptation in half, note  and a massive summer hiatus. This didn't affect Power Rangers Samurai too badly, but it created a cascade of problems that piled up and broke the back of Megaforce.
      • Power Rangers found itself slipping further behind the Super Sentai source material. Furthermore, the next seasons in line to be adapted were Tensou Sentai Goseiger, a rather mediocre season, and Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger, a 35th anniversary Milestone Celebration. Although Gokaiger's 35th anniversary would dovetail nicely with the 20th anniversary of Power Rangers, Saban was apparently not allowed to simply skip Goseiger and go straight to Gokaiger. In an attempt to square the circle and catch up to Sentai, Saban decided to fold together the two series, starting with Goseiger for Megaforce and moving to Gokaiger for the second half of the season, Super Megaforce to line up the respective anniversaries.
      • Bates was not keen on this approach, but relished the opportunity to write original stories. Unfortunately, Jonathan Tzachor shot down many of his ideas, such as his plans for the Rangers' civilian lives. Furthermore, other members of the production staff were on board with carbon-copying Sentai plots rather than make their own. During Super Megaforce, he faced new complications such as which footage to use and editing scripts he had no prior knowledge of. He resigned as story editor, but was persuaded to compress Goseiger's five-part finale into the two-parter Vrak is Back. note 
      • Furthermore, squeezing 100 episodes of two different shows into a single 40 episode show created massive pacing problems. Episodes typically crammed in loads of stock footage, resulting in fights that could take as much as fifteen minutes. This left little for character development. Additionally, combining the Stock Footage of the Lighter and Softer Goseiger with the Darker and Edgier Gokaiger created wildly inconsistent characterization, with characters bouncing back and forth from calm and stoic to hyper and energetic and vice versa (the Pink Ranger got the worst of this).
      • Additionally, Gokaiger had a gimmick of being able to morph into past Rangers and using their powers. Super Megaforce kept this, along with several ranger teams that never actually made it to North America who simply appeared with no explanation outside of being "new powers" On top of all this, the anniversary aspect left the door open to cameos and appearances from past Rangers (as happened in Gokaiger). Of the hundred or so actors who played Rangers in the past 20 seasons, they brought back roughly 10, with actor after actor announcing they weren't returning either because they simply weren't asked or they declined the (apparently really bad) offer, and some of those that did return didn't even have speaking parts to show for it (it should be mentioned that these appearances were no small feat, as the show now films in New Zealand). An anniversary season with an interesting theme and incredible Stock footage built right in has sadly turned into a massive case of What Could Have Been.
  • Once he became executive producer of The Price Is Right in the 1980s, host Bob Barker was often at odds with the models, having fired six of them for various reasons. All six of them sued him for sexual harassment. He also barred longtime announcer Rod Roddy from appearing on-camera in the early 2000s due to a salary dispute, which led to Fremantle Media covering up by saying that they'd enacted a policy to keep announcers from appearing on camera… even though only a few years later, his successor Rich Fields began appearing on-camera regularly. Barker also placed an embargo on any rerun on which a fur coat or other animal-derived prize was offered, thus meaning that the very first episode from September 1972 is among many that may never be rerun.
    • The very first telecast of Price on November 26, 1956 was riddled with problems. The tote screens on the contestants' panel desk would malfunction (as they would occasionally on the series' run—the models had to use giant sketch pads to write down the contestants' bids) and then as the turntable spun around, Bill Cullen's mic cord nearly strangled him. NBC wanted to buy out the show's contract and cancel it then and there, but creator Bob Stewart asked for a leap of faith—13 weeks, and if the show didn't get the ratings then NBC could cancel it. The leap of faith paid off: Price found its following and was beating CBS's Arthur Godfrey Time at the 11 AM (ET) time period.
  • The Prisoner has an off-screen history that is almost as convoluted and paranoia-filled as the actual show. The co-creators of the series, actor Patrick McGoohan and screenwriter George Markstein, almost immediately began to clash over what the series should be. George Markstein has gone on record stating that his idea for the series came about while McGoohan was making the spy thriller series Danger Man and that the premise would be what would happen if McGoohan's character, John Drake, resigned and was sent to a special resort-type prison similar to a kind used to crack POW's in World War 2. McGoohan on the other hand maintains that the two characters are different and that the two shows are completely independent. Beyond the question of the central character's identity, it seems that Markstein wanted to keep the series rooted in the espionage genre, with Number Six's character as a spy imprisoned by (probably) his own side because he knew too much, while McGoohan saw the show from the start as a much more abstract surreal allegory about the relationship between the individual and society. It is likely that both creators went into the project with their own notions of what the "truth" was, and both interpretations influenced the writing and the acting. Beyond the characterization, many of the details of who created what and when were contested between McGoohan and Markstein, with the preponderance of the evidence supporting McGoohan, but not completely invalidating Markstein's claims nor his influences in writing the series. Once McGoohan won his power struggle with Markstein and the show started to get seriously freaky, Executive Meddling made things even more troubled. There are even conflicting claims from all concerned about how many episodes were originally planned, and whether the show was cancelled prematurely or not. Certainly, there are reports from many actors and crew members that the final episode, "Fall Out", was made in completely chaotic circumstances, with McGoohan still working on the script during recording breaks, Kenneth Griffith (who played the President) being asked to write his own dialogue, and as much of the production as possible having to be recycled from previous episodes.

    R 
  • The Highlander television series had its own spin-off: The Raven. The show went through a lot of mutations, beginning as a totally unrelated script and eventually settling on a Distaff Counterpart played by one of Highlander's supporting characters (Amanda Darieux, played by Elizabeth Ward Gracen). A combination of pressure from the producers (the star of Highlander: The Series was in a hurry to leave), poor casting choices, a healthy dollop of Mood Whiplash, and a lack of direction marred the project. In the DVD featurette, the creative genesis of Raven is a fog: No one had an idea where to take Gracen's greedy thief, a strange fit for a selfless heroine. Problems mounted as anathema grew between the two leads: Gracen had gotten involved with a French "Ambassador" who later turned out to be a fantasist (and a Bastard Boyfriend, to boot) and convinced her that she had become a target in the Monica Lewinsky scandal and that her co-workers were all CIA spies. And that's not even addressing the music composer who spent his days hitting bars instead of working, foreign investors who insisted on a Lighter and Softer tone for a series about lopping off heads, etc. The series wrapped up after 21 episodes, with a cliffhanger no less.
    Bill Panzer (Executive Producer): I will take my share of the blame. I hope there are others who will stand up next to me.
    • The producers might have known something was up when Gracen came in to audition: her black hair had been cropped and dyed white, making her look like a Eurythmics-era Annie Lennox. No one thought twice about it, thinking it would be a good look for the character. (In actuality, Gracen had been disguising herself to elude the CIA.)
  • Red Dwarf has had its share of trouble over the years:
    • Series I was held up for six months by industrial action at The BBC. They also had so much trouble finding studio audiences that co-creator Doug Naylor had to go around pubs near the studio to recruit audience members. The recording of the first episode went so badly that they had to do it again at the end of the series with a reworked script.
    • Series V suffered from the departure of long-standing director Ed Bye. His replacement, Juliet May soon proved to be totally out of her element on the show, resulting in the intended season premiere "Demons and Angels" having to be punted back to being the penultimate episode when it turned out that not one of the complicated split-screen shots required to show the crew's "high" and "low" forms was usable. As the season wore on it quickly became apparent that the cast had lost any respect they had for May, resulting in creator Rob Grant and Doug Naylor cutting their losses, firing May and directing the remainder of the season themselves.
    • The abortive Red Dwarf USA pilot suffered from friction between Grant Naylor and the American creative team, the latter of whom quickly adopted a The Complainer Is Always Wrong stance and shut their British counterparts out of the writing process. Not to be deterred, Grant and Naylor rewrote the pilot script themselves, and the cast and director much preferred their script, but the American producers insisted on going ahead with the original version, which proved a bomb. Not to be deterred, Grant and Naylor managed to shoot a second pilot, a glorified promo reel with No Budget... which got an even worse reception than the first pilot, and killed the whole thing completely.
    • Grant and Naylor returned to the UK fully intending to write and direct Series VI themselves, with full creative control, only for The BBC to pour cold water on that dream by giving them just four months to write and film the whole series, forcing them to hire another new director (who, fortunately, proved up to the job this time). The rushed schedule forced a much bigger reliance on Running Gags than in previous years, and resulted in the season finale, "Out of Time" being written as it was being shot, with the script being typed directly onto autocues for the cast to read from. To boot, Grant and Naylor then had second thoughts about the original ending to the series and decided to turn it into a cliffhanger; as it was much too late to recall the cast, they had to improvise the cliffhanger in the edit suite using what had already been filmed.
