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"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."

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  • 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.
  • The TV adaptation of radio sitcom The Aldrich Family went through a truly absurd number of cast changes in its four years, with only House Jameson as the family patriarch as a regular presence. The other actors were replaced close to once a year, most dramatically when Jean Muir became a victim of HUAC and the show was forced to fire her or be cancelled.
  • 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 Winfrey'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....
    • Finally, 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 indefinite 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. Long story short, neither show was ever able to wrap up their 40+ year old storylines. Said lawsuit was eventually dismissed at the end of the 2016, with ABC regaining the rights to both soaps, but it remains to be seen if they'll be revived once more.
    • Ultimately, it appears that All My Children and OLTL failed on streaming because 1) Streaming was still in its infancy and 2) Prospect Park had no idea what it would mean to produce a soap opera. They could not make the financials work. In other words, they were produced by a startup that couldn't finance or manage them. Arguably, Prospect Park's biggest failure was relying on its own website and iTunes instead of Hulu. 3) Soap operas are designed for a niche audience and it requires a commitment. Streaming shows have 8-13 episodes a season. It's a quick binge watch and then you're done until the next season. In a nutshell, to make soap opera work on a streaming platform, you would have to completely reimagine what you currently consider a traditional soap. Therefore, the storytelling and basic DNA would have to completely change. And soap fans have proven that they don't like change all that much.
  • Making American Gods, an adaptation of the novel of the same name, has not been an easy task.
    • The show's first showrunners were Bryan Fuller and Michael Green. Despite positive reviews, Fuller and Green were fired from the show, reportedly due to not only going $30 million overbudget during production of Season 1, but also due to friction and disagreements with both production company Fremantle Media, a company largely known for reality and game shows which oversaw the show for Starz and wanted to significantly lower the budget, and Neil Gaiman, who disliked Fuller and Green's direction for the series, and wanted to stick closer to his original book.
    • Their replacement, Jesse Alexander, was personally chosen by Gaiman, and was largely seen as a way for Gaiman and Fremantle to exert more control over the show, with them even throwing out Fuller and Green's first six scripts for Season 2. There were even reports that other showrunners turned down the job out of wariness, and that Fremantle wouldn't have done anything that radical without Gaiman's consent.
    • This effort to course-correct went over disastrously with the cast and crew. Gillian Anderson (Media) left the show in protest and scripts were constantly rewritten by the cast, who were behind Fuller and Green's original vision. And when cast members began to improvise, the production was forced to hire Orlando Jones (Mr. Nancy) as a writer so as to not get in trouble with the WGA.
    • Alexander also made few friends on set. He reportedly got into "screaming matches" with Ian McShane, and Starz was unhappy with Alexander's more conventional tone, preferring the more hypnotic, atmospheric nature of Fuller and Green. They also criticized the downgraded special effects, with the third and fourth episodes receiving extensive retooling.
    • On top of all that, Season 2 went overbudget and overschedule again (which Alexander was explicitly hired for in order to avoid), leading to a production hiatus and energy being spent on reshoots and pickups instead of creating the finale. This led to Alexander being, in the words of one crew member "fired but not fired", and is not allowed to be involved with editing, show up on set, or have input on any aspect of production. After another writer left the showrunner position almost as soon as they were promoted, it fell on producing director Chris Byrne and line producer Lisa Kussner to salvage the production. This led to the Season 2 premiere being pushed back to 2019. The season ultimately got a mediocre critical response, but an overall quite positive audience response, leading to a third season being commissioned and yet another new showrunner, Charles H. Eglee, being hired to oversee its production.
    • On December 14, 2019, Jones announced on Twitter that he had been fired from Season 3 the previous September under acrimonious circumstances. Without mentioning him by name, Jones claimed that Eglee (who is white) unilaterally decided that Mr. Nancy's Angry Black Man characterization sent the "wrong message for black America" and described Fremantle as a "nightmare" company which treated its talent as "2nd class citizens".
    • Additionally, it was later announced that Mousa Kraish (The Jinn) wouldn't return for the third season as well.
  • 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 2, 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 direct-to-video and made-for-television productions and Christploitation films such as God's Not Dead and Let There Be Light.
  • Season 4 of Angel had a sudden and drastic rewrite brought on because of Charisma Carpenter's pregnancy, which required changing much of the later two thirds of the series. Joss Whedon, supposedly out of spite and anger at having to do so, subsequently wrote Cordelia as the villain for the early half of the season while writing around the pregnancy, and ultimately Cordelia was written out of the show at the end of Season 4 with only a brief appearance in Season 5 to wrap up her arc.
  • 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.

  • Bewitched got some of this from Day 1. The show's very first rehearsal occurred on November 22, 1963—the very day that President John F. Kennedy was assassinated. 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 suffered a few years before, and frequently came on set loopy and out of it, sometimes not at all. ABC executives wanted York 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.
  • The second season of Big Little Lies
    • Andrea Arnold was hired to direct. The creators believed that her visual style would not be too different from what Jean-Marc Vallée had established in the first season. She was also required to consult David Kelley if she wanted to change any scenes, but believed she had a free hand for the show's look.
    • With two episodes left to film, however, Kelley and the other creators apparently grew concerned that the show was looking very different from what they had expected it would, and apparently decided to take the show's editing away from Arnold (or, depending on who you talk to, implemented a plan they had made before production even started).
    • For this they brought back Vallée, which apparently required two and a half weeks of reshoots. This may account for the complaints that the second season was choppy and uneven, with some scenes contrived in order to facilitate key plot developmentsnote . And rumor has it this was where Bonnie's death, Fauxshadowed all season, was written out in favor of an ending that leaves open the possibility of a third season.
  • Black Mirror: Bandersnatch was insanely exhausting for the entire crew, with its ambitious "choose your own adventure" structure requiring a much more intensive thought process than usual to come up with numerous branching stories that would all be equally satisfying. The show's following season ended up being delayed just because everyone needed a long vacation after finishing it.
  • 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.
  • Bull: It was initially planned for Eliza Dushku to frequently appear as a central character, but Dushku balked at inappropriate behavior by lead actor Michael Weatherly that she regarded as sexual harassment. She was subsequently written out of the series after just a few appearances, and CBS paid a monetary settlement to Dushku that was not publicized until a few years after the fact. After Weatherly issued a denial, Dushku went into further detail, claiming Weatherly engaged in rape humor, made several distasteful comments about her appearance, and flaunted his close ties to CBS boss Les Moonves (himself later ousted over allegations of sexual misconduct).

