Pilots serve as a sort of test run for new TV shows, and slight changes as well as some minor character recasts are to be expected.
But sometimes, characters who were clearly supposed to be important to the plot and series just completely disappear with next to no explanation after the pilot. Here are 17 infuriating examples!
1. Daniels on Brooklyn Nine-Nine
Hitchcock and Scully became an iconic duo on the show – but they were originally part of a trio! Terry introduces Daniels along with Hitchcock and Scully, but after the first episode, she's just gone, and it's established that it's always just been Hitchcock and Scully.
2. Claire on Seinfeld
Lee Garlington played Claire, a server and friend of Jerry and George in the Seinfeld pilot, but her contract was dropped by Episode 2. Jerry and George never returned to the cafe Claire worked at, Elaine took her place as the female lead, and the rest is history.
3. Coach on New Girl
Yes, I know he comes back!! But he isn't mentioned after the pilot (except for a brief "Winston played basketball with Coach") until his return in Season 3. Like...not once. They don't explain why he leaves. Plus, he has an entirely different personality when he comes back.
4. Lucinda on Psych
Anne Dudek played Lassiter's partner Lucinda in the first episode, but she was replaced by Maggie Lawson as Lassiter's partner Juliet in the second episode. They do at least explain this in the plot (Lucinda is transferred due to having an affair with Lassiter), but it makes little sense why they'd just replace her with a super-similar character. Why get rid of her in the first place, then?
5. Liv on Constantine
Liv teamed up with Constantine in the first episode and was clearly meant to be the female lead. They replaced her with the character Zed from the books as the female lead by Episode 2, as the show decided to go in a different creative direction.
7. Raisa on Arrow
Raisa played the Queens' housekeeper and was clearly close with Oliver — he greets her more warmly than most of the other characters when he returns. Then she just vanishes without a trace. However, she did end up coming back briefly for the Season 6 premiere.
8. Josh Wilson on Weeds
As Doug's son, it would be reasonable to expect Josh to have appeared many times throughout the series — however, he vanishes after the pilot (though he does return for the series finale).
9. Coco on Golden Girls
Coco, a gay cook who worked for Rose, Dorthy, and Blanche, was included as the fourth housemate to "defeminize" the show, but it was decided after the pilot that the three Golden Girls (soon to be four with Sophia moving in) were strong enough on their own. Sophia ended up getting a lot of lines that were originally intended for Coco.
10. Javier Abreu on Elementary
Captain Gregson's assistant Javier Abreu was replaced by a new character, Marcus Bell, in Episode 2. It's unclear why he was replaced, but it was pretty clear he was meant to be a big character.
11. Conrad on Covert Affairs
The character disappeared after the pilot, despite seeming like he may be a love interest for Annie. Sendhil Ramamurthy, who played Jai on the series, said that his character was introduced because "I think they decided to go in a different direction from the pilot and phase out the Conrad character — Jay kinda fulfills the same role."
12. At least four Dunder Mifflin employees in The Office
The Office was pretty famous for its ensemble cast, many of whom appeared in the background of some episodes without meaningfully contributing. However, four actors seen in the pilot as employees never appeared again. Two of the women were real-life accountants who volunteered to be extras, according to DVD commentary and the Office Ladies podcast.
13. Beckett's boss on Castle
The character tells Beckett to go investigate Kendra Pitney's murder, and that's pretty much it. Despite seeming to be her boss, he doesn't appear again.
14. Tracy Young on ER
Holly Gagnier (fun fact: Holly used to be my teacher in LA, and I just found out she was on ER) played med student Tracy Young. She worked with Ross in the pilot, and seemed like she'd be important to future plots, but then never returned.
15. Mozhan Marnò on Madam Secretary
Marnò played Roxanne Majidi, Elizabeth's stylist and image consultant in the pilot of Madam Secretary, then vanished, despite having an office in the state department building. She also briefly appeared in the Season 6 premiere, but that's all we got from Roxanne.
16. Vladimir Minsk on Hogan's Heroes
Leonid Kinskey, who played Vladimir in the pilot, reportedly didn't like appearing alongside Nazi characters/the way Nazis were portrayed in the show, so he quit. This led to Carter becoming a main character.
17. And finally...Fluffy on The Brady Bunch
Fluffy caused problems at the wedding when (s)he was chased by Tiger in the first episode, but was never seen again. Interestingly, Tiger also disappeared a few seasons later.
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