    • Series VII had a lot of trouble just getting to the point where they could even make it. Craig Charles was imprisoned due to a (eventually proven false) rape allegation, while Chris Barrie decided that he wanted to leave the show to focus on his own sitcom, The Brittas Empire (eventually just starring in two episodes of Series VII, with cameos in two more). More seriously however, the strain of Red Dwarf USA and Series VI had caused the Grant Naylor writing partnership to collapse, leaving Doug Naylor to write the show alongside a bunch of new writers whose work always required extensive retooling. This time the troublesome creative process proved obvious on-screen, with Series VII being a ratings hit, but near-universally considered the show's worst season by some distance.
    • Series VIII was planned to start with an hour-long special, "Back in the Red", which ended up turning into a three-part story when the budget ran out and it was the only way to make the requisite number of episodes; a lot of the third part is just padding to bulk the thing out. "Pete" was also originally a one-part story before it had to become a two-parter for similar reasons. Then the season finale came along. Doug Naylor initially wrote a ludicrously over-ambitious episode that would have seen Red Dwarf finally return to Earth, which couldn't be afforded largely because they had blown the budget on a CGI dinosaur for "Pete", before hastily writing the actual season-ending episode, "Only the Good." Filming of that episode went well, albeit with Naylor having to pay for an all-important model out of his own pocket due to the budget having completely run out. But then Naylor decided to ditch the original ending (which clearly set up a Series IX) in favour of a more open-ended conclusion that would allow him to end the TV series and do a Continuity Reboot with the planned Red Dwarf: The Movie, while still doing Series IX if he wanted to. This resulted in the episode's eventual ending being something they thought of only minutes before shooting, with no idea how they were going to resolve it. There are four different endings to that series: two which were filmed but unused, one which was going to be filmed but cancelled so late that the cast were actually in costume ready to shoot it, and the ultimately used ending which replaced the cancelled ending at the last minute, and required the director to step in to play one of the parts using a costume nicked from another series.
    • After Red Dwarf: The Movie died in Development Hell, the eventual Series IX took the form of a three-part miniseries called "Back to Earth". Unfortunately, they only had the budget for a two-part miniseries; it was originally supposed to be accompanied by a standalone special named "Red Dwarf Unplugged," where the cast would have performed classic Red Dwarf sketches before a live audience, but during a run-through it was realized that the special simply didn't work on any level whatsoever. Since Grant Naylor was still under contract to provide three episodes however, they had to stretch their minimal budget out in any way they could.
    • Series X had a myriad of problems which began from two things. Firstly, Chris Barrie and Craig Charles flat-out refused to return unless every episode was shot before a live audience. This wasn't a problem back when the BBC were still making the show, as they handled that in-house, but Grant Naylor had to hire an external agency to do provide the audience at considerable expense, which in turn caused nearly all the season's location scenes to be scrapped. Secondly, the season's intended producer, Jo Howard (who had worked on the show in various capacities since Series III, and produced "Back to Earth") was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer, which claimed her life not long afterwards. She was hastily replaced by Doug Naylor's son Richard, who did an admirable job given the circumstances, but made several beginner's mistakes which caused filming to be incredibly rushed. Thirdly, the cancellation of all the location filming meant that the originally planned episodes 5 & 6 were now unusable despite having been written; both had to be thrown out, and replacements were being written whilst the other four were being filmed. Only half of the new episode 5, "Dear Dave", could be filmed in front of an audience because that was all that had been written, and they had to go back later, film new material on greenscreen and splice it together. (The new episode 6 managed to avoid similar problems by cannibalising the script for the abandoned movie.) On top of all this, there was a camera problem that required substantial re-editing on the first episode of the season, something not helped when all the rushes went missing.
  • The first few years of The Red Green Show were rough on co-creator, writer, producer and star Steve Smith. The production crew only had limited studio time to film the first season, so they were forced to do some marathon shootings to pull it off. Smith was also plagued with Executive Meddling in the first three seasons, including trying to pressure him into making the show more like a traditional sitcom. With the fourth through sixth seasons, the production company had to pay for its own airtime, something Smith later said was a stupid thing to do. Things became much better when the CBC picked up the show during the seventh season, where it remained for the final nine seasons of its run.
  • On its first day of airing, PAX (now Ion) had a movie-based quiz show called The Reel to Reel Picture Show, hosted by Peter Marshall. 200 episodes were ordered, but due to the production company going bankrupt, only 25 were made. In addition neither Peter, the celebrity guests, or any of the contestants were ever paid.
  • The third series of Robot Wars was seriously affected by an incident where a robot was dropped whilst being moved, causing its weapon to fire and stab a crew member in the leg. The ensuing investigation caused several side events to be scaled back or cancelled altogether, with the Pinball and Football tournaments being shorter than planned and events such as Tag Team and Sumo being completely dropped; many robots would never be seen on television as a result. The alternative weight classes' championships were also scrapped, save for the Middleweight tournament which was reduced to a single battle; this had the biggest impact as non-Heavyweight robots would never really take off again. The injury which caused all this was the culmination of a seriously lax attitude to health and safety, and although things improved the following series, it was too little too late for Rex Garrod (one of the most talented roboteers), who boycotted the show in response.

    S 
  • Sam & Cat ran into many problems during its short run. Spun off from two of Nickelodeon's more popular shows, iCarly and Victorious, and featuring two of their more popular stars, Jennette McCurdy and Ariana Grande, the show was a hit from the word go, despite controversy (namely the show resulting in the cancellation of several other shows on Nick's schedule).
    • The problems seemed to start when, instead of being renewed for a second season, the series instead had its first season episode order doubled from 20 to 40. This is an unheard-of number for a scripted show; most American series don't exceed 24 episodes a season, with cable shows often having far less. (Even in the 1950s, when it was not uncommon for series to have upwards of 30 episodes per season, this would have been unheard of.) This meant that the cast and crew didn't get a break from their schedule and also didn't get to possibly renegotiate contracts between seasons.
    • This grueling schedule put a strain on everybody, with McCurdy and Grande both reportedly ready to move on. Both stars began showing up late on set, and McCurdy backed out of a planned appearance at the Kids Choice Awards in 2014, saying point-blank on Twitter the reason was the way she was treated by Nickelodeon. There was also the Contractual Purity of being young adults working at the kid-friendly Nickelodeon; Grande's music career has taken off, and McCurdy was struggling with personal problems, including losing her mother in late 2013 and the leak of several racy (though not explicit) photos.
    • Amidst all of this, the show wasn't renewed for a second season and instead was placed on "permanent hiatus", with all crew members let go apart from post-production to finish the episodes already filmed. Nick then officially cancelled the show.
  • The fifth and sixth seasons of Saturday Night Live together count as this. The fifth season (1979-80), the last to feature any of the original Not Ready for Prime Time Players in the cast, was very nearly the last ever:
    • At the beginning of the season, despite the departure of Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi, the show was still riding high, one of NBC's few successes at the time. However, all was not well with the cast and crew. Many were burned out from four very intense years and the fame they had accumulated in the process, secretly hoping this season would be the last, at least for a while. Lorne Michaels took the unusual step of scheduling a preseason retreat at Mohonk Mountain House in upstate New York. Significantly, though, none of the major cast members or writers attended.
    • With Aykroyd and Belushi gone, the show relied a great deal on Bill Murray to carry the load. This stressed him out a great deal, and he often used the role to do deals with Lorne ... he'd do, say, another Nick the Lounge Singer sketch if Lorne agreed to another sketch he wanted to do, or booked this band or that guest host. Despite this star power, Murray would often succumb to fits of Irish temper, walking off the set during blocking sessions on Friday or even on Thursdays, saying he was quitting ... only to return in time for dress rehearsal on Saturday, and nailing his performance live.
    • He took out his anger with Belushi and Aykroyd in a Weekend Update review of 1941 in December. Noting that Carrie Fisher and Christopher Lee, "two old friends of mine" who had previously appeared on the show, were in the cast, he excoriated them for doing the movie, wondered what they had been thinking and said they should have never left the show, to much knowing laughter from the audience. Instead of seeing their movie, he recommended audiences go see Meatballs, his successful debut from the previous summer, again.
    • Murray wasn't the only one who missed Aykroyd and Belushi. During the infamous vomitorium sketch (an ancient Rome-set sketch in which guest host Burt Reynolds played a suave pickup artist trying his act on women outside a vomitorium), considered the nadir of the show's first five seasons, Al Franken nearly missed his cue to come on as a bratty young boy because he was musing aloud offstage as to how this would have been a perfect part for John.
