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Revolving Door Casting

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A show which suffers an excessive regular turnover in the main cast. Regulars might last for a season or two at the most and even the (seemingly) most vital characters have a very high chance of being dropped at the end of the year. This is not merely a large cast- the core cast at any one time might be pretty small, just prone to being replaced.

Generally, this happens most organically where a series is mostly concerned with a place of work such as a hospital or police station at which some turnover might be expected, but it is not limited to such. For obvious reasons this is much more likely to happen in a Long Runner; Long-running shows without turnover frequent enough to qualify for this designation might still qualify for Long-Runner Cast Turnover.

The actual way the old characters are written out can range from merely Put on a Bus to Chuck Cunningham Syndrome. Expect a lot of Suspiciously Similar Substitute style replacements. When a new regular conveniently shows up just as another is shown the door, that's a Convenient Replacement Character.

In music, this is Revolving Door Band.



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    Based around a place of work 
  • Saved by the Bell: The New Class dropped three of its seven regulars at the end of its first year (including the main character). It did the same thing the following year, including a survivor of the first season. And so on, and so...
    • Season 1 began with Mr. Belding, Megan, Weasel, Vicki, Scott, Lindsay, and Tommy D.
    • For season 2, Weasel, Vicki, and Scott were dropped and replaced with Screech, Brian, Bobby, and Rachel. This was due to the six students in season one merely being expys of the original cast, and Saved By The Bell: The College Years getting cancelled led to Dustin Diamond returning.
    • For season 3, Megan, Brian, and Bobby left, and R.J., Ryan, and Maria arrived.
    • For season 4, Tommy D, Lindsay, and R.J. were dropped and Eric, Nicky, and Katie arrived.
    • For season 5, Rachel was replaced by Liz.
    • For season 6, Ryan was replaced by Tony. Seasons 6 and 7 were filmed concurrently so there were no further cast changes on the show. Only Mr. Belding was on the show from beginning to end.
  • Dream Team, the British soap opera set in a soccer club, featured dozens of characters during its ten-year run, the great majority lasting a year or so. And an absurdly high death toll for a soccer club.
    • Partially justifiable, in that much like in real life, players would sign for the club, before being sold on in a transfer window. Or, more than likely in the show, die.
  • Baywatch was infamous as with the exception of David Hasselhoff, one is hard-pressed to find a cast member who stayed for more than a few seasons. The changing opening credits showcases the turnover with even Hasselhoff himself absent for the show's final season.
  • Mako Mermaids: An H₂O Adventure had three seasons (the second one was split in half by Netflix), at each season the main mermaid trio had some change in casting:
    • Season 1 the trio was formed by Nixie, Lyla, and Sirena.
    • Then, by season 2 (and season 3 according to Netflix), we had two replacements, with Nixie and Lyla being replaced with their respective expys Mimmi and Ondina.
    • On season 3 (or season 4), Sirena was replaced with Weilan, who, this time, was a completely different character. So, by this season, none of the mermaids from the first season was present in the cast anymore.
  • Law & Order and its assorted spinoffs. When Diane Neal left SVU, she actually said she was surprised she lasted as long as she did, considering Dick Wolf is known for liking to constantly rotate its cast members. The original series ran for twenty years, and the last original cast member, Steven Hill, left after ten. If you don't count him as original because he wasn't in the pilot, the last one left after five (Chris Noth).
    • This is particularly prevalent in SVU: for almost all of the series, the only consistent ADAs are Novak, Cabot, Barba, and Carisi. Every other ADA never lasts any more than a season (and in one case, the new ADA was cycled out in the same episode she premiered in).
  • NCIS, Long Runner that it is, has cycled out nearly its entire cast over the years.
    • As of Season 19, the only cast members still remaining in the main cast from Season 1 are Mark Harmon as Gibbs, David McCallum as Ducky, Sean Murray as McGee, and Brian Dietzen as Palmer—the latter two having not been listed as main cast in season 1 (in Dietzen's case, rightly so as he was more of a recurring character), and the former two not actually being regulars anymore, with Ducky becoming a recurring character nearly half a decade earlier and Gibbs leaving the show just 4 episodes into the season (and being more of a guest star for those four episodes; Harmon wanted to leave the show at the end of Season 18, but the network said they wouldn't renew the show without him on it).