  • 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 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. Articles written after the first two episodes showed that the executives were starting to panic — a recap of the first two episodes was stitched onto the front of the third and fourth episodes in an attempt to get viewers up to speed. 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 then-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 the original Charmed series 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.
    • While the three lead actresses began the series as good friends (enough for them to act as each other's bridesmaids), tensions were running high by the third season - Alyssa Milano and Shannen Doherty admitting that there were days they'd only speak to each other to say their lines. 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. She initially claimed she left on her own simply because she felt Prue had run her course as a character, but in a later interview alluded to on-set tensions (it's still unknown if she left willingly or was fired after an ultimatum - which both actresses have denied). 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, wanted to leave along with her after Season 3. However she was convinced to stay on after getting granted a pay rise to $60,000 per episode - and getting the And Starring in the opening credits.
    • After Doherty left, Rose McGowan was brought in as Paige, a long-lost Halliwell sister to replace Prue. In her autobiography, she revealed that she was told the show would likely only be on the air until the fifth season - in the hopes of getting to syndication - so she signed a five year contract expecting to only be there for two. 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." Once she went public about her assault from Harvey Weinstein, she admits that having to cope with the trauma of sexual assault coupled with long shooting hours of network television were not kind for her mental health - resulting in impulsive things like dyeing her hair red just to annoy the producers. She recalls several incidents such as getting screamed at by a director minutes into a shooting day or studio execs threatening to destroy her career if she were caught smoking pot on set.
    • The 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. The network was constantly demanding "more skin" and marketing the episodes around the Fanservice elements — which annoyed the show-runners, who felt they were being misrepresented.
    • 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. Kaley Cuoco had to be brought on as a new character Billie both to fill the Fanservice requirements and to lessen the lead actresses' shooting hours. For the final episode, the budget was so tight they had to rely on archive footage for a lot of things, and Shannen Doherty couldn't come Back for the Finalenote  — and they also had to juggle Alyssa Milano and Rose McGowan's other acting commitments (the reason Phoebe and Paige are dead for half the finale is because of this).
    • Alyssa Milano later revealed that there was no on-set producer from the fifth season onward, and that she and Holly Marie Combs took turns doing it in addition to acting (Rose McGowan was also offered the chance to be a producer but turned it down). She's described the process as "hectic", and that it was nearly impossible to get the show-runners on the phone to verify dialogue changes. Rose McGowan years later accused her of making the set toxic because of this.
    • Years later, there were reports of sexual harassment and lewd comments in the writers' room. Brad Kern was accused of inappropriate behavior towards the female employees.
  • 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 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 were left to be desired to say the least.
    • 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.
  • As Community continued on there came a lot of reports of behind-the-scenes trouble.
    • Chevy Chase was rather up front and vocal about his distaste for the show and had a rocky relationship with Dan Harmon. He admitted he didn't have much interest in being on a sitcom, as those tended to have the most grueling schedules. Filming in the study room, covering each cast member around the table, would lead to sixteen to twenty hour days.
    • The show had a passionate fanbase but the ratings gradually diminished and the show was frequently over budget, which exacerbated NBC's relationship with the show. There were claims of episodes being filmed with unfinished or rewritten scripts and mismanaged production scheduling (one such claim was that several sets were lit, staffed and staged to facilitate one joke featuring multiple Cutaway Gags). Harmon's insistence on having big, expensive episodes with a cinematic look while also mocking the network in the show itself took Biting-the-Hand Humor a little too literally.
    • In Season 4, Harmon was fired and the show passed on to staff writers for a half-season worth of episodes to premiere mid season. Harmon was rehired for Season 5 for another half season of episodes, scrambling to accommodate the events of Season 4 into his plans while also retooling the show beyond the study group. The show was eventually picked up to be a Yahoo exclusive for a sixth season, but by then half the cast had left for various personal reasons.
  • 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 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 right-wing 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.

  • 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. Interiors and exteriors functioned as elaborate, stage play-like sets, and it had 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.
  • A Series 7 episode of Death in Paradise ran into trouble when the actor playing that week's murderer died of natural causes mid-shoot. The ending was quickly rewritten so the killer managed to flee before the police arrested him.
  • 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. Many fans also stopped watching at this point.
    • 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.

  • 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).
  • Empire began facing serious problems near the end of its run:
    • Season 5 was thrust into a horrific conundrum when main cast member Jussie Smollett claimed to have been attacked and nearly lynched by right wing extremists. After a wave of sympathy from everyone, the Chicago police charged Smollett with fabricating the entire incident over a pay dispute with Fox, as the alleged attackers were actually former extras from the show who he'd paid to stage an attack with a check. The show's storylines were thrown into disarray as Smollett needed to be hastily written out of the season's final two episodes. Despite the charges eventually being dropped, the fiasco will continue to have reverberations, as the producers have insisted Smollett's character wasn't the Tonight, Someone Dies victim the season had been building to. The show's next season was decided to be its last shortly afterward, with Smollett not being invited back.
    • The final season ran into its own problems when production was shut down due to safety measures surrounding the COVID-19 Pandemic with the last two episodes left incomplete. The network eventually decided to make the eighteenth episode, which was completed in time, the de facto series finale with footage from the incomplete episodes worked in to try and provide some closure.

  • 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"). Not helping his case were some rather unorthodox moves, such as hiring his son to work on the show (to which the production team fired back with a Credits Gag that replaced everyone's surname with "Dawson"), refusing to stop tape whenever possible (leading to such oddities as having Fast Money played on cue cards when the board broke down, or having the contestant coordinator host a round while Dawson went to readjust a back brace he was wearing at the time). His show-opening monologues were also chewing up more and more air time (something that Monty Hall criticized him for in a TV Guide article — notably, a piece on game shows featuring interviews with several hosts, one which Dawson declined to participate in unless they put him and only him on the cover). To respond to this, the show's producers began cramming in more and more rounds and upping the point limit from 300 to 400, creating a very rushed game that no longer had time for any byplay at all. Combined with increasing competition from Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy!, the Dawson-hosted Feud went off the air in 1985, and Goodson vowed that he would never work with Dawson ever again. Dawson's prima donna reputation likely led to him largely retiring afterward (although he briefly returned in 1994 to host the show's first revival as an attempt by Goodson's son Jonathan — who took over after his father's 1992 death — to revive the then-faltering revival). Although age had mellowed his ego somewhat, it also mellowed his hosting qualities considerably, and he faded back from the limelight again (as did Feud until 1999).
  • 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 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 until its conclusion in November 2017.

  • 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.
  • The Dorne storyline in Season 5 of Game of Thrones suffered badly from this. Just like many fans suspected, it was added very late in pre-production with the crew vastly overestimating how much screen time they'd be able to give it, resulting in a horribly rushed writing job. They also ran into trouble with the filming location where they were only allowed to shoot in a very limited area, and also weren't allowed to go there at night. The result of this can be seen especially in the much-maligned big fight scene from "Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken", which was intended to be a tense close-quarters brawl at night but was forced to happen in a wide open area in broad daylight, despite that not making any sense in context.
  • Brett Butler's substance abuse problems and struggles to get clean caused a good deal of the production issues on Grace Under Fire. John Paul Steuer left after Season 3note  and Julie White left after Season 4.note  In addition, during the first season, Butler constantly feuded with Chuck Lorre over Creative Differences, which ultimately led to Lorre being demoted to creative consultant in the second season before leaving for good in the third season. Tops of all, Brett's stay in rehab in 1997 delayed production for Season 5, which prevented new episodes from premiering until the end of November. Brett ended up relapsing again, which (combined with falling ratings) prompted ABC to cancel the show three months into Season 5.
  • 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.