    • Harry Shearer had been added to the cast and writing staff as a replacement. He quickly clashed with Lorne and alienated the other writers over his vision for the show, which he felt, in the absence of two big stars, should focus more on the sort of ensemble-based humor that he did in his later movies and his second stint in the cast a few years later, rather than the kind of recurring-character, Catch-Phrase-based humor it had come to specialize in. While no one agreed with him exactly, the show's writers eventually did try to rise to the challenge and take more risks as a way of making up for the loss of Aykroyd and Belushi.note 
    • The heavy drug use that later claimed Belushi's life was also taking its toll on the cast and crew. Where they had during earlier seasons generally relaxed and developed their comedy surrounded by clouds of pot smoke, now to keep up with the pace they worked at they snorted line after line of coke during the day ... with the attendant effect on everyone's temper and ego. Garrett Morris was heavily into freebasing, sometimes going on paranoid rants during rehearsals and at one point convinced an invisible robot was controlling him. Laraine Newman, on the other hand, cooped herself up in her dressing room where she slept off her drug binges,note  emerging only for blocking, dress, and the show. Gilda Radner's bulimia only got worse, and the demise of her relationship with Murray meant they could barely stand to be in the same room as each other. The only cast regular to emerge relatively unscathed was Jane Curtin, who was able to use Aykroyd and Belushi's absence to successfully debut numerous characters and impressions (most notably a spot-on Nancy Reagan imitation). By Christmas, almost everyone involved with the show was hoping this season would be the last.
    • During the latter half of the season, Lorne became preoccupied with his contract renegotiations, despite being upset slightly with his manager for also representing one of the creators of ABC's competing Fridays, and at NBC for having forced Herb Schlosser, SNL's best friend in the executive ranks, out when Fred Silverman had taken over the previous year. He was hoping to be able to take at least a year off, along with others, with the possibility of doing some specials. NBC wanted the show to continue for a sixth season as it was not only doing poorly in the ratings, it had taken a huge financial hit when President Carter chose to boycott that summer's Olympics. If the show did go on, Michaels wanted the season to start only after that fall's election, as it had in 1976, and would commit to no more than six episodes (NBC in turn wanted at least 17). He was pushing them toward hiring either James Downey or Al Franken and his double act partner Tom Davis as producers as they were writers, and the show's producer had to be able to understand its writers. The network put the talks on the back burner as NBC was focusing on keeping Johnny Carson, who had publicly expressed his discontent with the current state of affairs, on board.
    • After they succeeded at that, they turned to Lorne. All they seemed interested in doing was offering him more money, incensing Lorne and his manager, who had given NBC plenty of time to go over their much more specific demands. NBC was also upset that Gilda Radner nixed Fred Silverman's idea for a Variety Show she would host, since she did not want to leave SNL and could not handle two shows at once.
    • In May 1980 Lorne requested a meeting with Silverman. The network head put it off because he had stayed up all night the night before putting together the fall schedule for a presentation to the affiliates' board of governors, which did not go well for him. Lorne gave the network 24 hours to come up with a final offer. He was able to meet with Silverman briefly to start working things out, and they scheduled another meeting for the next week.
    • But during the ensuing show that Saturday night, Franken rewrote his "A Limo for A Lame-O" Update commentary into an even stronger "The Reason You Suck" Speech directed at Silverman after Barbara Gallagher, the NBC executive in charge of comedy and late-night programming, had asked him to tone it down, because Franken, unaware of the specifics of the situation, felt Silverman had deliberately blown Lorne off. After it aired, Silverman called the studio in a fury, looking for the other executives, and then canceled his meeting with Michaels, assuming Lorne had let Franken deliver the speech on purpose as retaliation for the missed meeting.
    • Postcards requesting Franken be provided with limo service in response to his commentary flooded Silverman's office the next week. Silverman, who did not appreciate Belushi's take on him but tolerated it because of the comedian's talent, had no such ambivalence toward Franken, whose humor he had always considered somewhat mean. He refused to accept Franken's apology and has reportedly never forgiven him.
    • That also ended Franken and Davis's chance of producing the show in Lorne's absence. That season's last episode, two weeks later, had some of the hallmarks of a Series Finale. While Buck Henry promised the show would go on in his opening monologue, he also introduced a purported "new cast",note  and in the final shot of the end credits the "On Air" sign was shown flickering out. NBC had no intention of allowing that to happen, and continued to look for a new producer. Gallagher suggested her friend, the show's longtime associate producer Jean Doumanian, and after being offered the job on the provision she not disclose it if she accepted, she did so.
    • When Michaels, who not only had been trying to recruit Doumanian to work for him but had warned the network that not only was she not a writer as he had suggested a replacement be, no one presently associated with the show's creative side would work for her if she was the producer,note  found out a month later that not only had the network disregarded his advice but had provisionally hired Doumanian while still making a last-ditch effort to bring him back, he went ballistic, both at NBC and Doumanian, whom he has reportedly never spoken to since, much less forgiven.
  • Thus started the show's sixth season (1980-81), widely remembered as SNL's first Dork Age:
    • The cast, all severely burnt out, left. Whether the writers did so as well or were fired depends on who tells the story. Some of them have said the word came down that Doumanian wanted them all out by the end of July, while she says that three writers who agreed to stay on under her changed their minds once Lorne found out she had been hired. In any event, the offices were stripped bare by August ... Joe Piscopo recalled that not even the pencils had been left behind.
    • To be fair to the oft-maligned Doumanian, she thus had only ten weeks to put together a new writing staff and cast, a task which Lorne had had almost a year to do before the show's first season. And she had to do this on a third of the budget the show's fifth season had had, since not only was NBC pinching pennies, she had no established stars. Nonetheless, she managed to pass on up-and-coming talent like Jim Carrey and John Goodman, and only hired Eddie Murphy after others lobbied her hard for him.
    • However, that's as far as fairness goes. The putative stars of her cast - including Denny Dillon, Gilbert Gottfried, and Charles Rocket - acted like they had it made just by virtue of being on Saturday Night Live, and to others it showed. At the end of a meeting after the cast and writers had worked on material for several weeks, Doumanian asked if anyone had any comments or suggestions. Piscopo, dismayed by what he had seen so far, was about to suggest she fire everyone and start over, until Ann Risley spoke up that she didn't like having white wine in her dressing room and wanted a bottle of red instead. At that point he realized the problem went all the way to the top.
    • Risley's request pointed to Lorne's concerns about Doumanian, her associate producer credit notwithstanding, not being a writer as having been on target. She had mainly been responsible for guest relations during the previous five seasons, and the care she devoted to their needs assured that no guest ever refused to return because they had been neglected in that department. But she was at sea with the writers. Many recall her notes primarily being limited to "make it funnier" or "It isn't hip enough" (and no, those aren't paraphrases, they are direct quotes); many writers seriously wondered if she was even reading what they sent her, based on the size of the pile on her desk. At one point she handed down a requirement that every sketch have three jokes per page. Unlike Lorne, she also decided to actively enforce NBC's policy forbidding drug use on company property, even posting signs to this effect, further alienating those who felt more comfortable writing after they had smoked a joint or two. Barry Blaustein recalls that he had barely settled into his desk on his first day when another writer came into his office with a petition demanding Doumanian be fired.
    • The season got off to a bad start with criticsnote  and didn't get better, as Rocket's Weekend Update appearances, despite his background doing that sort of spoof news, were often so devoid of laughs as to be painful, and sketches like the "Leather Weather" bit that made the previous season's vomitorium sketch look inspired in comparison. Doumanian insisted on booking Malcolm McDowell as host despite the network's concern that he was (at the time) too obscure for most of the audience.
    • About two-thirds of the way through the season, the cast started to gel as Dillon, Rocket and Gottfried realized that comedy was something that, like the original cast, they had to work at no matter how talented they were. An episode hosted by Karen Black managed to be consistently funny. Murphy started to emerge. Still, Doumanian's lack of understanding of the show, and severe responses from critics, only made the backstage drama and the attempts to blackball Doumanian continue. Gilbert Gottfried was so disillusioned by the whole experience that he became more and more solemn and reclusive.
    • But then came the infamous show hosted by Dallas's Charlene Tilton, which had a Running Gag parodying the "Who Shot J.R." plotline of her show with brief intercuts in which every cast member supposedly had a reason to kill Rocket, and he was finally shot just before the last commercial break. With, unusually, a few minutes more left than expected, they gathered on stage and improvised before learning who had shot Rocket. Tilton asked a wheelchair-bound Rocket how he felt, and he answered "I'd like to know who the fuck did it" ... on live air.
    • That sealed Doumanian's fate. Three weeks later, on what would be the last show she produced, Murray returned as the first member of the original cast to guest host. The show went well enough, but at the end, he apologized to all his former castmates, even Belushi and Aykroyd, for what he had just done. Afterwards, he refused to embrace all of the cast except Murphy, quite blatantly turning away from Rocket in the process.
    • Dick Ebersol was hired to replace Doumanian; he fired all the cast except Piscopo and Murphy, and all the writers except Blaustein. After almost two months, he was able to produce one show, hosted by Chevy Chase. Its most notable moment was another Weekend Update commentary by Franken, in which he recounted the events of the past year and proposed another write-in campaign to NBC, this time telling them to "put this tired old format to sleep", until Chevy "reminded" him that he and Davis were due to host the show next week (actually, as they both knew, that was the end of the season as that year's writer's strike was imminent).