    • NCIS: New Orleans likewise had a lot of turnover, with only Pride, Loretta, and Sebastian remaining throughout the whole run—and only Loretta keeping the same role throughout, as Pride eventually got promoted and Sebastian wasn't a field agent at first.
  • By the time NYPD Blue had finished its 12-season run, only one original cast member — Dennis Franz — was left. The original cast included David Caruso, Amy Brenneman, James McDaniel, Sherry Stringfield, and Nicholas Turturro in addition to Franz. The final season, again in addition to Franz, included Mark-Paul Gosselaar, Gordon Clapp, Bill Brochtrup, Henry Simmons, Jacqueline Obradors, Currie Graham and Bonnie Sommerville.
  • Seminal British police drama The Bill.
  • ER. Even Doctor Carter eventually left the show (as a regular). And during two or three seasons (with the exception of some occasional episodes), NONE of the original series regulars were there. Curiously, ALL of them returned (briefly, mostly for only one or two episodes) for the last season.
    • A final season episode lampshades this when an original character runs into two of the final season regulars. The original character starts naming people who were working at the hospital when he left and the later characters start naming characters who worked at the hospital when they started. They find no overlap and nothing in common to talk about.
  • Any David E. Kelley show.
    • Later seasons of both Ally McBeal and The Practice had older cast members being replaced by younger, sexier versions because either the actors would quit or Kelley would just get bored with their characters.
    • Boston Legal and Boston Public were the worst offenders as literally every season of both shows was littered with disposable characters that never gelled with the rest of the cast. Sometimes cast members would even get replaced mid-season. Boston Legal was likely worse, literally having only one season without a major cast shift or several. Boston Public at least had two seasons that kept the cast whole for the entire season run. Also, Legal literally ended with only two characters who were there from the beginning, James Spader's Alan Shore and William Shatner's Denny Crane, and its final season featured three cast members who had only been a part of the main cast for one season prior. Public held onto five of its original cast members and two more had been there since the second season.
  • For a series that had five full seasons and two truncated ones, and focused heavily on the personal lives of the characters, Homicide: Life on the Street actually had a surprising number of cast changes; so many that Richard Belzer, Clark Johnson, Yaphet Kotto and Kyle Secor were the only four cast members (out of 19) to last from start to finish.
  • While the core group of interns in Grey's Anatomy has remained constant until recently, there has been a constant parade of attending surgeons and new interns. In the later seasons, so many new characters appear and then rapidly disappear that the show appears to be just throwing characters at the audience to see who sticks.
    • As of season 9, the most important characters are 3 out of the 5 original main characters (due to real-life circumstances) and Ascended Extras who have been on the show for at least 3 years. The new interns rarely come back.
  • Spooks has run for ten years and kills off or writes out main characters frequently and with extreme prejudice, something that starts in episode 2. Of the original cast, only one remains, but he's more of the boss over the other main characters.
  • The process is slower than in other examples, but Degrassi has gradually retired its early characters in favor of new ones. Snake is the only one who's been a main character the whole time, and he's usually a minor character.
  • Damages tends to revolve around this trope with the appeal of the show generally being that most of the guest stars (and series lead Glenn Close) are film actors (William Hurt, Martin Short, John Goodman, etc.) or other actors who normally don't do TV. In a given season these actors usually play the Big Bad or other characters that are somehow tied up in the plaintiff's case. At the end of the season, a case is usually resolved and most of the supporting cast are either killed off or put on buses indefinitely.
    • Season 1: Ray Fiske and David Connor are both killed off (though the latter is a Foregone Conclusion).
    • Season 2: Arthur Frobisher is demoted to guest star. Claire Maddox, Daniel Purcell, and Wes Kruik are added to the cast, all get put on buses by seasons end.
    • Season 3: Tom Shayes is killed off. Joe Tobin, Marilyn Tobin, and Leonard Winstone are added to the cast. All three plus Arthur Frobisher are either killed off or Put on a Bus at the end of the season.
    • Season 4: Howard Erickson and Jerry Boorman are both added and Put on a Bus at season's end.