  • Highlander: The Series:
    • Adrian Paul dealt with a crazy stalker for a time and there was a period where filming locations and such had to be kept secret.
    • The costumes from "Band of Brothers" actually disintegrated after filming due to the actors rolling around in the sulfur piles the fight took place in.
    • All of the prop swords broke at times and multiple copies were always kept on hand. But Richie’s sword was notorious for breaking. Stan Kirsch begged for a new one for several years before Richie finally got one in “End of Innocence.” The trouble was that all of Richie’s remaining fight scenes were flashbacks from when he used the old sword. The new sword was only able to be used in his fight vs. Duncan where he died.
  • Highlander The Raven:
    • A Spin-Off was conceived during Season Six after Paul left to pursue movies. There was internal pressure to keep the franchise going without any delays, despite the writers and producers being unsure of where to go from there. The last season was partly spent on a revolving door of potential Highlanderettes. (Paul was not contractually-obligated to appear for the whole season, and six or seven episodes were fronted by his would-be replacements, none of whom stuck around.) They finally settled on the recurring character Amanda (Elizabeth Gracen) as "The Raven". Simple, right?
    • Unbeknownst to Bill Panzer or his staff, Elizabeth Gracen had quietly gone off the deep end, believing she was being shadowed by the U.S. government. (This was the real-life reason for Amanda's Annie Lennox makeover: Gracen dropped off the grid for a while before filming and bleached her hair to avoid detection.) Gracen was being fed lies by her new "manager": he claimed to be "the Ambassador to the Cayman Islands from the Vatican", but was actually some kind of grifter. On top of that, her affair with Bill Clinton was coming to light along with the rest of that scandal.
    • The music director kept missing his cues and went out drinking.
    • The film crew handled the series in a regimented style which prolonged shooting.
    • To appeal to the European market, the French co-producers wanted Moonlighting-style light comedy. The showrunners wanted to stay true to the tone of Highlander.
    • Amanda wasn't believable as a crime-fighter, and discovered that her past thievery had accidentally led to the deaths of over a hundred people.
    • The male co-star, Paul Johanssen (One Tree Hill) was gradually downgraded to Amanda's bumbling sidekick (i.e. Diet Richie), to his dismay.
    • Amanda's roommate, originally written as a girl in her twenties, was changed to an old matron so as not to upstage Gracen; this resulted in Amanda's apartment being decorated like a retirement home.
    • The two leads detested each other, killing any romantic chemistry between the characters.
  • 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; he eventually got booted out (it wasn't the first time; he'd been fired late in the NBC run as well). Also not helping was that the celebs, George Gobels in particular, would rush off to gamble, and since they were taping in Las Vegas, many of the contestants were tourists (which didn't help since the entire season was basically one long tournament), and some were drunk.
  • 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.
  • 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...
  • Filming of the sixth season of House of Cards was interrupted by the wave of sexual harassment accusations of 2017, namely, Anthony Rapp's accusation that Kevin Spacey molested him 30 years earlier, when Rapp was only fourteen. Netflix quickly announced that this would be the show's final season, though this had been decided well before the accusation arose, 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, and the season's first two episodes, already filmed with Spacey, were reshot.

  • The first season of Iron Fist 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).

  • 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 Céline 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.
  • The 1984 revival of Jeopardy! had an unusual local case of this in New York City; involving a Channel Hop and a series of timeslot changes and struggles to find a suitable companion.
    • While the show gained early success in markets such as Cleveland and Detroit where it was paired with Wheel of Fortune; this was not always the case for Jeopardy! in its early years in many markets; such as New York City. When the syndicated version began, it was aired on WNBC-TV 4, the NBC flagship in the Big Apple (Wheel at the time was carried by the CBS flagship WCBS-TV 2). The problem: WNBC carried the show at 1:30 a.m. following Late Night with David Letterman. Worse: as a network owned-and-operated station (as were the other "Big 3" stations; WCBS and WABC-TV 7), the available pickings in terms of time slots were slim; especially considering all the "Big 3" stations ran hour-long newscasts at 6:00 and their respective network newscasts at 7:00. In WNBC's case, the only other options were spoken fornote 
    • On October 26, 1984, Procter and Gamble announced the end of the soap opera The Edge of Night after 28 years, citing the fact most ABC affiliates had been preempting the series for local programming at the 4:00 p.m. timeslot. In turn, ABC announced that once Edge ended in December 1984, the network was turning over the timeslot to their affiliates. As this happened, distributor King World reached a deal to move Jeopardy to WABC at 4:00 p.m. as part of an effort by the ABC O&O to build up a strong lead-in to their recently-launched 5:00 edition of Eyewitness News.
    • That task, however, would prove easier said than done. Jeopardy's initial companion upon moving to WABC in early 1985 was a revived Name That Tune. However, Tune was already struggling and was soon exiled to a late-night slot, with Divorce Court replacing it as a stopgap move (Divorce Court was already set to move to WCBS in the fall of 1985). Next was the 2nd season of the syndicated version of NBC's Sale of the Century (transferring from then-independent station WOR-TV 9note ), only for that version's ratings to collapse, leading to its cancellation as WABC continued their quest to find a companion for Jeopardy in the 4:00 slot. By 1986, WABC tried a newly-launched syndicated version of CBS' Card Sharks, which fared no better than Sale had.
    • However, WABC had recently picked up newly-syndicated (also by King World) The Oprah Winfrey Show for the 10:00 a.m. slot after The Morning Show (which was renamed for hosts Regis Philbin and Kathie Lee Gifford as Live with Regis and Kathie Lee when the series entered national syndication in 1988; it's currently known as Live with Kelly and Ryan for Kelly Ripa and Ryan Seacrest or simply as Live), and eventually decided to move Oprah to 4:00 p.m., which solved the problem of the 5:00 Eyewitness News lead-in, but left WABC with a dilemma concerning Jeopardy (the syndicated Card Sharks was exiled to after midnight following Nightline). Furthermore, moving Jeopardy to the newly-vacated 10:00 a.m. slot would put it up against the network game show offeringsnote .
    • Solution: After agreeing to carry a newly-launched syndicated version of The Hollywood Squares at 7:30, the day Oprah was scheduled to move to 4:00 (December 15, 1986), WABC shortened the hour-long edition of the 6:00 Eyewitness News to 30 minutes, with ABC World News Tonight moving up 30 minutes to 6:30, which opened up a time slot for Jeopardy at 7:00 p.m. (by 1988, the other "Big 3" stations in town would shorten their 6:00 newscasts to a half-hour as well). The 10:00 a.m. slot would be taken by a rerun of the previous day's Jeopardy and Split Second until the fall of 1987; when WABC picked up Sally Jessy Raphael's talk show).
    • However, there was still the issue of a companion for Jeopardy. In its' 2nd season, Squares' ratings plummeted and was dumped in favor of Entertainment Tonight (a recent castoff from what by now was WWOR); with Squares finishing its run on the other major independent in New York Citynote  WPIX-TV 11note .
    • Finally, the companion issue was solved once and for all in 1990; WCBS let the rights to Wheel lapse following a shift in the CBS station's access hour direction towards tabloid TV (with WABC picking up Wheel by 1990 and WCBS adding ET to compliment Hard Copy; which had been teamed with Wheel on WCBS during the 1989-90 season).note 
  • 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 impression of two white men looking on while black Africans did backbreaking work, 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 were 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.