  • It's a wonder that "A Study in Pink", the Pilot Episode of Sherlock, wasn't both the beginning and end of the series.
    • It was originally shot as a 60-minute one-off movie, supposedly at cost of almost a million pounds. There were rumors the BBC was going to junk it, and they did... by asking Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat to turn it into a series pilot instead. But that required making it longer, and they didn't think they could maintain a consistent feel since they couldn't get their original cinematographer back. So they shot the whole thing over.
    • The reshoot didn't go smoothly. It turned out to be during the coldest winter in Britain in 30 years, with many scenes taking place outdoors (and at night as well). Benedict Cumberbatch came down with what he thought was just the flu but turned out to be potentially life-threatening pneumonia, for which he had to be hospitalized. Not to be outdone, Martin Freeman fell while getting out of his ride to the set one day and broke his wrist, requiring that his hand be placed in a cast between takes.
  • Before there was Sherlock, there was the 1960s Sherlock Holmes series.
    • The BBC's 1964 anthology series Detective included an adaptation of "The Speckled Band" starring Douglas Wilmer as Sherlock Holmes and Nigel Stock as Dr. Watson. The Conan Doyle estate granted the BBC the rights to adapt a further four Holmes stories in 1965, with an option to choose another eight from among those for which the rights were not already claimed. Wilmer, a huge Conan Doyle fan, jumped at the chance to play Holmes on a regular basis, but soon regretted the decision, later saying the writers ranged from "brilliant" to "deplorable". He found some of the scripts so poor that he re-wrote them himself, sometimes having to stay up until 2am to finish them before shooting began. The production also struggled with a tight schedule and an even tighter budget, precluding the possibility of any effects shots.
    • Despite the troubled production, the series drew audiences of 11 million, and in 1968, the BBC began planning a second series. Stock signed on as Watson, but Wilmer refused to return as Holmes when he was told the rehearsal schedule would be cut. After John Neville proved unavailable and Eric Porter was passed over, the producers cast Peter Cushing, another Holmes enthusiast who had played the role once before (in Hammer Horror's 1959 film of The Hound of the Baskervilles)note  and was delighted at the prospect of showing Holmes' darker side. Sadly, after shooting of the two-part adaptation of The Hound of the Baskervilles ran over schedule and over budget due to persistent rain during location shooting, the series once again fell victim to time and money problems. Plans for guest villains including Sean Connery, George Sanders, Peter Ustinov, and Orson Welles had to be scrapped for financial reasons, while "The Dancing Men" was forced to air before final editing could be completed. Cushing enjoyed working with Stock, but was disgusted with his own performance and later told Wilmer that he would rather sweep Paddington station for a living than go through filming again. The series still drew audiences of 15.5 million, but plans for a third series based on The Exploits of Sherlock Holmes by Adrian Conan Doyle and John Dickson Carr were ultimately abandoned.
  • Sliders exemplifies the former Sci-Fi Channel's penchant for production problems, along with hubris and arrogance on the cast's part, despite it being the channel's top-rated program at the time. Simply put, everyone on the cast or crew got screwed over at one time or another:
    • The first two seasons were fraught with behind-the-scenes battles between the Fox network and the production team. Fox wanted more episodes that had a greater emphasis on action and less continuity (so they could show them in any order they wanted), even putting the show on hiatus after the ninth episode of season 1. The production crew responded by forcing a cliffhanger at the end of said episode, to Fox's dismay. Later on, Fox canceled the series at the end of season 2, and it was only saved by a massive fan campaign.
    • Fox brass continually hounded co-creator Tracy Tormé throughout his tenure on the show. They tried to derail his plan to resolve the first-season cliffhanger, his input in season three was ignored by the production team when the series moved primary filming to Los Angeles, and he eventually left the show at the end of the third season.
    • John Rhys-Davies' controversial death in "Exodus" (via having his brains sucked out, being shot and then left to die on an exploding planet) was caused by behind-the-scenes issues. Rhys-Davies allegedly insulted then-producer David Peckinpah (while drunk) at a party hosted by Fox brass when the series first began. Later on, when Peckinpah was promoted and gained control of the series, he used this leverage to convince the network to fire the actor (via the release of his episode contract), and gave him the fate he endured in the episode.
    • Jerry O'Connell was originally planned to star in several episodes of the fifth season, but held up production for months while he tried to negotiate for an Executive Producer credit. While the network had already given him more perks than any of the other cast members, O'Connell wouldn't budge, and after hearing that his brother Charlie wouldn't be able to appear in all 18 episodes (as Charlie's character, Colin, was contingent on Jerry's character, Quinn), the brothers walked away from the table. Things got worse when the production team attempted to figure out a way to explain Quinn and Colin's absence from the show - Jerry wouldn't give up the use of his image or voice from the prior seasons, meaning that the producers had to make do with a pair of stunt doubles and a voice that is clearly not O'Connell's.
    • Kari Wuhrer's presence on the show in the third season caused massive friction between herself and Sabrina Lloyd. During a script-reading, Wuhrer made snide comments about Lloyd's engagement to one of the crew members, which caused Lloyd to break down and cry in her trailer, thus holding up production for hours. David Peckinpah (who first approached Wuhrer to star on the show) used this incident to spread lies about Sabrina costing the network money, and eventually told her point-blank that he would support Wuhrer and not her (prompting her to leave the series). Even worse, Peckinpah later twisted the knife by condemning Lloyd's character, Wade, to being raped in a Kromagg breeding camp - the only reason it didn't come off looking even worse is because the production staff led a Writer Revolt to change the plot to something more meaningful (via the introduction of the Humaggs).
    • Peckinpah himself was demoted to a consultant by the network out of spite because he had taken on a concurrent job as executive producer with another Universal Studios production called Turks. However, he often visited the Sliders set and ended up influencing the direction of the fifth season just as much as the previous ones.
    • While renewal rumors were still up in the air at the end of season five, Sci-Fi discovered that they didn't have the cash necessary to pay the actors' contracts for another season, and when fans emailed the company asking for information, Sci-Fi representatives emailed back that the show was cancelled because the actors wouldn't sign back on, conveniently ignoring the monetary issue.
  • The short-lived musical drama series Smash inspired a long article on Buzzfeed shortly before the second-season premiere about how the show's first season was a, uh, smash in an entirely different sense of the word, requiring a major Retool:
    • The concept seemed great at first. Playwright and screenwriter Theresa Rebeck, who'd been a co-producer of NYPD Blue, had long tried to sell the idea of a TV series built around putting on a Broadway show. No one was interested until Robert Greenblatt, who's apparently also a theater geek, took over at NBC. The network's lagging ratings and need for something different made it likely her show would be picked up. Then he got Steven Spielberg interested. The $7.5 million pilot episode wowed audiences at the 2011 upfronts and was set to premiere in midseason.
    • Then things went to hell. Since Rebeck had never run a TV show before, the network and the studio brought in David Marshall Grant, who had the relevant experience, to be her assistant showrunner. She reportedly resented the idea she needed help, and immediately got paranoid, believing Grant was being set up to replace her eventually. Soon she was fighting regularly with not only him but the executives at the network and the studio.
    • Rebeck insisted on writing the next two episodes by herself. She also eschewed having a writers' room, preferring to work with the writers individually and then rewrite to her pleasure, a process that's worked on other shows. However, during that time, she and the other executives became preoccupied with fending off Spielberg's move to replace Megan Hilty.
    • They kept her, one of the few things that kept the show's quality up, but meanwhile the writing went off in weird directions. A subplot involving Julia's attempt to adopt a sister for her teenage son, Leo, began taking up a great deal of the show. It was kept in because it mirrored a similar event in Rebeck's own life, and even the network executives knew how personal it was to her and said nothing. Ellis, villainous assistant to Julia's writing partner Tom, somehow became a major character (because Spielberg loved him), as did Leo (whose actor, Emory Cohen, also survived an attempt to recast him). The writers couldn't give Julia any serious challenges to overcome because she was based on Rebeck herself, and naturally the showrunner portrayed her as totally heroic, even when she began having an adulterous affair that cost the character any sympathy she might have gained. Since there was no writers' room, and one hand didn't know what the other was doing, important character moments wound up being glossed over in episode after episode, to the point that the term "hatewatching" was coined when people tried to explain why they tuned in.
    • By the time the third episode was done it was obvious that the show was going the wrong way in a big hurry. Yet Rebeck wouldn't listen to anyone and refused to make any changes, no matter how long and loud they fought with her. Yet the executives, particularly Greenblatt, continued to involve themselves in even minor aspects of production, like the fabric for the Marilyn Monroe costume. His suggestions were actually, according to the writers and crew, useful, to the point that they were hoping Rebeck gave in. "You know it's bad when our last hope was the network," said one.
    • Spielberg was the only one supporting her after a while, and when the two executives from DreamWorks who'd been keeping him from finding out how bad things had gotten on the show finally let him on it, Rebeck lost even that. Shortly after the show was renewed, she was fired... and things went From Bad to Worse. The premiere drew a dismal audience of 4.5 million. NBC lost patience and axed the series at the end of the season. And don't think Rebeck didn't notice; she publicly branded the second season a "disaster".