    • Season 5: Channing McClaren added.
  • Brazilian soap opera Malhação has had a lot of this since its inception in 1995 - even changing the setting (from a gym to a high school, then another high school) to justify it. The actor with the longest run (6 years) even joked he and the runner-up (5 years) stood so long because they never scored with anyone in the soap opera.
  • Casualty has old cast members leave and new ones join at least once a season on average. As of March 2017 (Season 31) only one character, Nurse Charlie Fairhead, has been continually appearing since the very first episode in 1986 (one other character from the first episode is still around, but has had three separate tenures as a regular; the first from 1986-1993, the second from 1998-2003 and the third from 2016 onwards). Every other member of the original cast had left by 1990.
  • At the end of Season Three of House it looked like they were going to do this; two of House's interns resigned and the third was fired, so at the beginning of Season Four he started holding tryouts for a new batch. Then all three of the former interns returned, though Foreman was the only one that came back to the Diagnostics department. Then it got complicated, but by the end of the series, the only members of House's original team that weren't working at Princeton-Plainsboro in some capacity were Cameron and House himself, for the last fifteen minutes or so.
  • St. Elsewhere had a large core cast, 26 regular cast members in just six seasons; a monster number for a network show. For comparison, Law & Order only had 25 regulars during its run, and it ran for twenty years! Only six St. Elsewhere cast members received billing in the opening credits from the first episode to the last; William Daniels, Ed Begley, Jr., Howie Mandel, David Morse, Christina Pickles, and Denzel Washington. However, there were many recurring characters, such as Norman Lloyd, Eric Laneuville, Bonnie Bartlett, Sagan Lewis, and Jennifer Savidge, who were there since the first season but received Promotion to Opening Titles later on.
  • The Mindy Project, based around an ob/gyn practice, had two actors that started in the pilot remain on the show: Mindy Kaling and Ed Weeks, while another, Ike Barinholtz joined in Episode Two and remained til the end. All the other supporting actors either left the show during/after the first season or were introduced in later seasons.
  • Babylon 5 had a bit of this, due to castmembers being written out for various reasons and replaced with new characters to take up their positions, starting with station commander Jeffrey Sinclair being replaced in the second season by John Sheridan due to actor Michael O'Hare's health problems. The penultimate episode of the series has Sheridan, Delenn, and Lennier leaving, and taking one last look at the station, seeing the station's new leadership watching them from Command and Control. The shot is similar to a cast shot from the first season's intro, but the only original cast member left on the station is Vir, once an assistant and now an Ambassador (and he wasn't even in the original pilot).
  • The Royal: The hospital staff changes all the time, both during and between seasons. Seven main characters have made it from the premiere to the finale, but considering there's been over 30 main characters over the eight-season run with a dozen or so at a time, that's not a lot. The show has a bit of a tradition where nurses and younger doctors come and go.

    Not based around a place of work 
  • Game of Thrones had 44 regulars over eight seasons. Only nine of them were regulars throughout, with two others only missing Season 5. Considering its gigantic core cast, that's a pretty low number.
  • Our Miss Brooks: The final (television) season.
    • Transition Show sees high school students Walter Denton, Harriet Conklin and Mr. Boynton Put on a Bus. This also marks the end of appearances by recurring characters Miss Enright and Stretch Snodgrass. Enter Mrs. (Winona) Nestor, Mr. Munsee, Mr. Albright.
    • ''Who's Who" sees Miss Brooks take leave of longtime landlady Mrs. Davis to be a tenant of her sister Angela. Elementary school student Benny Romero becomes a Recurring Character.
    • "Big Ears": Mrs. Ruth Nestor replaces her sister, last appearance by Mr. Albright.
    • "Have Bed, Will Travel" Mrs. Davis moves in with her sister (and Miss Brooks) and begins to share landlady duties with Angela.
    • In "Gym Instructor", Mr. Talbot is appointed to the faculty as the new phys-ed teacher.
    • "Land Purchase" Exit Angela, who sells her sister her house. Angela has built a motel and leaves to run her new business (never mentioned before).
    • "Library Quiz" sees Mr. Talbot's last appearance.
