17 TV characters who disappeared after the pilot

Pilots act as a kind of test drive for new TV shows, and small changes can be expected as well as some minor character recasts.

But sometimes characters who were obviously supposed to be important to the plot and the series just disappear without explanation after the pilot. Here are 17 annoying examples!


Daniels further 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 been determined that it’s always been just Hitchcock and Scully.


Claire continued Seinfeld


Lee Garlington played Claire, a servant and friend of Jerry and George in Seinfeld pilot, but her contract was dropped in 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.


Continue training New girl


Yes, I know he’ll be back !! But he is not mentioned after the pilot (except for a brief “Winston played basketball with Coach”) until he returned in season 3. Like … not once. They do not explain why he goes. Plus, he has a completely different personality when he comes back.


Lucinda continues Psych

USA network

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 at least explain this in the plot (Lucinda is displaced due to an affair with Lassiter), but it does not make much sense why they would just replace her with a super-like character. So why get rid of her in the first place?


Life goes 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 in episode 2 when the show decided to go in a different creative direction.


Callie Cartwig on The 100


Kelly Hu played Callie, a main cast member of the pilot, but she was fired before episode 2 due to budget constraints. Showrunner Jason Rothenberg tweeted that the character died by camera between the episodes.


Raisa is Arrow


Raisa played the queen’s housekeeper and was clearly close to Oliver – he greets her more warmly than most of the other characters when he returns. Then she just disappears without a trace. However, she ended up returning shortly for the season 6 premiere.


Josh Wilson continues Weeds


As Doug’s son, it would be reasonable to expect Josh to have appeared many times during the series – however, he disappears after the pilot (even though he returns to the series final).


Coco on Golden girls


Coco, a gay chef who worked for Rose, Dorthy and Blanche, was included as the fourth housemate to “defeminate” 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 its own. Sophia ended up getting a lot of lines that were originally meant for Coco.


Javier Abreu continues 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 going to be a great character.


Conrad continues secret affairs

USA network

The character disappeared after the pilot, despite the fact that he may be a love interest for Annie. Sendhil Ramamurthy, who played Jai in the series, said his character was introduced because “I think they decided to go in a different direction than the pilot and phase out the Conrad character – Jay fills a bit of the same role.”


At least four Dunder Mifflin employees in The office

The office was quite famous for his ensemble crews, many of whom performed in the background of some episodes without contributing meaningfully. However, four actors who were seen in the pilot as employees never reappeared. Two of the women were real accountants who volunteered to be extras, according to DVD comments and Ladies’ office podcast.


Beckett’s boss on Castle


The character tells Beckett to go investigate Kendra Pitney’s murder, and that’s pretty much it. Although he appears to be her boss, he does not show up again.


Tracy Young on IS


Holly Gagnier (funny fact: Holly used to be my teacher in LA and I just found out she was on IS) played medical student Tracy Young. She worked with Ross in the pilot and seemed like she would be important for future plots, but never returned.


Mozhan Marnò further Madam Secretary


Marnò played Roxanne Majidi, Elizabeth’s stylist and image consultant in the pilot Madam Secretary, then disappeared, despite having an office in the Prime Minister’s building. She also appeared briefly in the season 6 premiere, but that’s all we got from Roxanne.


Vladimir Minsk on Hogan’s heroes


Leonid Kinskey, who played Vladimir in the pilot, reportedly disliked appearing alongside Nazi characters / the way Nazis were portrayed in the show, so he stopped. This led to Carter becoming a main character.


And finally … Fluffy on Brady Bunch


Fluffy caused trouble at the wedding when 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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