    • Looking back, it's hard not to sense art imitating life in the storyline itself. As part of the Season 2 retool, the show's perspective was evenly split between a) Bombshell, the massively-promoted (but unwieldy) Marilyn Monroe piece which, judging by the near-constant backstage strife, will finally debut sometime in 2024 AD, and b) Playlist, a hot off-Broadway property with a Younger and Hipper bent and creative backing from the ex-star and ex-director of Bombshell, both of whom were exiled. The Bombshell storyline was representative of Theresa Rebeck's camp; the Playlist half (where most of the show's improvements were) represented her network enemies.
  • Square Pegs: contributing to the series' demise were an inexperienced Show Runner who feuded with cast and crew, inconsistent writing, and rampant drug use. Read all about it here.
  • Star Trek: The Original Series was rife with problems. The root cause for much of it was the network wanting an action-oriented Space Western and the production team wanting to do serious science fiction. Low budgets were also a big problem, something you'd probably figure out from watching almost any episode. Things got especially bad in the infamous Third (or "Turd") Season. The show was renewed thanks to a fan letter-writing campaign, but with budgets slashed further and a move to the Friday Night Death Slot. This led to Gene Roddenberry quitting his job as Show Runner. As a result of all this, the third season had a marked decline in quality with an accompanied increase in campiness. Leonard Nimoy found himself frequently clashing with writers and directors who wanted Spock to do Out of Character things like use violence or hit on the Girl of the Week. By the end of that season, the show had predictably crashed and burned itself into Cancellation.
    • If there's any single episode of TOS that suffered from this trope, it was "The Alternative Factor" during the first season. John Drew Barrymore, John's son and Drew's father, had been cast as Lazarus, the main guest role... and then didn't show up on the first day of filming. His agent and lawyer couldn't find him, so they cast someone else in a big hurry (Barrymore's absence led to him getting suspended by SAG for six months after Desilu filed a grievance). The beard for the replacement was improvised from what had been designed for Barrymore, and it shows. The script has howler lines like "Starfleet has been getting reports from all over the galaxy and far beyond..." It also had a subplot in which Lazarus became romantically involved with a black member of the crew — which admittedly seems out of place on the eve of universal Armageddon and didn't have much to do with anything. That was actually filmed... and hastily edited out when NBC got paranoid about how the Southern affiliates would react, resulting in the finished episode's choppy feel.
    • "The City on the Edge of Forever" may be a contender for the high point of the entire Star Trek franchise, but it had a troubled time getting there:
      • Harlan Ellison's first draft was agreed by just about everyone to be a masterpiece in its own right, but didn't really feel like a Star Trek episode, with Gene Roddenberry's chief complaint being the inclusion of a drug-dealing character who helps get the plot of the episode underway, along with Kirk having him executed via firing squad in the episode's climax. On top of that, Ellison added in an element of barely-suppressed Fantastic Racism between Kirk and Spock, even though Kirk making bigoted remarks had served as an instant Out-of-Character Alert in "What Are Little Girls Made of?" earlier in that season.
      • The job of rewriting Ellison's script was given to script editor Steven W. Carabatsos, only for the resulting script to turn out so awful that it nearly resulted in Ellison quitting the project in fury, and played a major part in Carabatsos being let go from the series and replaced by D.C. Fontana shortly afterwards. Ellison then went back and did another rewrite himself, with input from producer Gene L. Coon, and despite deleting the racial elements and changing the drug dealer's demise to a Karmic Death inflicted by the Guardian of Forever, Roddenberry still wasn't happy with it.
      • At this point, Fontana herself took a shot at the script, essentially starting over using Ellison's basic story outline as a start point. This time, everyone involved agreed that Fontana had absolutely nailed the story, with only a few small rewrites subsequently being done by Roddenberry and Coon, mostly to account for actor, set and prop availability.
      • Filming was comparatively more smooth, though the demands of the shoot meant they needed an extra two days to film everything. Production designer Matt Jefferies was also laid low with a flu virus in pre-production, resulting in his supervisor, Rolland M. Brooks having to design the Guardian of Forever.
      • Before the episode was broadcast, Roddenberry publicly badmouthed Ellison's work on the episode, which infuriated the writer and caused him to demand that he be credited under his pseudonym, "Cordwainer Bird." Since it was already widely known even in 1967 that he used this to flag works which had been wrecked by Executive Meddling, and that this would cause viewers to expect the episode to suck even before watching it, Roddenberry used every means he could to drag out the Writer's Guild arbitration process until the episode was ready to air, and it was too late to do anything more about it. However, this also meant that Fontana, who should have been credited as co-writer, ended up having to go without credit.
    • The effects for the show itself also proved no end of production issues with the crew:
      • The main company hired to do the series, The Howard Anderson Company, managed to do both pilots on a decent time scale. But when it came to the first actual episode produced ("The Corbomite Maneuver"), their workload increased to the point where there was no choice but to hire other vendors to help out with the show.
      • One of these, effects veteran Linwood Dunn's Film Effects of Hollywood, would go on to produce most of the effects during the first and second seasonsnote . By the time season 2 started, Dunn and the studio were clearly not getting along with each other (The company worked on the series on an episodic basis), resulting in sub-par effects given to the supervisors and editorsnote . The company left the series by the time of season 3 due to budget cuts, but their involvement left a sour taste in everyone's mouths.
      • The 11-foot model of the Enterprise was, in fact, one of the reasons why Dunn's company was hired to begin with. As the ship proved too huge for both of the studios Anderson's crew to work with. Once Film Effects was dropped from the series, the model and its 3-foot counterpart were subsequently retired, with heavy use of Stock Footage being used for the ship for the third season.
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation had a similarly rough ride for its first couple of seasons, mostly due to Gene Roddenberry's declining health, substance abuse, spaced-out mental state, and the ridiculously high turnover rate in his writing staff for the first two seasons. Roddenberry's lawyer took control of the writing staff for most of the first season (supposedly rewriting scripts, against Writers' Guild rules, at one point), leading to the departure of TOS mainstays David Gerrold and D.C. Fontana after he began retaliating against them for complaints (Gerrold left amicably, or so he thought, only to be blackballed after Gene "The Great Bird" Roddenberry told everyone he was fired for his incompetence). Near the end of the season cast member Denise Crosby, who got pissed off at being a glorified extra, also left.
    • The prototype uniforms smelled bad (spandex retains bodily oils more than the newer cloth uniforms) and gave the actors back problems.
    • Things got a bit better for the second season where Maurice Hurley took over the writing staff, but since a lot of TV writers chose to sit out the whole 1988-89 season after the 1988 WGA strike it left no more than about four or five writers (two of whom worked as a team) working on the show at any one point. It didn't help that, according to Tracy Torme at least, Hurley didn't get along with anybody and only differed from Roddenberry's lawyer in that he actually had writing experience. There were also rumors that Hurley had a big crush on Gates McFadden and expressed it like any four-year-old would: he had her written out of the second season (replacing her with Dr. Pulaski) when she brushed him off. It wasn't until the third season, when Roddenberry's health wouldn't allow him to even work, which allowed Rick Berman and Michael Piller to gently steal control of the production and the show started to balance out, although even then there were a few bumps along the way, including Piller managing to provoke the entire writing staff he inherited from Hurley into quitting after circulating an insensitively-worded "tips on writing for TV" memo, and Roddenberry still occasionally vetoing story ideas and throwing in bizarre suggestions.
    • Even by the standards of the first two seasons, the infamous episode "Code of Honor" stands out. One of the two original writers took his name off it after it was heavily rewritten, and that was before the director they hired chose to populate the aliens of the week entirely with African-American guest actors, whom he proceeded to treat like garbage (though apparently he didn't treat the main cast a whole lot better). Eventually Roddenberry decided enough was enough and canned the director, leaving the first assistant director to pick up the pieces for the remainder of the shoot... which just happened to include the episode's big action sequence. Most of the main cast members (Jonathan Frakes, Brent Spiner and Wil Wheaton especially) have had some rather choice words about the episode in recent years. Not to mention that many of the writers felt Roddenberry's rewrite put it beyond any chance of salvation. He had supposedly told one of the two original writers, on another episode, that the Enterprise doesn't fire warning shots ... only to add a scene in this episode where it did exactly that. Gah.
  • Just getting Star Trek: Voyager to air was incredibly problematic. Originally, Genevieve Bujold was to play Captain Janeway, but had no experience with a television schedule. Reportedly, there were also creative differences: Bujold had a habit of ad-libbing emotions and differing from the director's and producers' vision of the character. According to Rick Berman, no one on set believed she would last a week, but had been brought in by the studio as a 'name' actor for the role. On the second day of shooting, she walked off the set, and did not return. (Making at least one crew member in the betting pool extremely happy).