    • Finally, in "Connie and Frankie", The Bus Comes Back and Love Interest Mr. Boynton returns to teach at Mrs. Nestor's Elementary School for the final seven episodes.
    • This revolving-door was averted on the concurrent radio series, which continued with the same cast and characters. The Movie Grand Finale followed the radio casting and continuity.
  • Sabrina the Teenage Witch is a fairly mild case; only two main characters lasted to the end but most other characters stayed on the show for two to three years.
  • lonelygirl15. Danielbeast is the only character who was on the show from start to finish, and even he had some short phases of being Put on a Bus.
  • Power Rangers. Fairly justified in newer seasons that are actually completely different teams, but for the first several seasons, the main cast remained more-or-less consistent... except when it didn't, starting with the replacement of the red, yellow, and black rangers in season 2.
    • Season 1 begins with Jason, Zack, Billy, Kimberly, and Trini. Tommy joins midway through.
    • Season 2: We have Rocky replacing Jason, Adam replacing Zack, and Aisha replacing Trini, all midway through the season.
    • Season 3: Katherine replaces Kimberly midway into the season, and Tanya replaces Aisha at the end of the season.
    • Season 4: There are only five Rangers, so Billy steps down, leaving Tommy, Adam, Rocky, Tanya, and Katherine. Jason temporarily returns midseason, before departing again at the end of the season.
    • Season 5: Between seasons 4 and 5 (The Turbo Movie), Justin replaces Rocky. Midway through season 5, Tommy, Adam, Tanya, and Katherine are ALL replaced with T.J., Carlos, Ashley, and Cassie, respectively. At the end of the season, everyone heads into space on a rescue mission except Justin, who stays behind to be with his father.
    • Season 6: Andros appears and gives the team new powers, and then they begin replacing the ENTIRE cast each year, starting with Season 7.
  • Blake's 7. Originally Blake, five other people, and a computer. By the fourth series, it was no Blake, five people, only two of whom were in the first series, and two different computers. Because of the first season's use of Debut Queue over the first few episodes, only one actor, Michael Keating as Vila, appeared in every episode of the show.
  • Soap opera Neighbours (and probably others of its ilk) is known for having a small cast of longer-running (usually older) characters and a substantial contingent of high-schoolers with a very high turnover rate.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer
    • Season 1: The initial main cast is Buffy, Xander, Willow, Cordelia, and Giles.
    • Season 2: Angel joins the main cast.
    • Season 3: Oz joins the main cast.
    • Season 4: Angel and Cordelia leave for Angel. Oz leaves midseason, and Spike and Riley join the main cast after Oz leaves.
    • Season 5: Anya and Dawn join the main cast. Riley leaves midseason.
    • Season 6: Giles leaves the main cast, but remains on as a guest star. Tara joins the main cast for a single episode, right before being killed off.
    • Season 7: No changes. The final main cast is Buffy, Xander, Willow, Spike, Anya, and Dawn.
  • Angel:
    • Season 1: The initial main cast is Angel, Cordelia, and Doyle. Doyle dies midseason and is replaced by Wesley.
    • Season 2: Gunn joins the main cast.
    • Season 3: Fred joins the main cast.
    • Season 4: Connor joins the main cast. Lorne joins midseason.
    • Season 5: Cordelia dies and Connor leaves the main cast, replaced by Spike. Harmony joins midseason. The final main cast is Angel, Wesley, Gunn, Fred, Lorne, Spike, and Harmony. At the end of the show, two of the original three characters have died, and at least one new character was accumulated every season.
  • Doctor Who
    • Revolving-door casting is part and parcel of the series format, as the lead actor changes every few years (no actor to date has played the Doctor for more than seven seasons, with most leaving after three). The change is actually part of the show's continuity (and is its own trope-namer: The Nth Doctor).
    • The show's co-starring character, the companion, is also subject to high and frequent turnover:
      • In the 1960s, there were fairly frequent cast changes in calendar terms, though so many stories were done per year early on that short-term companions stayed through a significant number of episodes. Sara Kingdom and Katarina were both regulars for part of only one story, The Daleks' Master Plan. It was rare for someone to stay for more than two seasons and during the original 1963-1989 series, only two actresses stayed with the series as companions for more than three complete seasons.