  • Kamen Rider has had its fair share of troubles, and in fact became a magnet for this in the mid-2000s.
    • The original series had a shoestring budget, and lead actor Hiroshi Fujioka did all of his own stunts, which backfired when he was injured in a botched bike stunt. For a handful of episodes, the crew worked around outtakes of Fujioka dubbed over by voice actor Rokuro Naya, until the introduction of Hayato Ichimonji as Kamen Rider #2.
    • Kamen Rider Hibiki suffered from low toy sales and skyrocketing production costs, due to exotic location shoots and overbearing script demands — like massive CGI monsters and musical numbers when no one at Toei had any experience with that. As a result, the last third of the show suffered from an infamous executive-mandated retool right when the show was turning the corner, which was universally hated by most cast members and staff, and so disorganized that the final episode's script was reportedly still being written while it was filmed.
    • Thanks to poor foresight and unfortunate casting decisions, Kamen Rider Kabuto suffered from a revolving door of main characters. At least two actors were popular idol singers who had to take a break to record and promote new albums, and the female lead had to be Put on a Bus because the actress was diagnosed with cancer.
    • In comparison, Kamen Rider Den-O got off easy: the female lead was afflicted with anemia due to on-set stress, and when she inevitably left the show, her character was de-aged to make up for it.
    • Kamen Rider Ghost suffered from having resources abruptly diverted to the Kamen Rider Amazons project, resulting in suits for that show being prioritized over Ghost’s suits. Additionally, head writer Takuro Fukuda mentioned during the press release for Kamen Rider Saber that his work on Ghost was heavily reduced because of his busy schedule leading to him missing out on meetings with other writers and leaving them to fill in large swaths of the story themselves.
    • Production of Kamen Rider Zero-One was put on hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic. To fill in durring the hiatus, a series of Recap Episodes aired in place of normal episodes.

  • When Last Man Standing premiered on ABC in 2011, it was pitched as simply being a show about man (played by Tim Allen) trying to maintain his masculinity in a world of women. In essence, it could be seen as update of Allen's prior sitcom Home Improvement if Tim Taylor had three daughters instead of three sons. The show was created by 30 Rock writer Jack Burditt, and he might have eventually made something of it. However, Burditt left the show due to a family tragedy. He would return for a brief period, but he knew he wouldn't be able to lead the sitcom much longer, so Reba vet Kevin Abbott took the helm. But Abbott had already sold another pilot to ABC and had to leave to focus on that show, so the start of the second season brought the third official showrunner, Tim Doyle of Rules of Engagement. Starting in Season 2, the show (which by now was moved to Fridays) began focusing on politics. In essence, what both Doyle and Allen wanted to do was make the show more like All in the Family, albeit with a conservative slant as opposed to the liberal/humanist bent of the earlier sitcom. Another change was the recasting of Mike Baxter's eldest daughter Kristin (Alexandra Krosney had the role in Season 1; Amanda Fuller has had it from Season 2 onwards) due to the dreaded "Creative Differences". Doyle stuck around as showrunner three years before passing the baton to Matt Berry, who ran the show until its cancellation by ABC.note  Fox later revived LMS, with Season 7 airing during the 2018-2019 season. Consequently, LMS endured another recast with middle daughter Mandy going from being played by Molly Ephraim to Molly McCook, and the character demoted to recurring status.
  • Though it was ultimately a huge success, Law & Order had a bit of a rough start.
    • One of the major problems was actor George Dzundza's dissatisfaction with the show; Dzundza had believed he was to be the show's singular main character, and was disgruntled to find himself as part of an ensemble main cast, reinforced by the fact that his character was often important only in the first half of an episode. Dzundza departed the show after the first season, alleviating much of the conflict.
    • Michael Moriarty, who played the original district attorney Ben Stone, also caused difficulty for his co-stars and the producers. Among other things, Moriarty had a habit of publicly ranting and name-calling at public figures, most famously calling then-Attorney General Janet Reno a "psychopathic Nazi" for her attempts to cap violence on television; when the producers asked him to tone it down, he responded by quitting the show. note 
  • Of all shows, the Fox News Channel docudrama series, Legends & Lies 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 there was doubt that it would ever see the light of day due to producer and commentator Bill O'Reilly's sexual harassment allegations and subsequent termination from Fox News. It finally aired a year and a half after production with O'Reilly's involvement completely stripped. It's also very likely that Season 4 (supposedly about World War I) will never go into production at all.
  • Lethal Weapon (2016) (a TV remake of the original film and its sequels) premiered to great fanfare for FOX, buoyed by the Buddy Cop Show dynamic between its two leads, Clayne Crawford and Damon Wayans. Unfortunately, on-set tensions between the stars, Executive Meddling and production problems led to Crawford being fired at the end of the second season, replaced by Seann William Scott for the third season. A damning report by Variety laid out some of the problems that plagued the series.
    • The series went into pre-production with both leads being unsure if they wanted to take on the role indefinitely. In an interview recorded after his firing, Crawford claims he was told that Wayans wanted to be involved in the series, then learned after the fact (during the interim between the first and second seasons) that the latter had pitched a different series to FOX president Joe Roth as a Career Resurrection vehicle. As filming of the pilot got underway, Crawford claims he immediately ran into friction with the show's producer and lead writer, Matthew Miller, over disagreements about lead character Martin Riggs' storyline and its focus compared to the action and Buddy Cop Show scenes.
    • The show's first season ended without major incident, though tensions were rising behind the scenes due to production delays. Depending on which source is to be believed, Wayans either refused to sit for script table reads, or there were no table reads at Wayans' insistence. During a press tour appearance in Paris to promote the second season, Wayans reportedly apologized to Crawford for his behavior, but the situation on-set didn't improve. This was supposedly caused by a lack of management on-set, which Crawford claims forced him to step up and start acting as quality control, doing everything from rewriting scripts to overseeing some aspects of the production.
    • During a scene set within a church, Wayans reportedly refused to walk inside, saying he was a devout Jehovah's Witness and it would be an affront to his religion.note  As a result, production had to work around Wayans' absence from production (largely by using stand-ins) until a replica was built on a soundstage in the FOX production lot.
    • During production of the second season's fifth episode, "Let It Ride", guest director Eric Laneuville ran afoul of Crawford and other actors for "butting in" on the production process, alongside their need to improv during shooting. According to a source in the Variety article, one actor even expressed a desire never to work with Laneuville again.
    • The second season's ninth episode, "Fools Rush In" (also directed by Laneuville), became a powder keg when filming of a crucial scene (Riggs attempting to talk down a suicidal man) ran for more than ten hours and was delayed by constant background noises interrupting the shot. Crawford subsequently began screaming at an assistant director to solve the situation by getting a group of children who were playing nearby to "shut the f*** up". The exchange was recorded by staff on-set and, according to Crawford, used as leverage to keep him in check, while the assistant director resigned on the spot. The next day, Laneuville left the production after a disagreement with Crawford and a stunt coordinator over filming of a car crash, which led the show's editor, Matt Barber, to finish directing the episode in an uncredited role. Crawford was forced to take anger management courses, give part of his salary for the episode to Barber, and (according to his own admission) was escorted to and from set by a security guard.
    • FOX also responded by posting security guards to the set and hiring a veteran producer to handle the high-stress set, but things came to a head during production of the season's 20th episode, "Jesse's Girl". During filming of a scene that involved an explosion, Wayans was struck in the back of the head with a piece of shrapnel, and later claimed (in a since-deleted Twitter post) that he suspected foul play due to the "shrapnel" hitting him on the opposite side from where the explosion was taking place. Amid repeated requests to FOX brass to handle the situation, Crawford lost his temper the following day and began arguing with Wayans, with both of them insulting and swearing at each other repeatedly. The ensuing exchange was recorded, and things escalated even further when Wayans refused to shoot a subsequent shootout scene and Crawford got into an argument with the former's personal assistant. In an Instagram post written shortly after rumors about the altercation emerged, Crawford expressed remorse for his behavior.
    • According to Crawford, a FOX executive called him at his home and (within earshot of his family) ordered him to apologize to Wayans or lose his job. At the same time, Wayans (who deleted his Twitter account shortly thereafter) released a series of tweets alleging that Crawford was also a nightmare to work with, who had a "file of infractions" held by FOX and had production staff so angered that they produced decals that read "Clayne Crawford is an Emotional Terrorist".
    • The hammer finally dropped when Crawford went on vacation with his family, and subsequently learned from social media posts that he'd been fired from the show and been replaced with Seann William Scott (the second-season finale has Riggs get fatally shot at a cemetery by his brother while mourning for his father). According to Variety, more than 100 production staff members were let go, with it rumored that the departures were done to people who were loyal to Crawford. This also resulted in Jordana Brewster (Dr. Cahill) choosing to depart the series as well after the first five episodes had been shot.
    • Shortly before Season 3 began airing, Wayans announced that he too would be leaving the show halfway through the season, citing that he wanted to spend more time with his family (issues which had naturally been exacerbated by his playing devoted family man Murtaugh), and even pulling out his character's famous Catchphrase "I'm too old for this shit." FOX managed to convince Wayans by altering his work schedule, but the show wound up getting cancelled at the end of that season.
  • 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 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. Host Michael Reagan also bailed due to the production issues, causing executive producer Ralph Andrews to take over for the last few weeks. The same financial issues also killed Andrews' other game show that he had on the air at the time, a game show loosely based around Yahtzee and hosted by The Hollywood Squares host Peter Marshall. That show underwent a downgrade in venues from Trump's Castle to the Showboat Hotel and Casino, and like Lingo, many staffers and contestants never got paid. Andrews never produced another television series after Yahtzee fizzled out.
  • 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.