    This caused a chain reaction of problems: The crew filmed what they could while trying to recast Janeway, but, being Star Trek, they sort of needed to have The Captain be prominent in the first episode. This led to production shutting down for two weeks. When they finally got Kate Mulgrew for the role, after viewing the rushes, they noted that the stage lighting didn't mix with Mulgrew's ginger hair, creating a blinding distraction in every shot. This prompted more reshoots (with a severe "bun" hairstyle on Mulgrew), most of them on-location, which were no longer available and thus more expensive. A favorite joke on set was wondering if the pilot would be finished before the series ended. Adjusted for inflation, Voyager's pilot cost more than Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.
    • But it was all worth it just to bring smiles to the fans' faces? Right? Actually, the debut of a female Captain provoked bomb threats.
    • In the writer's room, there was apparently a lot of friction over the direction of the series - some of the writers wanted to follow a more serialized pattern, others wanted an episodic approach. As everyone now knows, the latter prevailed: The first season introduced several story arcs that were either aborted or left untouched. The first attempt at a multi-episode character arc, in season two, with Tom Paris's erratic behavior and the traitor, was wrapped up in a manner most found unsatisfactory.
    • When Star Trek: Deep Space Nine concluded, Ronald Moore joined the writing staff on Voyager. He left after an episode and a half due to the atmosphere in the writer's room, where he specifically was told, when asked how to write a character, "we don't know, do whatever." This led to a falling out between him and former frequent writer partner (and head of writing staff) Brannon Braga, who was no longer in any mood for collaboration. Braga essentially drummed Moore out of the job by refusing to let him attend meetings, even relocating the script conferences to his own house. In recent years, they appear to have patched things up.
    • Robert Beltran, who had agreed to play Chakotay just to act alongside Bujold, was not a happy camper for the seven year run. Not long into the show's run, He stopped playing nice and openly expressed his loathing of the show's plot, his co-stars, the producers, himself for playing such a formulaic (and at times borderline racist) role, and the fans for watching it (causing some disillusioned Trekkies to flee a convention in tears). His co-stars fired back in separate interviews, and the showrunners publicly told him to muzzle it. There were even rumors that he attempted to force his exit from the show by demanding an outrageous amount of money during contract renegotiations, only to have it given to him without complaint. Years later, Beltran claimed on Reddit that the public took his "flippant" comments too seriously and that his overall experience with the show was positive. Of course, he was plugging a movie at the time.
    • According to one account, Jennifer Lien's departure from the show was a mix of tumultuous circumstances. During production of the "Scorpion" two-parter at the end of the third season, it was decided to bring on a new cast member. The producers didn't want to make the main cast go any higher than 9 members, and were considering cutting Harry Kim's actor, Garrett Wang (supposedly because he was known to be lazy and missed filming for several episodes). However, Garrett's inclusion in a People Magazine article in 1997 caused the producers to scramble to find someone else to fire, and the axe fell on Lien. Reportedly, she didn't even know she had been fired until she read the script for "The Gift", her farewell episode.
    • You may recall how an additional cast member and second pilot revitalized Deep Space Nine. Well, lightning managed to strike twice, but Seven's arrival only aggravated the preexisting tensions in the cast. In spite of Paramount's frantic efforts to paper over the cracks, there were reports of an unnamed co-star making life difficult for Jeri Ryan. The cast member in question was widely suspected to be Kate Mulgrew, and it became something of an open secret in Trekdom. After two decades of fixed smiles and refutations of 'tabloid gossip', everyone involved with the show dropped the mask and confirmed the rumor was true. Mulgrew was ticked off about a number of executive decisions—the firing of Jennifer Lien, Jeri Taylor's habitual lateness in delivering scripts, and the writers shifting focus away from the Captain (nominally the show's star and spokesperson when dealing with the press) and toward the voluptuous Seven of Nine—and it's a wonder she didn't pop a blood vessel from frustration. Rick Berman, in one of his rare inspired decisions, took advantage of the animus developing between his performers to pair Janeway/Seven up as much as possible, creating a memorable double act. In later years, Wang has tried to "broker peace" between the two actresses at convention halls, and Mulgrew has admitted the Seven character probably saved VOY from cancellation, but that she resented sacrificing time with her family for a TV series Janeway no longer starred in. Garrett Wang, who shares more in common with his character than he lets on, compared the Mulgrew/Ryan feud to his "mother and sister fighting", and says he was reduced to tears on more than one occasion. In fact, just talking about the experience makes him weep even today. He has even done his best to "broker peace" between the two actresses at convention halls—and he seems to have succeeded.
      Ryan: Before every close-up, the hair and makeup and wardrobe teams come in and do touch-ups and everything to make sure everything's right. They shut the door to the set, and said, "She's fine. LET'S GO." Wouldn't let them in. Just stupid, stupid stuff like that.
    • And none of this factors in the issues with Jeri Ryan's Future Spandex costume. Alongside being uncomfortable and delicate, it was downright dangerous, with the high collar pressing against Ryan's carotid artery and causing her to faint on set at least twice, alongside creating a production shutdown any time she needed to go to the bathroom (causing her to simply not drink and suffer from dehydration).
    • A particular favourite of Garrett Wang's to tell at conventions: the series finale's final shot was to end on a shot of Kim crying Manly Tears of joy at the crew's arrival home, with it starting as him having a touched smile, to full on tears. This shot did end up being in the show... in an entirely different context altogether. The shot was shortened to Kim weeping at the birth of another character's baby. Wang was extremely pissed at this, and phoned up CBS in a fit of rage to ask why it was used in hard context.
    • Hell, Wang himself was the punching bag by much of the producers. A whole list of reasons would end up as long as this page itself. It's a miracle he is able to go from con to con and tell stories about the experience with a sense of humour.
    • Wang had a couple of flare-ups with executive producer Rick Berman. When he asked the latter why he wasn't promoted higher than his character's standard rank, Berman replied, "Well, someone's got to be the ensign." Wang has also gone on record as stating that an early interview with a reporter caused Berman to deny him the chance to direct an episode purely out of spite.
    • But he's not entirely blameless. Reportedly, during the first two seasons, he so frequently came in late and hungover from his weekends in Vegas that he was put on notice, and even though he did clean up his act was discreetly punished by being largely written out of a few episodes.
  • It's not surprising that The Starlost ended up as a major case of What Could Have Been when you look at how things went behind the scenes:
    • Originally, it was pitched as a Fox-BBC coproduction but rejected by the BBC. The producers were able to salvage it by selling NBC and the Canadian CTV network on it (albeit at a lower budget than originally hoped for). An early potential problem - a writers' strike that was set to begin before Harlan Ellison could finish the show's bible - was averted when producer Robert Kline negotiated an exception with the Writers' Guild since the show was being produced in Canada to take advantage of tax credits available there.
    • The first serious problem was a Special Effects Failure. A camera system Douglas Trumbull was developing called Magicam that would have allowed moving shots of actors against a blue screen to be combined with models of the set simply did not work well enough to use. As a result the show had to rely on standard (for the time) stationary camera shots of the actors against the blue screen, which were less exciting.
    • They couldn't use full-size sets either, as the Canadian studio space was too small, so they had to rely on partial versions of the sets.
    • To fully avail themselves of the Canadian subsidies and credits, Canadian writers had to be involved. Ellison, back in LA, wrote outlines which the Canadian writers then fleshed out into scripts. With this distance from the process, and the low budget, it was inevitable that there would be changes at the production level—and that they would not be to Ellison's liking. Once he saw what was happening to the pilot episode, he quit and invoked the clause in his contract which allowed to slap his "Cordwainer Bird" pseudonym (meaning to all in the know that he disowned the product completely) on the script and bible. Supposedly this is his worst experience ever in TV and film (even more so than "The City on the Edge of Forever"), and he is still angry at the producers even after 40 years.
    • Ben Bova, also hired as science advisor, was similarly peeved at being ignored, so he quit not long thereafter, but couldn't take his name off the credits.
    • While the show was canceled after 16 episodes, Ellison and Bova salvaged something out of it. In the former's case, it was a Writer's Guild award for his original script for the pilot (novelized with a foreword by Ellison explaining just how badly the show was screwed up). Bova, after publishing a similarly-themed editorial in Analog, got the last laugh when he wrote a Take That! novel, The Starcrossed.

    T 
  • Terra Nova, Fox's notorious sci-fi flop from 2011, was among the most expensive TV shows in history. The pilot cost $16-20 million and the rest of the show was in the area of $4 million per episode, with hundreds of crew members and extras. It also suffered from production problems that were indicative of the poor planning around the show. Locations for sets in Queensland were chosen largely on the basis of how they'd look on film, with almost no consideration to the weather or the task of moving equipment to and from set. As a result, expensive sets were built in the middle of northern Queensland's wet jungles, where regular flooding would force cast and crew to hike through knee-deep mud to get to work, only to find themselves infested with leeches and ticks; they eventually had to build a bridge to solve this problem. A flash flood nearly killed a security guard while he was trying to save a power generator. Furthermore, production coincided with "schoolies week", the Australian version of spring break, forcing production to put up with swarms of drunken teenagers in the nearby town. All told, while the show was initially seen as holding promise, ratings dropped and reviews got more scathing as the show went on (though opinion did somewhat improve towards the end of its run), leading Fox to cancel what had become an expensive turkey after only a single 13-episode season.