      • Season 3 of the original 1963-1989 series, notable as William Hartnell's final full season, is a particularly stark example even within the context of the longer length of the '60s seasons, with the Doctor rotating through a total of seven companions (one a regular for only four episodes) across 45 episodes.
      • The revival series, which launched in 2005, has kept to this format, with several companions leaving after only one season (though they came back for guest appearances later), a couple staying for two seasons, and only three modern-era companions (Amy, Rory, and Clara) staying for more than two complete seasons.
    • Although occasionally criticized for this, the ongoing cast turnover is directly credited as a major factor in the show's extreme longevity, in part because, especially in the revival era, the introduction of a new Doctor or a new companion (or sometimes both at the same time) serves as a relaunch and a jumping-on point for new viewers, while also refreshing the show's format and writing. It helps that the changeovers from the 10th to 11th and 12th to 13th Doctors coincided with a change in showrunner.
  • Lost is notorious for its Anyone Can Die mentality that results in at least two main character deaths every season (except the first), plus several new regulars each year:
    • Season 1: Boone died and Walt was kidnapped/Put on a Bus
    • Season 2: Ana Lucia, Eko and Libby join the cast. Shannon, Ana-Lucia, and Libby all died, the latter two as part of a double murder. Michael was Put on a Bus.
    • Season 3: Ben, Juliet, Desmond, Nikki, and Paulo join the cast. Eko and Charlie both died. So did Nikki and Paulo, who were series regulars for the first 14 episodes, but no one cares about them.
    • Season 4: Daniel, Charlotte, and Miles join the cast. Michael returned from his bus trip and died. Claire wandered off into the jungle and vanished.
    • Season 5: No one joins the cast, though Ilana and Caesar were almost regulars; Caesar dies however. Charlotte and Daniel both died. Locke dies, but Terry O'Quinn stays on as Jacob's nemesis.
    • Season 6: Recurring characters from previous seasons Frank, Richard, and Ilana join the main cast, Juliet dies, and Claire returns. Locke, the Oceanic Six and various other characters also appear as alternate timeline selves.
  • The TV series Mission: Impossible (1966-73) was one of the earliest examples of this; only Barney (Greg Morris) and Willy (Peter Lupus) were regular characters for the entire show's run. There is only one case of two consecutive seasons without at least one major character being replaced (2nd to 3rd).
  • Earth: Final Conflict: The villain Sandoval (Von Flores) was the only character who stayed throughout the whole run.
  • Heroes was meant to switch out most of its main cast every season, but this was changed. Instead, everyone from season 1 has immunity from death or bus trips (Nikki died but Ali Larter played a new character, Nathan stuck around for half a season after his death). Even recurring characters that weren't promoted, like the Haitian, get this immunity. Meanwhile, every volume introduces at least a dozen characters that appear in most, sometimes all episodes and are all replaced with a new set of characters. The only one that stuck was, ironically, introduced as one of a few one-off villains in the early half of his first volume.
  • Due to the circumstances surrounding its creation, this occurred with Robotech, which changed casts whenever it began adapting a new anime and thus began a new cycle. Twenty-one years later, when Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles was produced, it replaced the cast again, combining a handful of characters taken from all three cycles with several new ones.
  • Skins switches out its entire cast every two seasons.
  • Farscape: Following Zhaan's departure in Season 3, at least one character was replaced with a new character each season.
  • 24. Only Kiefer Sutherland has appeared in every episode, with the runner-up (Mary Lynn Rajskub) lagging behind by about fifty episodes. Some get jettisoned between seasons (Day 4 and Day 7 ditched most of the main cast except for Jack Bauer), but for the most part, characters departed the show by getting brutally killed off. Of the Main and Recurring characters from Day 1, only a tiny handful are still alive by the end of the series run, and only Jack Bauer is still actually in the show.
  • Dragons' Den changes the Dragons every season or so, with at least one investor leaving per series. Indeed, out of the whole cast, only Peter Jones and Duncan Bannatyne have stayed for all eleven seasons, with almost everyone following on from Rachel Elnaugh leaving after only a couple of seasons. Deborah Meaden is the exception to the rule as she came in as Elnaugh's direct replacement and is still there.