  • Family Feud was not the first time that Mark Goodson and Richard Dawson had butted heads. Before Feud first hit the air in 1976, Richard Dawson was a recurring panelist on Match Game starting in 1973. Once he got the Feud gig, Dawson started to become noticeably detached from his surroundings (likely stemming from his ego — why play second fiddle on one show when he had top billing in another?), as he began giving blunt one-word answers to every question, stopped joking around with the other panelists (important on a comedy-driven format), and even refused an on-air demand from host Gene Rayburn to smile. Also souring Dawson's mood on Match was a format change: initially, contestants playing the Head-to-Head Match segment of the Bonus Round were allowed to pick any of the six celebrities, but nearly all of them chose Dawson because he seemed to have an uncanny knack for matching the contestants' answers. To thwart this, the producers added a wheel that was spun in order to randomly select from among which of the six celebrities would be matched. Although its very first spin ironically landed on Dawson, it ultimately played a major role in his leaving Match entirely in 1978.
  • 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 one-liners and bluff answers, 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 in which 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. 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.
    • Prior to the release of Season 12, Joel admitted that he'd forgotten just how much work went into making a top quality episode of the show, and the crew were stretched very thin on the fourteen episodes of Season 11, hence its decidedly mixed reception. Season 12 was thus reduced down to just six so each one could get the same kind of attention the best parts of the original run had.

  • NBC News and its sister outlets endured one throughout The New '10s, with its reputation and its previous ratings dominance taking 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 #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 Channel anchor Megyn Kelly, who was given a Sunday newsmagazine show and a special hour of Today — both of which tanked in the ratings. Kelly herself was fired after a year when she made offensive comments defending blackface.
    • In 2016-17, NBC was accused of sitting on two bombshell stories related to 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, bragging about being able to sexually assault women and get away with it; this led to the firing of Today co-anchor Billy Bush. Then, Farrow wrote a New Yorker story detailing decades of sexual abuse by producer Harvey Weinstein, with Farrow and his former NBC producer eventually alleging that top-level NBC executives conspired with Weinstein's camp to kill the story, necessitating them taking it to The New Yorker to publish.
    • 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 misconduct by former female subordinates. In 2019, Farrow released a book in which a former NBC employee alleged that Lauer had raped her in his hotel room; that senior NBC executives, including Lack, had tried to downplay/discredit her story before Lauer was fired; and that Weinstein's camp had knowledge of Lauer's misconduct and used that as leverage to kill Farrow's story.
  • 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, Martinez 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.

  • Only Fools and Horses' 1986 Christmas Special "A Royal Flush" had a very troubled production. David Jason, Nicholas Lyndhurst and Buster Merryfield left production in Dorset to make an appearance at the Royal Variety Performance, putting the episode behind schedule. Jason lost his voice and needed three days off to get it back. This was the only time Jason ever called in sick on an episode of the show. As soon as he recovered, Lyndhurst came down with the flu, throwing the production into a panic. There was no more time for edits so it couldn't be played before a studio or live audience, leaving the episode with no laughter track and no music. It got so close to the deadline that the final scene was nearly broadcast live on Christmas Day, 1986, a nerve-wracking prospect, what with performing the scene to 19 million viewers, and would have wrecked the cast's Christmas plans. Whenever anyone asked questions during the production chaos, the answer they got was "Fuck knows!" It was finished at the very last minute with editing continuing into the early hours of Christmas morning. Jason likened it to Santa's elves on amphetamines to get the episode finished on time. In the end, he thought it was patchy, but he was not surprised, just relieved it got made.
  • Our Friends in the North spent a decade languishing in Development Hell, largely due to the fact that certain characters were based on real people. Then the first episode had to be completely reshot and rewritten after the original director left. In addition, Malcolm McDowell's scenes had to be shot in one continuous block due to his limited availability, not to mention the fact that he lived in America and rarely did television.
  • Our Little Genius, a game show featuring child prodigy contestants, was yanked days before airing and never spoken about again. Eight episodes were filmed, but executive producer Mark Burnett postponed them upon getting "information" from his staff. While this was never officially clarified, audience members eventually came forward with what went on during the tapings. The show allowed some contestants to try again after missing questions on the first tier, blaming the events on "technical difficulties". Then, an FCC complaint alleged that a staffer gave a contestant what he "needed to know" for a subject he wasn't sure about. Yes, this show tested the powers that be 50 years after the quiz show scandals. Burnett in light of this shelved the episodes for good and paid the contestants their undisclosed winnings. Somehow, no one involved in producing this travesty ever had their careers tarnished.