  • Three's Company is so notorious for its on-set drama, a TV movie was made in 2003 about its troubled history. Actual line from Brian Dennehy: "The inmates are running the asylum!"
    • It was stuck in the pilot stage for a long time. Peter Stone wrote one pilot set in New York that was never filmed. Larry Gelbart wrote another one set in North Hollywood that was filmed (with John Ritter, Valerie Curtain, and Suzanne Zenor), but not used when the show was ousted from ABC's fall schedule. CBS then offered to take the show, but ABC backtracked and agreed to air the show mid-season if the pilot was rewritten and reshot with a new cast. Don Nicholl, Michael Ross, and Bernie West wrote a third pilot script set in Santa Monica, and it was shot with John Ritter as Jack, Joyce DeWitt as Janet, and Susan Lanier as Chrissy (taking over for Denise Galick, who was fired two days before shooting). Executives disliked Lanier's portrayal of Chrissy, and producers were so desperate to find a new one, they basically fast-forwarded through all the audition tapes for the character before eventually settling on Suzanne Somers one day before she was supposed to be on-set. However, John Ritter was almost fired before the pilot taped again, with executives believing his performance was too effeminate. ABC's Fred Silverman successfully fought to keep Ritter on the show, and the pilot was shot a third time before it was finally on the air.
    • Suzanne Somers didn't get along with any of her co-stars, especially Joyce DeWitt. Partway through the series, a TV Guide cover showed Somers front-and-center, with DeWitt and Ritter in the background, infuriating them both. Once contract re-negotiations began in Season 5, she demanded a higher salary than her co-stars, feeling that her being Ms. Fanservice was partly responsible for the show's success. When executives refused, her diva antics began. She frequently showed up on set late, and often not at all. It got so bad, the writers had to pen two versions of the scripts: one with Chrissy and one without Chrissy. This prompted producers to severely reduce her role in the show for the remainder of her contract. It was explained that her character had gone away to be with her sick aunt, and she only appeared in quick telephone scenes toward the end of each episode, shot alone at night/early morning with no studio audience, and away from her angry co-stars. Once her contract was up, producers refused to renew it, and her character completely vanished for the last few seasons with no explanation, prompting Somers to sue ABC for $2 million, though she was only granted about $30,000. Somers' relationship with the rest of the cast and crew was severely strained, and she never spoke to Joyce DeWitt for over 30 years.
    • Somers' replacements for the rest of the show didn't have it much better. Jenilee Harrison was brought on as Chrissy's cousin Cindy as a quick fill-in for Somers. While she got along well with the cast and crew, she was only seen as a temporary character, and her role got smaller and smaller until she was off the show for good. Priscilla Barnes (who played permanent new character Terri) had a miserable and "uncomfortable" time on set, and she asked to be released from her contract after taping only a couple episodes. The executives refused, and she remained on the show until the end, later referring to it as the worst experience of her life. Despite this however, she got along well with the cast and crew.
    • Norman Fell and Audra Lindley were screwed over when their characters were spun off into their own show, The Ropers, following the third season. Norman Fell was very uneasy about doing the spinoff because of the security he already had doing a regular sitcom. He came to a compromise, and he and Lindley were promised a return to Three's Company if The Ropers lasted less than a season. It did go on to last one successful (6-episode) season before getting Screwed by the Network and getting cancelled at the end of its second season for poor ratings. The Ropers made only one final guest appearance on Three's Company, and they were permanently replaced with Don Knotts as Mr. Furley.
    • Ann Wedgeworth was brought on in Season 4 as a regular cast member named Lana Shields, a neighbor attracted to John Ritter's character. However, her schtick got old quickly (John Ritter himself complained to the writers, wondering why a character as sex-crazed as Jack would repeatedly refuse the advances of a beautiful, sexually voracious woman; the only explanation the writers would give him is that Jack would be turned off by the fact that Lana was older than him, though only by about ten years). Writers found themselves with less to do with her character, and her role was reduced after just a few episodes. Insulted, Wedgeworth successfully asked to be released from the show.
    • In addition, the show's other spinoff/sequel, Three's a Crowd, continued the story with Jack and his female roommate. Pre-production for the show was done in secret from the rest of the cast and crew, and auditions were held for Jack's roommate during the Christmas break. When Joyce DeWitt came in to set up her dressing room for the upcoming episodes, she accidentally walked in on the auditions. She and Priscilla Barnes felt betrayed by the goings-on, and DeWitt's relationship with the producers and Ritter was strained for the rest of the show, although she reconciled with Ritter many years later. Three's a Crowd, meanwhile, was axed after one season.
  • The 1990 revival of To Tell the Truth was hit hard with this. First, NBC aired the pilot on the East Coast by mistake (which was hosted by Richard Kline instead of Gordon Elliott). Elliott was fired early on over a salary dispute, so Lynn Swann took over. But Lynn had scheduling conflicts, so Alex Trebek had to step in. Then he had to miss two episodes because his wife went into labor, so producer Mark Goodson filled in for him. Between the inability to hold down a host and the saturated market in 1990, it's no wonder this version did not make it past one season.
  • The BBC's Triangle foreshadowed some of the later problems it would have with Eldorado.
    • It sounded like a great way to adapt The Love Boat for the British market: the show would be set on the North Sea ferries, with a regular cast playing the crew and guests playing each week's set of passengers. Even better, advances in portable equipment meant that the crew could actually shoot on location on the ferries themselves for greater realism ... and at less cost, since the videotape was cheaper than the film stock commonly used for TV production at the time.
    • Only on the water did the limitations of the show's concept begin to show. The Love Boat is set on a cruise ship that goes to beautiful, sunny, tropical locations. The North Sea ferries, by contrast, plod along across featureless open water under what are frequently gloomy and overcast skies. In the first episode star Kate O'Mara is seen sunbathing topless on what's clearly an otherwise cold and windy day.
    • Then the problems with using portable video cameras became apparent as well. They could handle both natural and artificial light convincingly ... but when it came to a mixture of both it threw off the color to the point that pretty soon they started leaving the ferry to film interior scenes on sets, thus negating the cost savings the producers had hoped for. And if the color problem hadn't made them do this, the cameras' lack of stability controls (an important thing when you're shooting in a large boat on rough seas) likely would have eventually.
    • The series was never the success it had first seemed to be, and the BBC canceled it in 1983.
  • Two and a Half Men got this beginning with Season 7.
    • The show was put on hiatus after star Charlie Sheen entered rehab for his drug addiction, but after production resumed and wrapped for the season, Sheen was rumored to be quitting the show because of pay concerns (he was making $1 million per episode), however he did sign on for two more seasons. Co-stars and crew members noted that Sheen had become increasingly difficult to work with, with him sometimes having a difficult time standing and remembering his lines. Halfway through Season 8, Sheen once again checked himself into rehab, putting the show in another hiatus. After he blasted the show creator Chuck Lorre, CBS, and Warner Bros on various talk shows, he was fired from the show, with the rest of the season canceled, and its fate up in the air. This affected 200 employees and resulted in over $10 million in losses. The show returned for a ninth season, but with Charlie Sheen's character killed off and replaced with a new character played by Ashton Kutcher. There had been buzz about Sheen possibly making another appearance in the show, but it never happened.
    • The show also ran into problems with Angus T. Jones, who became a Born Again Christian by Season 10, publicly blasted the show for being "filth," and demanded people not watch it. He later apologized to show creator Chuck Lorre, but otherwise stood by his remarks. Due to his school schedule he was bumped to recurring status by Season 11, although he did not make a single appearance. He was dropped from the show for Season 12 (the final season), although he did make one final appearance in the series finale. For Seasons 11 and 12, his character was replaced by a new character played by Amber Tamblyn.

    V 
  • The View. The talk show went pretty smoothly for 8 seasons, though a couple co-hosts left at various points to pursue other opportunities, it wasn't until Star Jones and Meredith Viera left at the end of Season 9 that the show really began to get lots of attention for the regular on and off-screen problems it's known for today.
    • In June 2006, Star Jones announced her intention to depart the show on-air, shocking her fellow co-hosts. The next day, Barbara Walters announced that Jones was now permanently gone from the show, and that she felt betrayed by her. Jones later claimed she was fired. It was at this time that a new co-host would join the show...
    • Rosie O'Donnell! Her infamous season on the show included many on-screen fights with conservative-minded co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck. One of them got so bad, the show utilized a split-screen of Rosie and Elisabeth arguing, prompting Rosie to leave the show the next day. In addition, Rosie's insulting comments to Donald Trump and Kelly Ripa got the show lots of negative attention, and Walters and O'Donnell reportedly had many backstage feuds.