  • M*A*S*H is a downplayed example as while very few regulars were there from beginning to end, all of them were there at one or the other.
    • Season 1: The role of Father Mulcahy is recast after the pilot, though the new actor ends up lasting the entire series. Spearchucker Jones is dropped midway through the season (as the producers incorrectly believed there were no black surgeons at MASH units in Korea) and Ho-Jon is dropped after the season. Corporal Klinger arrives midway through the season for what was intended to be a guest star role and proves so popular that he becomes a regular in later seasons.
    • Season 4: Colonel Potter arrives in the season premiere to replace the departed Colonel Blake, whose plane was shot down on the way back to the States after his discharge in the previous season's finale. Trapper John Macintyre also leaves at the start of the season and is replaced by B.J. Hunnicutt.
    • Season 5: Major Frank Burns suffers a mental breakdown and is sent away, replaced by Major Winchester.
    • Season 7: Corporal Radar O'Reilly receives his discharge; rather than adding a new regular, Klinger takes over his duties. This leaves Alan Alda as Hawkeye and Loretta Swit as Major Houlihan as the only two regulars from the pilot.
  • Misfits lost all its original regular cast members over the third and fourth seasons (one departed between the second and third seasons, two were written out at the end of the third season, one departed in murky circumstances just before the fourth season was about to start filming after being convicted of assault, and the last of the original cast members was written out halfway through that season). The second half of the fourth season and all of the fifth and final season had none of the original main characters.
  • The Walking Dead is the king of this trope, due to its large cast that can all die in a moment. Over eight seasons, there have been 25 "main" cast members and over 100 "also starring" and recurring actors. Of those, only three have been in every season of the show without dying: Rick, Carol, and Daryl.
  • Homeland did a lot of this rather abruptly when it shifted gears from being about Carrie investigation of Brodie to Carrie's further and largely unrelated adventures as a bipolar CIA agent. As characters associated with Brodie are left behind, and other character attrition takes its toll, the original cast is whittled down to just Carrie and Saul by the seventh season.
  • TekWar began with four made-for-TV movies, then went on for 18 hour-long episodes. Most of the main characters from the four movies were carried over to the TV series, but then, almost all of them were either written out of the show or simply stopped appearing before the TV season was half-way finished. The only characters from the four movies to appear regularly through the series were central character Jake Cardigan and supporting cast member Lieutenant Winger.
  • Hunter × Hunter is a rare manga/anime example, with Gon and Killua as the two constants throughout the series while other characters, like Kurapica and Leorio (who are ostensibly part of the main cast), go unseen for long stretches of time. The main characters in each are:
    • The Hunter Exam Arc: Gon, Killua, Kurapica, and Leorio.
    • The Zoldyck Family Arc: Gon, Killua, Kurapica, and Leorio (again).
    • The Heavens Arena Arc: Gon and Killua.
    • The Phantom Troupe Arc: Gon, Killua, Kurapica, and Leorio (again).
    • The Greed Island Arc: Gon, Killua, and Biscuit.
    • The Chimera Ants Arc: Gon, Killua, Kite (who gets killed off early on), Knov and Morel's teams, and Chairmen Netero; with Meruem as a Villain Protagonist.
    • Chairmen Election Arc: Killua, Alluka/Nanika, Leorio, and the Zoldyck family butlers for the Alluka storyline, and the Zodiac Twelve for the election storyline.
    • The Dark Continent Arc: Too early to tell, thanks to a Series Hiatus and the large number of characters involved so far.
  • Canada's Worst Driver has a new batch of contestants every year, which means they don't count. The panel of experts, however, do. The current crop — Cam Woolley, Philippe Létourneau, Shyamala Kiru, and Tim Danter — have been around since Season 8. They are the only ones — out of 14 experts — to have been around for more than three seasons. Of the others, Peter Mellor, Dr. Louisa Gemboura, and Scott Marshall were the only ones to last more than one season (three for each).
  • The Starz Spartacus series: due to the extreme frequency of character death, the only actor to appear regularly in all four seasons is Manu Bennett as Crixus. Two other major characters appear start-to-finish, but with different actors.
