Television show viewers may agree that killing off a character is equivalent to losing a family member, especially when it’s your favorite cast member!
Fans of Family Guy were at a loss for words after saying goodbye to their beloved family dog Brian this week. Shockers like that can either make or break the show’s ratings, like in the case of CBS’s Two And A Half Men, which saw a decline in ratings after the departure of the show’s star Charlie Sheen.
There are various reasons to kill off a character. Sometimes producers like to spruce things up in order for viewers to remain interested, other times there may be a nasty, off-screen situation that causes show creators to let actors go. Whatever the case may be, it seems as though they never kill off the characters that you actually want to die, like bad guy Greg Harris from Mad Men.
Check out our list of TV characters who were sent to meet their maker a little earlier than we thought.
Seinfield: Susan Ross (Played by Heidi Swedberg)
Fans adored the annoying girlfriend of cheapskate George Costanza, though George didn’t seem to. In the final episode of the seventh season, viewers were shocked to see George’s soon-to-be wife lying lifelessly on the ground. She died from toxic glue poisoning after licking too many mail stamps for her wedding invitations. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Heidi Swedberg revealed that she was pleased at her character’s death, stating, “viewers loved that the main characters weren’t nice people, and Susan was too kind.”
PHOTO CREDIT: NBC
Breaking Bad: Gus Fring (Played by Giancarlo Esposito)
Gasps all over the world were heard by Breaking Bad fans, as season four was met with the death of drug kingpin Gus Fring. Fring was an important character since the AMC hit series premiered. He was a Mexican immigrant and business owner who was killed in a bombing set off by Tio Salamanca. There are no reports of behind the scenes drama, but Fring’s death definitely made for an interesting fourth season.
PHOTO CREDIT: AMC
Two And A Half Men: Charlie Harper (Played By Charlie Sheen)
In the series, Charlie was hit by a train in Paris, then died soon after. In real life, behind the scenes drama brewed as Sheen was hospitalized for drugs after an eventful week involving strippers and porn stars. Producers then banned Sheen from the set.
PHOTO CREDIT: Wenn
Charmed: Prue Halliwell (Played By Shannon Doherty)
Prue The Witch had been killed twice before in the series, only to return soon after. Reportedly, behind the scenes tension between Doherty and co-star Alyssa Milano caused writers to ex-out Shannon for the third season.
PHOTO CREDIT: Splash
Family Guy: Brian (Voice Of Seth McFarlane)
Everyone’s favorite family mutt was killed in season 12 after being struck by a car. Producers of the show revealed to The Sun that they just wanted to “shake things up.” The Griffin family immediately replaced Brian with a new, wise cracking dog named Vinny.
PHOTO CREDIT: FOX
Grey’s Anatomy: George O’ Malley (Played by T.R. Knight)
The up and coming surgeon was a popular character on the ABC primetime hit Grey’s Anatomy. But behind the scenes misunderstandings led his character, George O’Malley, to be killed off. In the series, O’Malley was hit by a car and died instantly. In real life, T.R. Knight revealed in an interview with Entertainment Weekly that he asked to leave due to a “breakdown in communication” between him and the show’s producer Shonda Rimes.
PHOTO CREDIT: ABC
Desperate Housewives: Edie Britt (Played by Nicolette Sheridan)
The sassy and fiery Edie Britt was one of Wisteria Lane’s most beloved residents. In the series, Edie dies after she crashes her car into a pole and gets electrocuted stepping into a puddle. But after claiming she was wrongfully fired from the series, things went downhill in real life for Nicolette Sheridan. Sheridan filed a lawsuit against ABC claiming that her character was neglected and that the show’s creator, Marc Cherry, assaulted her on set. Cherry denied the allegations and countersued. The lawsuit went to trial and ended in a mistrial, leading Sheridan to file a Supreme Court appeal.
PHOTO CREDIT: ABC
Lost: Boone Carlyle (Played Ian Somerhalder)
Carlyle was one of the main characters during the show’s premiere seasons. Women everywhere took notice of new actor Ian Somerhalder, but toward the season one ending, writers decided to kill off Ian’s character. Boone Carlyle died after being crushed inside of a falling plane, much to Somerhalder’s dismay. But the writers of the series felt that Boone’s death would help fuel a rivalry between the survivors and set up the season finale.
PHOTO CREDIT: Wenn
South Park: Kenny McCormick (Voiced By Matt Stone)
Fans of the show watched as quiet Kenny was killed at the end of every episode for the first six seasons. He would then return the next episode, with no explanation and as if nothing happened.
PHOTO CREDIT: Comedy Central
The Vampire Diaries: Vicki Donovan (Played by Kayla Ewell)
Vicki Donovan was a drug addict turned vampire in the CW hit series The Vampire Diaries before being killed off. In season two, the blood-thirsty vampire was killed after having a stake thrown through her heart. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Ewell revealed that she was saddened by the season two death of Vicki, but her character would return later as a ghost.
PHOTO CREDIT: CW
Lost: Charlie Pace (Played By Dominic Monaghan)
Lost fans everywhere were shocked by the death of Charlie Pace. The rocker drowned as he attempted to save the other survivors. Although there wasn’t any drama going on behind the scenes, Monaghan revealed in an interview with Huffington Post that he wasn’t “too happy about Pace’s death, but it’s time to move on.” Producers of the hit ABC series explained that it was just a good storyline to have him die as a hero.
PHOTO CREDIT: Lost
E.R.: Dr. Mark Green (Played By Anthony Edwards)
Dr. Green was the main character of the popular NBC drama, E.R. His death in season 8 was a drastic changing point in the show. In real life, actor Anthony Edwards quietly walked away from his role as the doctor in order to pursue different things in his career. After 9 seasons, Dr. Greene died of a brain tumor.
PHOTO CREDIT: TMZ
Luther: Justin Ripley (Played by Warren Brown)
Luther fans were in for a total shock for the hit series’ third season. The third episode left viewers in awe at the death of Justin Ripley, as he was shot and killed by vigilante Tom Marwood. The show’s executive producer, Neil Cross, told Entertainment Weekly about their decision to kill off Ripley, saying that he was the “moral heart of the show” and that there was no place for that in “Luther-Land.”
PHOTO CREDIT: Splash