    • Whoopi Goldberg and Sherri Shepherd were hired the following season, and the show went back-on-track, save for the occasional on-screen argument and controversial comments. Then Hasselbeck and Joy Behar left after Season 16, and Jenny McCarthy was hired, known for her controversial views on vaccination. Then Walters left after Season 17, and everybody, minus Goldberg, was fired. The seasons since then are known for their revolving door of co-hosts (including O'Donnell briefly returning), and every other episode having some sort of bitch fest or controversial remark from one of the co-hosts (usually Raven-Symoné).
  • Saban's sister series VR Troopers has a fair share of headaches as well.
    • Originally a vehicle for former Green Ranger Jason David Frank, a short pilot using footage from the Metal Heroes series Choujinki Metalder called Cybertron was filmed with him alone. However, his immense popularity as Tommy led to Saban deciding to pull him back to Rangers. As such he switched places with Brad Hawkins (who was originally supposed to be the White Ranger during the second season of MMPR,) who became Ryan Steele. This alone led them to believe the show was beyond hope, but because of commitments to broadcasters, they had to press on.
    • Since they didn't have Frank's Green Ranger star power to support the show, they decided to expand it, buying up a second Metal Heroes series, Jikuu Senshi Spielban, hired two more actors, and made the show about a trio. Since the two series were completely unrelated, the only footage they had off all three Troopers together and morphed were things they filmed themselves, which they didn't have the time or budget to do a lot of, so the majority of episodes involved finding new and unique ways to split Ryan away from Kaitlyn and J.B.
    • While filming the show, they noticed several new problems. Alongside the fact that the Metal Heroes footage was almost a decade old (unlike Sentai footage, which is never more than a year or two old, Metalder and Spielban were from 1987 and 1986,) the shows in question also used a lot of unmorphed battles, meaning the usable footage was thin to begin with. Stock Footage was abused, with the same scenes of a drill driving through the wall of an underground lab seeming to be in almost every episode. Despite all this, the show was a hit and a second season was ordered.
    • The second season had the Metalder footage (Ryan's armor) run out fast, so they had him get an upgrade to new armor, this time from Space Sheriff Shaider (an even older series). The second season limped along with its endlessly repeated Stock Footage, until, by the end of the season, both Shaider and Spielban footage had run dry. They bought up a fourth Metal Heroes series, Juukou B-Fighter, but rather than run the risk of alienating kids by overhauling everything at once (Power Rangers Zeo hadn't happened yet, so Saban wasn't sure if a complete visual overhaul would work; until that point, even though Rangers got new zords each season, the suits were still the same familiar ones from Zyuranger,) they decided to finally chuck Troopers in the bin and instead turned B-Fighter into Big Bad Beetleborgs.

    W 
  • The Walking Dead has been a massive hit for AMC, but significant production issues and a rotating stable of showrunners also made it a magnet for controversy:
    • During production of the first season, Darabont reportedly fired his entire writing staff, including executive producer Charles Eglee. While executives with the production were quick to deny the story, sources indicated that Darabont wanted to use freelance writers, but pushback from AMC and possible issues with the Writer's Guild of America convinced him otherwise.
    • The house that was intended to be used as the Hershel residence in Season 2 was initially denied usage by the religious family that owned it, as they saw the series and thought was going to be shown in something that would be trashing religion. It took Darabont stepping in personally to smooth out the matter after the owners couldn't come to an understanding with the production crew.
    • The second-season premiere, "What Lies Ahead", was so fraught with problems that it was described by later showrunner Glen Mazzara as a potential "show-killer" years after the fact in an unsealed deposition. Filming began in earnest during a particularly hot summer, which reportedly caused director Gwyneth Horner-Peyton to suffer from heat stroke and turn in reportedly-unusable footage to AMC (the deleted scenes shown on the DVD and in trailers appear to disprove this claim, as they are mostly well-shot). According to Darabont's own words, he went to Suzie Fitzgerald (AMC's VP of scripted programming) and told her that production would be delayed by three weeks, but she reportedly lied about having the conversation while speaking with cast and crew. Due to the contentious shooting schedule, Darabont attempted to re-edit Horner-Peyton's footage himself, going so far as to use a pseudonym ("Ardeth Bey") in the final cut. Two-thirds of the episode was lopped off in the editing room and the remaining footage was re-edited into the following installment. Additionally, the production crew had to go back and reshoot at least one scene, as evidenced by Rick inexplicably wearing his full sheriff's uniform during the scene where he attempts to radio Morgan.
    • As a result of the contentious season premiere, Darabont was fired as showrunner midway through production of the episode "Secrets" (and just three days after appearing at ComiCon 2011). His departure reportedly caused strife and uncertainty on-set, with all of the cast members staying quiet due to a fear of losing their jobs if they spoke out. Numerous reasons were given for his sacking, some of which he spoke about years later after he sued AMC for unpaid royalties related to his contract:
      • Robert Kirkman has explained in interviews that he was unhappy with how the episode "TS-19" turned out, and reportedly ran into conflict with Darabont because the latter tried to give a scientific explanation for The Virus and hinted at events that were going on elsewhere in the world.
      • According to Darabont's unsealed deposition in 2016, he immediately butted heads with Joel Stillerman (AMC's head of scripted programming) right after joining the series, and that budget cuts and the contentious season premiere were used as an excuse to fire him.
      • Articles written at the time of Darabont's departure also lay blame at the feet of AMC themselves, who were showing favoritism towards Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner by giving him an increased budget for his series while short-shifting others.
    • Jeffrey DeMunn (who played Dale) was incensed by the network's decision to cut Darabont, and asked to be written out of the show. He later reconsidered, but by that time the writers had his character get killed off near the end of the second season and had no intention of changing their stance.
    • Showrunner Glen Mazzara (who took over production duties from Darabont) left at the end of the third season, which confused many fans who enjoyed the third season's jump in quality. This move was reportedly due to creative differences between Mazzara and AMC over various parts of the episodes. According to one article, Mazzara stalled production several times due to a lack of material to work with, and Kirkman reportedly forced him out at the end of the season.
    • Half of the third-season finale, "Welcome to the Tombs", was reshot months after filming wrapped due to a perceived lack of suspense regarding Andrea's fate (originally, Milton would be shot by the Governor, and would do more to try and free her. Tyreese eventually discovered the undead Milton taking a bite out of Andrea and saved her, but she asks for a gun to kill herself with). It is unknown if this was the incident that caused Mazzara's departure from the production.
    • Residents in Senoia, Georgia (where the Alexandria Safe Zone scenes are filmed) eventually got so fed up that the production crew had taken over a large chunk of town (along with curious fans and on-set spies showing up to sneak video and photos away from the set) that they repeatedly complained to the local city council about it, causing some strife between the town and the production crew.
    • Filming on Season 8 was suspended when stuntman John Bernecker was killed during a fall gone wrong, landing on a concrete floor on his head. And at the exact same time, some of Darabont's emails from the time he left were leaked to the public, and showed him to be shockingly furious and profane over what he suspected was deliberate sabotage to get him off the show. AMC, for their part, quickly started pointing to this tone as evidence of the erratic behavior that caused them to want to get rid of him.

    X 
  • A few particular episodes of The X-Files became associated with production problems, leading to mixed results:
    • Several of the show's first season episodes succumbed to cost overruns, despite being conceived as Bottle Episodes. "Space" became the most expensive episode of the season thanks to the construction of a NASA Mission Control set. Production was also delayed so that the crew could take turns with a flight simulator. "Space" is reportedly Chris Carter's least favorite episode.
    • "Gender Bender" went through several rewrites over the sexual content of the script; this resulted in an abrupt and much-criticized Twist Ending. Other issues involved a failed attempt to illuminate scenes with lantern light, and a physically encumbering catacomb set which necessitated an extra day of filming.
    • "Darkness Falls" was plagued by poor weather and explosive Cabin Fever between director Joe Napolitano and first assistant director Vladimir Stefoff, resulting in Napolitano's departure from the series. The weather problems meant that pick-up shots and inserts had to be filmed at a later date, which meant more time-wasting commutes to the inaccessible shooting locations in Lynn Valley, British Columbia.
    • The third season episode "Teso Dos Bichos" called for Mulder and Scully to be attacked by a horde of feral house cats in the climax, but that was nixed because Gillian Anderson was allergic to cats. The cats were also lazy, leading the crew to improvise with unconvincing shots of a single, fake-looking monster cat. Director Kim Manners took issue with the fact that the cats became the culprits of the episode when the teaser segment alluded to a leopard spirit, and begged Chris Carter to shift the focus back to that plot point. Add in the constant re-writes and it's no wonder Manners nicknamed the episode "Teso Dos Bitches".


http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/TroubledProduction/LiveACtionTV