  • Phyllis, a spin-off of The Mary Tyler Moore Show starring Cloris Leachman as Mary Richards' landlady Phyllis Lindstrom, already had a problematic premise since Phyllis was written as somewhat unsympathetic and a minor antagonist to Mary in the parent series, but it was also cursed by insanely bad luck. Barbara Colby, who played the owner of the photographic studio that Phyllis worked at, was randomly shot and killed on the streets of Los Angeles after the third episode had been filmed. They recast her part quickly (with Liz Torres now assuming the role), but they couldn't really get a rhythm going for the work scenes without Colby (who had genuine comic talents), so they scrapped the work scenario. They also consequently fired Richard Schaal, who played a well-meaning but bumbling photographer at the studio. At the start of the second season, Phyllis was instead working for the city of San Francisco. The scenes with Phyllis at home with Judith Lowry (who played Sally "Mother" Dexter, mother of Phyllis' late husband's stepfather) were hilarious, and Jane Rose (who played Phyllis' mother-in-law Audrey Dexter) had a marvelous sense of comic timing, but both women were very old, and Lowry died at the end of the second season at the age of 86. Not only that, but Burt Mustin, whose character, Arthur Lanson, married Mother Dexter, also died within a month of the airing of their wedding, at the age of 92. Soon after, Jane Rose was diagnosed with terminal cancer,note  so they decided to pack the show in even though it was still drawing respectable audience figures;note  coincidentally, the final episode of Phyllis aired the same week as the series finale of The Mary Tyler Moore Show, in which Leachman made a guest appearance.
  • Pink Lady and Jeff owes its reputation as the death blow to the American Variety Show in large part to this trope:
    • Pink Lady's "Kiss Me in the Dark" had been a very minor hit in the US during 1979, but it had cracked the Top 40 all the same, a rare accomplishment for any Japanese act. So, NBC president Fred Silverman, on the lookout for fresh ideas to boost the network's sagging fortunes, thought a show built around the duo might be worth a shot. He nixed the producer's original concept for something really weird and asked for "something like Sonny and Cher". Sid and Marty Krofft were assigned to make it work.
    • Only after Pink Lady was signed to do the show in spring 1980 did NBC learn that neither of the singers, Mie and Kei, spoke English very well. Either nobody had asked, or their fluency had been greatly overrepresented, depending on who tells the story. This meant that they had to learn their lines phonetically and would make late rewrites pretty much impossible ... like one show that Lorne Greene agreed to be on only four hours before air time.
    • To offset this, NBC hired comedian Jeff Altman to sort of co-host the show. In actuality, he wound up carrying it due to the stars' linguistic limitations. This led to strife between him, the network and Pink Lady's management. Altman wanted the show to have his name in the title; Pink Lady's manager refused. NBC compromised, promoting the show in print ads and on-air promos as Pink Lady & Jeff, but the show's credits always only read Pink Lady.
    • NBC went to great lengths to get name guest stars and musical guests. Sometimes Pink Lady didn't even appear in any sketches at all. They sang, but NBC insisted they only sing English-language songs familiar to an American audience. Again this involved a considerable stretch on their part, as their familarity with English, bad as it was, was much better than their familiarity with the songs they were asked to perform.
    • The writers tried to work around Pink Lady's limitations, by making most of the sketches they were in rely on their unfamiliarity with American culture. But then NBC decided that wasn't good enough ... that the writers needed to write the two women as distinct personalities. Not only was this extremely difficult given the aforementioned language problems, it went against Mie and Kei's philosophy that the two of them not be seen that way.
    • The first show ended with a tuxedo-clad Altman being pulled into a hot tub where Mie and Kei were already lounging. Altman thought this was funny ... once. It soon became a Running Gag that ended every episode, and he hated it. However, it was kept because it allowed the show to show Mie and Kei in bikinis. That, and other risque bits in the show, drew the ire of the sort of Moral Guardians who would later, motivated in part by seeing such things taking over broadcast TV, help sweep Ronald Reagan into the White House later that year.
    • After five episodes, NBC pulled the plug. The format wasn't the only casualty, however ... Pink Lady had had to take so much time away from Japan and touring there that they lost a lot of their audience.note  Later that year they broke up and wouldn't reform for several years.
  • Pitfall, a short-lived game show hosted by Alex Trebek. The parent company, Catalena Productions, had trouble paying contestants their winnings and even stiffed Alex on his salary. He still has the bounced check from Catalena framed in his living room.
  • 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 (1967) 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.

  • 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 antagonism 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.)
  • Reboot The Guardian Code suffered a massive case of this, according to an insider report that was leaked just before the ten-episode first "season" premiered on Netflix.
    • Pre-production on the show began in 2013, when Rainmaker Entertainment CEO Michael Hefferon announced that his company wanted to create a sequel to the original cartoon series that took place 20 years afterwards and showed how technology and the world had changed in the interim, noting that the original characters would be limited to cameo appearances. According to the insider account, Rainmaker (which had achieved great success with shows like Beast Wars, numerous Direct-to-Video Barbie films and other associated projects) decided that they wanted to create the first CG-rendered show on television made using the Unreal Engine. In actuality, Lazytown was the first series to utilize the Unreal Engine — albeit an older version of it — a fact that seemingly went unnoticed by the team, but despite this, the team was allegedly told by Hefferon to continue promoting the show as if this fact were true.
    • Despite his need to render the show in the Unreal Engine, Hefferon hired a programmer who was allegedly unfamiliar with the software and struggled to render graphics, along with a rotating series of art directors who quit due to behind-the-scenes problems. The struggles can be seen in the finished product, where most of the backgrounds and environments are based off static concept art. Additionally, programmer reportedly assured Hefferon that lighting would be handled by Unreal Engine's internal shaders; this didn't work, and the production was forced to hastily hire lighting artists out of post-secondary institutions once it became clear that the lighting in the first few episodes were much darker than normal.
    • According to the leaker, Hefferon meddled in the production process and treated it as his own personal passion project, leading him to integrate ideas and suggestions despite the rest of the team's reluctance. Hefferon reportedly brought his young son into meetings to give story notes, and himself admitted that he hadn't seen much more than a couple episodes of the first season of the original cartoon.
    • Production seemingly went silent for months, with fans speculating that the show may have been put on hold and retooled in response to a disastrous reveal trailer in early 2017. Social media feeds (including the project's Facebook page) also inexplicably went offline for most of February 2018, with the only reason given by the production staff being it was done to "upgrade" the page. The show premiered to mixed-to-negative reviews, with the final episode of the season's first half ("Mainframe Mayhem") receiving significant backlash for including a Take That, Audience! in the form of a basement-dwelling fanboy who is obsessed with the original cartoon (which exists as an actual program in this continuity), seemingly in response to fans who complained about the show.
  • 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.
  • During the final dress rehearsal on Fox's 2019 TV production of RENT: Live, actor Brennin Hunt, who played Roger, badly injured his ankle and couldn't perform for the live show. This might not have been a problem... if Hunt had had an understudy. Which he didn't. This left Fox scrambling to find a way to get their heavily-hyped live musical production on the air, resorting to pre-taped footage from the dress rehearsal — which was filmed without anybody expecting it to actually be aired on TV, with bad sound mixing, a live audience that was cheering like they were at a rock concert rather than a musical, and actors who were singing more quietly than normal in order to save their voices for the live show. Audiences were not happy, and the show met a scathing response. The worst part? Hunt was able to perform for the live portions that they did air, albeit while in a wheelchair, making people wonder why they didn't just air that.
    • In addition, original cast members were brought out for the final number, with Jesse L. Martin visibly suffering the effects of a back injury which had also caused him to be sent offscreen for much of the current season of The Flash (2014).
  • Season 2 of Riverdale got some bad buzz before it even started when KJ Apa fell asleep while driving home from filming and crashed into a pole, causing some controversy over the long hours the younger actors were being put through, including an anonymous source outright saying "Someone is going to die." Luckily things didn't get that far, but the season still suffered the loss of several cast members which forced some very contrived writing decisions. Most damagingly, they lost the actor for the character planned to be revealed as The Dragon in the season finale, and rather than alter their plans, we were treated to a quite amusingly pathetic attempt to wrap the story up without him ever appearing onscreen, including news of his death in a massive shootout. Luckily, they were able to negotiate his return for a single episode the following season to give the story proper closure.
    • Season 3 was sent into chaos with Luke Perry's sudden death from a stroke, with three episodes remaining to be filmed with very little time to figure out how to deal with Fred's absence. Ultimately Molly Ringwald was brought back to reprise her role as Fred's ex-wife and fill his intended role in the episodes (with just a single line vaguely saying Fred is "away," a big sign of just how quickly this had to be thrown together), and the following season was promoted to a series regular despite initially only signing on for a very occasional recurring role.
  • 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.

