Leaving a hit TV show in the midst of its height takes a lot of courage and is a move which is usually not worth the risk. From losing big fat pay cheque to a bad impression upon fans, a lot can go wrong. However, there are actors who choose to go this path. While some achieve great success later on, for others, it is just a slow painful death of their careers. Here are some of the stars who left their hit show.
Steve Carell (The Office)
Steve Carell, who appeared in 157 episodes of NBC’s The Office, left the show after the long span of 7 glorious years. He was a lead character of the show since its inception in 2005 but did not renew his contract after 2011. After leaving the show, Carell went on to appear in movies like Despicable Me franchise, Little Miss Sunshine, The Big Short and other acclaimed movies. He was even nominated for Academy Award for his performance in Foxcatcher.
But it didn’t work out well for the show which only ran for 2 years after their over-enthusiastic awkward boss left The Office.
Crystal Reed (Teen Wolf)
Dating a werewolf, being a part of the werewolves, and hunting families didn’t work out for Allison Argent as she was killed in the final moment of season 3 of Teen Wolf. Reed stated that her character of routine high school girl was becoming too boring for her and that she wanted to head in a new direction. However, the move did not pan out well for her. Fans of the show were quite shocked at the death of their favorite character, but the show went on well even without her.
The immediate aftermath of her departure from the show did not see much roles, but, she has started appearing in the lead role of Sofia Falcone, in the DC superhero crime drama, Gotham.
Christopher Abbott (Girls)
Christopher Abbott, who played Charlie Dattolo on the HBO hit series, Girls, left the show after the second season in 2013, following a clash with show’s lead actress and director, Lena Dunham. The 27 years old actor said that he didn’t like the direction the show was headed in. He later returned briefly in season 5.
After leaving the show, he appeared in a number of movies like Criminal Activities, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot and Piercing and also been active in broadway productions.
Topher Grace (That ‘70s Show)
For seven seasons, Topher Grace played the lead character of Eric Forman in the hit sitcom, That ‘70s Show, to try his career in movies. His decision to leave the show didn’t quite work out for anyone as his movie career finished before getting started and the show only lasted for a season after he left.
Right after he left the show, he appeared as Eddie Brock/Venom in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 3, which was not received well by the critics. He has appeared in several movies in minor roles but have failed to score a good role.
Sherry Stringfield (ER)
Sherry Stringfield, who played Dr. Susan Lewis, left the high-rated medical drama, ER, in the third season. Although she had a contract for 5 years, she insisted on leaving early to “get a life.” She left the show in 1996 with a contract which blocked her from working on TV for the rest of the contract period with the show. However, she returned to the show in 2001 just to leave again after four seasons in 2005.
Apart from her work in ER, she has appeared as a guest in a few TV shows, and has not gained much success.