  • Danish kids' show Klassen - which is about the day-to-day life of a bunch of six graders - has gradually replaced its cast from season 1 to season 3, the point that none of the original actors appear in season 3. In season 2, a bunch of new characters are added, and while most of the season 1 characters still have a role, they are generally Demoted to Extra. In season 3, all of the season 1 characters have been written out, yet another bunch of new characters have appeared, and the season 2 characters have been demoted. The Real Life reason for the cast replacement is that the producers only want kids in the age range of 11 to 14 to portray sixth graders (and most of the season 1 actors are 14 to 15 by now), but in-universe no reason for the replacement is given, and it comes off as very weird given that the characters are all supposed to be in the same class.
  • Unlike other Arrowverse series, which have a core cast of characters, Legends of Tomorrow swaps heroes in and out on a regular basis — characters often disappear for a season before returning as regulars. Guest appearances of former main cast members tend to be the rule, rather than the exception. Main characters are added and removed at any time during the season, suggesting that the series showcases DC characters by design. As of mid-Season 7, the only actors that have been on the show from the start are Caity Lotz (Sara Lance/White Canary) and Amy Pemberton (Gideon, the Waverider's sentient AI), the latter of whom mostly does voice acting.
  • Community is a relatively mild example, having lost three actors (Chevy Chase, Donald Glover, and Yvette Nicole Brown) from the original seven-member study group. The show brought in Jonathan Banks to fill in the core cast for the fifth season, and Keith David and Paget Brewster for its sixth and final season.
  • The US version of Whose Line Is It Anyway? has always had its fourth cast member be one of a rotating cast of regulars (like Greg Proops, Chip Esten, and Brad Sherwood) and the occasional special guest (like Whoopi Goldberg and Robin Williams)
  • Vikings has a high character turnover due to taking place over several decades of deadly intrigue and war. By the end of season 5, only two characters who appear in season one (Lagertha and Bjorn) are still a part of the story, and one of those is a Time-Shifted Actor.
  • While roughly one-third of Alias' cast of regulars remained throughout all of the show's five seasons, this still left almost a dozen other actors with shorter stints. Lena Olin, Melissa George, Mia Maestro, Rachel Nichols, Balthazar Getty, Elodie Bouchez, and Amy Acker all lasted one season or less, while Bradley Cooper, Merrin Dungey, David Anders, and Greg Grunberg lasted two.
  • Reign's status a historical drama with very fluid directions and foci made for this; the show lasted only four seasons, but of a total of twenty regular cast members, only three made it all the way from start to finish.
  • Soap opera Santa Barbara was an infamous example of this, nearly every character having had at least two actors portraying them. By the end of its run, only one actress had remained for its entirety without changing actress, and she hadn't even appeared during all its years!
  • The original One Day at a Time (1975) had three billed regulars make it from the beginning to the end of its 9-season run. However, other cast members disappeared and appeared pretty frequently for what was essentially a family sitcom. The show starts out with Ann, her daughters Julie and Barbara, Ann's boyfriend David, and building superintendent Schneider. David exits after season 1, and neighbor Ginny enters in Season 2. By Season 3, Ginny is gone. The cast remains small and stable for Seasons 3 and 4: Ann, her daughters, and Schneider. In tumultuous Season 5, Max joins the cast as Julie's husband, but Julie exits the same year, with Max following soon after. Ann's boyfriend Nick is added in Season 6, along with his son Alex, but by Season 7, Nick has been killed off, leaving Alex in Ann's care; Julie and Max begin recurring again and Ann's frenemy Francine gets occasional opening billing. For Season 8, Barbara's husband Mark has been added to the title sequence, as well as Ann's mother, Katherine. In the final season, Alex leaves, and Ann marries Sam, who is added to the opening credits. Julie once again leaves the show (although Max remains).
  • A non-television example: Monster Jam has had this happen a lot with the drivers of the trucks. One example is Monster Mutt, whose driver seems to change every year.
  • The original version of Survivors was only on the air for three seasons, and only actress Lucy Fleming lasted through the entire run. This came about partly due to behind-the-scenes turmoil, and the series being a post-apocalyptic Anyone Can Die scenario.