  • 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 Nickelodeon's schedule).
    • The problems seemed to start when, instead of being renewed for a second season, the series 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 did not appear 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 her mother's death 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.
    • At the beginning of the season, Murray was splitting his time between the show and making Where the Buffalo Roam. He had spent so much time hanging out with Hunter S. Thompson in preparation for the part that he had effectively become Thompson, down to wearing the same dark glasses constantly and using a cigarette holder. His fellow castmates and writers, some of whom also knew Thompson, said that while he might have been fun to hang out with and carouse, he was not someone you wanted to do a weekly sketch comedy show with. Fortunately Murray started toning it down after the movie wrapped, and abandoned it completely later on after the movie bombed.
    • 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, Catchphrase-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).
  • When Sex and the City first debuted on HBO in 1998 it was a game changer. While Carrie, Samantha, Miranda and Charlotte were best friends on-camera, a different story happened off-camera.
    • Kim Cattrall, who signed on as man-eater Samantha, was the biggest name among the cast in the beginning. She was a bonafide movie star, having headlined Mannequin and Big Trouble in Little China. According to a 2008 book proposal shopped by Clifford Streit, the real-life inspiration for the show's character Stanford Blatch, tensions on set began because Cattrall was "a natural comedienne, and a scene-stealer in the best possible sense — the camera went right to her." This was, it seems, a problem, given that Sarah Jessica Parker was playing the show's heroine, Carrie.
    • A clique began to form, leaving Cattrall out in the cold. Parker and Cynthia Nixon (Miranda), who'd known each other since their days as preteen actresses on Broadway, gravitated toward each other and pretty quickly included co-star Kristin Davis (Charlotte) in their group. For the first couple of years, Cattrall had a real ally on set in the form of series creator and producer Darren Star. But when he left after the second season and was replaced by Parker's friend Michael Patrick King, Cattrall was completely isolated. Running up to the end of the series, there were stories filtering into the tabloids, such as the New York Post and Daily News, on an almost weekly basis about the on-set tensions. By the end, no one would talk to Cattrall.
    • Cattrall reluctantly signed on for the first follow-up movie in 2007. Despite the tension, the movie was a hit — making $415 million worldwide. Producers, including Parker, were eager to replicate the financial boon and wanted to make a second movie as soon as possible, but Cattrall held back. Soon, gossip started circulating about her "diva demands." She eventually signed on, after demanding, and receiving, more money. Even with more money, by the time filming started, things were awkward.
    • Reports surfaced in fall 2017 that Cattrall wasn’t interested in participating in a "Sex in the City 3" movie. Citing unnamed sources, a Daily Mail "exclusive" blamed the botched sequel plans on Cattrall's "ridiculous demands." Cattrall categorically denied that, tweeting that she had made clear she didn’t want to do a third "Sex and the City" movie back in 2016. In a subsequent interview with Piers Morgan, Cattrall also said she and her co-stars had "never been friends," despite their on-screen bond.
    • Lest there was any shred of remaining doubt about Cattrall's feelings toward Parker, an Instagram post put the matter to rest after Cattrall's brother Chris died in February 2018. Parker had expressed sympathy for Cattrall's family at a red-carpet event, telling magazines that "we all send her our love and condolences" while, in the same interview, not ruling out the possibility of a third Sex and the City movie but without Cattrall. Cattrall fired back on Instagram, "Your continuous reaching out is a painful reminder of how cruel you really were then and now. Let me make this VERY clear. (If I haven’t already) You are not my family. You are not my friend. So I'm writing to tell you one last time to stop exploiting our tragedy in order to restore your 'nice girl' persona."
  • 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 3 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 Wührer'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 5, 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 that 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 used 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.
  • 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.
  • Season 3 of Supergirl was derailed halfway through by numerous sexual harassment accusations against writer and producer Andrew Kreisberg. He was fired after an investigation, but the show was left in the awkward position of being partway through a story that he'd been the major brain behind, which everyone was naturally not comfortable at all with continuing (plus this would mean they'd still need to pay him for the story ideas). Thus, the second half of the season suffered very noticeably from the remaining writing crew trying their hardest to pull an alternate second half of the story out of their ass, often being very obvious about it.
  • In 1979, Supertrain was one of the most expensive flops in television history. The series had elaborate sets and props and not helping matters was one of the trains crashing during production and having to be rebuilt (making it a "train wreck" in more than one way). NBC did all it could to salvage the series but people were no longer interested.
  • Swamp Thing was done in not by meddling executives or behind-the-scenes scandals, but by the state of North Carolina. The state promised the production a $40 million tax rebate (roughly half the budget for the first season), but only delivered $14 million due to a paperwork error. By the time the error was fixed, Warner Bros. realized they they had been spending more money than they had thought and could no longer afford to produce a second season with the same level of quality as the first, thus deciding to abruptly cancel the show.

  • 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 as Fred Silverman: "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.
  • Production of The Tomorrow People (1973)'s first story, "The Slaves of Jedikiah" was much troubled as the crew found they were unfamiliar with the technical demands of a science fiction drama. The first day in studio was disastrous with virtually no usable material getting made and there was some tension between the cast and Paul Bernard who was very authoritarian with them. Also Nicholas Young banged himself hard into a wall while working on the darkened entrance to the Lab which was being filmed inside the real disused tube station at Wood Lane (closed in the 1940s). Fortunately he was not badly injured and able to carry on later that day after a recovery break.
  • The 1990 revival of To Tell the Truth was hit hard with this. First, NBC accidentally aired the second pilot episode on the east coast instead of the actual first episode. This was particularly notable as the pilot was hosted by Richard Kline instead of Gordon Elliott. Then once the show got rolling, Elliott was temporarily forced off American television due to salary disputes in Australia, so Lynn Swann replaced him as host. However, Swann was quickly hit with scheduling conflicts from ABC Sports, so Alex Trebek replaced him, despite also hosting both Jeopardy! and Classic Concentration at the time. Then Trebek's wife went into labor during a taping session, causing show creator Mark Goodson to fill in for two episodes until Trebek could return. Between the overcrowded market and the inability to hold down a host, it's no wonder that this version of Truth didn't 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.

