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20 Times Actors Asked for Their Characters To Be Written Off Their Show

Although it can be a difficult decision to remove an actor from a show, sometimes, it is necessary for the best interests of the production.

Whether it’s because producers want to freshen up a show or because the actor is no longer relevant, it’s not uncommon for actors to be written off of their shows. While many are written off because of their problematic behaviors, others beg the production to do so.

While this means the actors leave amicably, it also raises the question: While would an actor beg to be written off of their own show?

It’s important to remember that actors make a lot of money on popular shows. Especially if their show is seasonal, which means stable work for a long time. Walking away from this kind of money would be difficult…

Yet these actors do the exact thing. Let’s see why these 20 actors beg to be written off in their shows.

#1 Steve Carell, ‘The Office’

Source: JASON MERRITT/TERM/GETTY IMAGES

Steve Carell built a name for himself as Dunder Mifflin in “The Office”, but he resigned after season 7. Many assumed Carell quit to pursue a film career, but in a 2010 BBC interview, he stated that his contract expired after the show’s seventh season. He hadn’t planned to leave, but once NBC refused to negotiate, he chose to depart.

#2 George Clooney, ‘ER’

Source: GARETH CATTERMOLE/GETTY IMAGES

As Dr. Doug Ross, George Clooney was television’s original hot doctor. Clooney, however, felt destined for more after six years, and the actor was written out of the show after season six so he could pursue a film career. To be honest, he made a wise decision.

#3 Patrick Dempsey, ‘Grey’s Anatomy’

Source: STEPHANE CARDINALE – CORBIS/GETTY IMAGES

“Grey’s Anatomy” season 11 ended to startled fans when Dr. Derek Shepherd was killed in a car accident. According to reports, Dempsey’s departure was because of his desire to focus on other projects. He starred in Bridget Jones’s Baby shortly after leaving the program.

#4 Christopher Meloni, ‘Law and Order: SVU’

Source: JEROD HARRIS/GETTY IMAGES

On “Law & Order: SVU,” Detective Elliot Stabler was half of the squad. Fans were understandably disappointed when Meloni’s character departed from the police service before season 13. Meloni said that his exit from NBC was solely due to contractual issues.

#5 Kal Penn, ‘House’

Source: JAMIE MCCARTHY/GETTY IMAGES

Kal Penn’s exit from “House” was everything but normal. Penn was given a place in President Obama’s administration rather than departing for changing positions or contract negotiations. Dr. Lawrence Kutner was killed off in season 5, and the actor began his new job at the White House’s Office of Public Liaison.

#6 Rob Lowe, ‘The West Wing’

Source: ARNOLD JEROCKI/GETTY IMAGES

Rob Lowe’s career was revitalized after he was cast as Sam Seaborn on The West Wing in 1999. He did, however, leave the political drama in 2002, purportedly due to a pay dispute. At the time, the actor issued a statement thanking producers for enabling him to depart the program graciously. “We were a part of television history and I will never forget it,” he said in a statement.

#7 Donald Glover, ‘Community’

Source: PARAS GRIFFIN/VMN18/GETTY IMAGES

After five seasons, we bid farewell to Troy Barnes as Donald Glover’s music and film careers took off. According to his onset costars, Glover has been preparing for a music career since season 3.

#8 Jim Parsons, ‘The Big Bang Theory’

Source: NBC/GETTY IMAGES

While his portrayal of Sheldon Cooper garnered him a Golden Globe and a large salary, Jim Parsons determined that season 12 would be his final. CBS attempted to get the actor to stay by offering him a two-year deal for $50 million, but he rejected it. After season 12, the program stated that it will finish with Parsons.

#9 Andrew Lincoln, ‘The Walking Dead’

Source: THEO WARGO/GETTY IMAGES

When Andrew Lincoln’s character, Rick Grimes, was injured, rescued, and assumed dead in 2018, fans were taken aback. Lincoln requested a leave of absence from the blockbuster AMC drama to spend more time with his family. However, because of the complexities of his write-off, he was able to reprise his part in a spin-off.

#10 David Duchovny, ‘The X-Files’

Source: STEPHANE CARDINALE – CORBIS/GETTY IMAGES

How does one get fired from a science fiction program like The X-Files? One method is to be abducted by aliens. That’s what occurred to David Duchovny after he decided not to extend his contract at the end of season 7.

#11 Justin Chambers, ‘Grey’s Anatomy’

Source: KELSEY MCNEAL/GETTY IMAGES

Justin Chambers was one of the few original cast members left on Grey’s Anatomy by season 16. But after 15 years, he chose to end his tenure on the show. He assured fans in a statement that there was no dramatic cause for his departure.

#12 David Caruso, ‘NYPD Blue’

Source: JEAN-PAUL AUSSENARD/GETTY IMAGES

The actor was one of the show’s primary stars, but it didn’t prevent him from leaving after the network failed to satisfy his contract demands following the show’s successful first season. He departed the program after season two and then joined CSI: Miami.

#13 Daniel Dae Kim, ‘Hawaii Five-O’

Source: BRIAN KILLIAN/GETTY IMAGES

Daniel Dae Kim starred in “Hawaii Five-O” for seven seasons, but his pay did not match that of his white co-stars. The actor chose to leave the program when the network denied his request to renegotiate his compensation.

#14 Milo Ventimiglia, ‘Gilmore Girls’

Source: TOMMASO BODDI/GETTY IMAGES

The separation of Rory and Jess in Season 3 devastated most viewers, but Milo Ventimiglia claimed he was ready to say goodbye. Fortunately for us, Ventimiglia returned to the role a couple of times after departing.

#15 Daniel Gillies, ‘Saving Hope’

Source: DAVID LIVINGSTON/GETTY IMAGES

Dr. Joel Goran was killed off the medical drama after deciding he needed to take a break from filming not just Saving Hope, but also The Originals. He was doing 40-42 episodes of television every year, alternating between two series. So he asked for his character in “Saving Hope” to be written off.

#16 Mandy Patinkin, ‘Criminal Minds’

Source: GREGORY PACE/GETTY IMAGES

Mandy Patinkin allegedly ceased appearing on the show after becoming dissatisfied with his character development, Jason Gideon. The writer decided to kill off his character by him getting shot off-camera.

#17 Dean Norris, ‘Breaking Bad’

Source: STEVE GRANITZ/GETTY IMAGES

Although many were outraged by Hank Schrader’s death, it was supposedly the Dean Norris’ idea. According to Norris, The National Post. The actor was reportedly relieved to go since the show’s split season 5 would interfere with other projects he had planned.

#18 John Amos, ‘Good Times’

Source: JOHN SCIULLI/GETTY IMAGES

In the 1970s comedy Good Times, John Amos played James Evans Sr., who was killed off in season 3. Although the actor hesitated to leave, he claimed that the decision was made because he was always at odds with the writers about the direction of the show.

#19 John Francis Daley, ‘Bones’

Source: JASON LAVERIS/GETTY IMAGES

Lance Sweets was a fan favorite in Bones for ten seasons. When the possibility to direct came up, Daley begged to be killed off. Daley went on to direct his first film, a version of National Lampoon’s Vacation.

#20 Josh Charles, ‘The Good Wife’

Source: DIMITRIOS KAMBOURIS/GETTY IMAGES

Josh Charles didn’t leave the show lightly. It took him roughly a year to declare his departure after failing to renew his contract when it expired following season 4.

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