  • Ultraman had a myriad of problems as detailed here
    • The budget was a major problem for the show and it didn’t help Tokyo Broadcasting System demanded the show the be in color which only increased the cost of the production. Because of this, the production had to cut a lot of corners, fight scenes needed to be cut down, and some monster concepts were abandoned. This is also the reason many suits were reused from other productions most famously the monster Jirass, which used the Godzilla suit. However, when the first episode got 34% of all of Japan watching, the budget was increased, helping the production immensely.
    • The production was always behind schedule because the team was noticeably smaller than most other TV productions at the time and the effects took a lot of time to finish. The show wasn’t even finished when it was set to air which forced the production to make a really cheap TV special to buy the crew more time. The special itself was considered an embarrassment by the production staff. The writer, Akio Jissoji asked to go by pseudonym.
    • The writers were conflicted about what the tone of the series would be. Some wanted the series to be completely serious while others wanted the series to be a lighthearted comical romp. The Skydon episode was the most contentious between the writers that got quite heated. There are even rumors that a fistfight erupted over the episode.

  • The final season of Veep was delayed a year due to lead star Julia Louis-Dreyfus being diagnosed with breast cancer, though she insisted on filming as much as she could in between chemotherapy treatments. The show runners were also very frustrated to have the season cut down to just seven episodes, resulting in a very noticeably rushed set of stories they didn't have the time to properly play out.
  • 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, and her dabbling in 9/11 conspiracy theories, 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 or Meghan McCain).
  • Saban's VR Troopers, sister series to Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers, 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.

  • 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, Frank 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.
    • The show had continuous problems with sensitive information and character deaths being leaked months in advance, with efforts to stem the leaks often being for naught. Shane Walsh's death in the second season was spoiled weeks before its airdate by the description of a DVD boxset, while spoilers and speculation ran so rampant on the seventh season premiere (with both Abraham and Glenn falling to Negan's baseball bat) that AMC attempted to level cease-and-desist orders on groups like The Spoiling Dead Fans. It didn't work, and in an effort to stem the leaks, AMC shot multiple death scenes for all of the characters in Negan's lineup, as well as having Michael Cudlitz (Abraham) attend set long after his death scene was shot in an apparent bid to throw off the trail.
    • 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.
    • Midway through the eighth season, it was revealed that Chandler Riggs (Carl Grimes) had been let go from the show by producer Scott Gimple, which caused no end to fan complaints. Aside from the manner in which his character leaves the show (Carl is bit in the abdomen while rescuing a side character who only debuted in the mid-season finale), the move was seen as a Shocking Swerve that wasn't helped by the fact that Carl becomes the de facto lead character in the comics. Though it was originally suggested that Riggs quit the show because he wanted to move to Los Angeles and become a DJ, it was then revealed (in a Facebook post by his father) that Riggs was fired after the producers promised to extend his contract for three more years.
    • The conclusion of the eighth season was marred by a number of controversial developments. Both Andrew Lincoln (Rick Grimes) and Lauren Cohan (Maggie) opted not to renew their contracts for the following season and only star in six episodes, with the former reportedly wanting to spend more time with his family and the latter accepting a role on the ABC series Whiskey Cavalier. After significant fan complaints to story developments, showrunner Scott Gimple was Kicked Upstairs while Angela Kang took over as showrunner. Amidst these changes, it was revealed that Jeffrey Dean Morgan (like Josh McDermott during production of Season 7) had been dealing with death threats from fans, while Chris Hardwick (the host of the Talking Dead aftershow) was effectively removed from his job after an ex-girlfriend accused him of sexual and emotional abuse. While the allegations were seemingly disproven after an internal investigation at AMC and Hardwick was rehired, one of Talking Dead's executive producers and a handful of staffers quit in response.
    • Scott Wilson passed away from complications caused by cancer, shortly after shooting a dream sequence for Season 9.
  • War of the Worlds (1988) had ongoing internal issues that persisted through its lifespan, not helped by a writer's strike and an infamous retool that took place in the second season.
    • Jared Martin (Harrison Blackwood) replaced actor Michael Nouri at the last minute, after filming had already begun on the pilot episode.
    • Script delays were a constant source of struggle throughout the first season due to the 1988 Writers' Strike. Brothers Greg and Sam Strangis (who were both producers on the show and members of the Writers' Guild and Director's Guild, respectively) often found themselves at odds over what to do, and thus the first three episodes shot after the pilot were written under pseudonyms. As a result, scripts were written and rewritten at breakneck speed — the episode "Goliath is My Name" was hastily cobbled together just so the show could stay in production, and the writers had to rush another concept together when Paramount vetoed a script at the last minute.
    • Executive Meddling reared its head in Season 2. According to an article in TV Zone Magazine, the show's ratings were sliding and barely above that of Friday the 13th: The Series. To that end, Paramount fired Greg Strangis and hired Frank Mancuso Jr. to oversee production. Mancuso jettisoned the present-day mentality of the first season, changing to a near-apocalyptic ravaged landscape that was set 20 Minutes into the Future, culled several cast members and made the material much Darker and Edgier. To say this didn't go over well with fans is an Understatement.
    • Several key production changes meant there was little-to-no sense of continuity through the episodes. Executive script consultant Jeremy Hole only oversaw five episodes before being hospitalized and never coming back. Story editor Jim Trombetta left his post two months after being hired. It got so bad that Jared Martin and Adrian Paul acted as de facto story editors for a stretch of episodes.
    • Mancuso Jr. was reportedly angered that the show wasn't changing fast enough (even beyond its shift between seasons). Although the ratings did eventually stop their slide, it came at a very late point and funders pulled their backing. Though the show was cancelled soon after this, it did come early enough that (unusually for any show that is cancelled) the creators had time to wrap up several story arcs and have a proper ending.
    • Even the fallout from the show stained several of its actors for many years. Catherine Disher (who played Mana) still refuses to attend fan conventions or speak about her time working on the show, as she received angry and threatening letters from irate fans during production.
  • Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp had a hell of a time dealing with the large cast's various schedules, as many of them had become much bigger stars since doing the film and had a lot of other stuff going on. Bradley Cooper caused the most problems, with all his scenes having to be filmed in a single day (funnily enough, this means he experienced the show's story in real time) and the character still having to spend some time as another actor wearing a ski mask. Luckily, the show's parody nature meant they could easily just pass this off as another joke.

  • 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.
    • "Squeeze" had the misfortune of being directed by Harry Longstreet, who didn't obtain additional camera coverage and failed to shoot one scene, leading to re-shoots in order to complete the episode. David Duchovny and Doug Hutchinson (Tooms) also complained about the direction Longstreet gave them, which Hutchinson later called "ridiculous." Despite these problems, "Squeeze" was well-received and is considered to arguably be the series' best 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 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".
    • Filming for the eighth season premiere "Within" was marred by a freak accident in which a power cable struck and electrified a 15-story scaffold on set, injuring six crewmen and killing one.


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