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Character Additions That Nearly Ruined A TV Show (Or Did)

June 10th, 2008 8:45am EDT
Buffy The Vampire SlayerIt's been said that a TV show is only as good as the characters that occupy it. During the first season of series, the writers introduce us to certain main characters that the show is going to revolve around. Once a season ends and a new one is about to start all bets are off because the writers don't want to see the ratings drop.

Their solution? Bring in new characters.

Whether they were added in advance or brought on spontaneously, new characters are added in hopes of appealing to an even bigger audience and to increase a particular show's ratings. This doesn't always turn out the way producers had hoped. At times, shows even lose their original fan base in the process because they brought on such horrible new characters.

Following are a list of some of the cast additions that nearly ruined a show:

Stosh "Piz" Piznarski: Veronica Mars
Added: Season 3

"Veronica Mars" was considered a critical darling. It was a hit with both the critics and the fans. Unfortunately, they weren't a hit in the ratings. This, as often is the case, left the writers desperate. The writers made their worst decision yet. Veronica (Kristen Bell) was off at college, so she was bound to make new friends. We were introduced to Wallace's (Percy Daggs III) new roommate, an annoying and unfunny new guy named Piz (Chris Lowell). He later played a not-so-annoying character in "Private Practice."

Chris Lowell



Dawn Summers: Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Added: Season 5

The character of Buffy Summers (Sarah Michelle Gellar) was always established as an only child, even in the movie version. So it was a little surprising when they first introduced Dawn (Michelle Trachtenberg) as Buffy's little sister. After that didn't work out, the writers changed their minds and had Dawn be a mystical person who was later known as "the key."

Dawn & Buffy



Oliver Trask: The O.C.
Added: Middle of Season 1

It seems that any guy that had an encounter, even a short one, with Marissa Cooper (Mischa Barton) seemed to fall madly in love with her. After she nearly overdosed in Tijuana, Marissa met an odd-looking guy named Oliver Trask (Taylor Handley) at her therapist's office. The series did three terrible things when it brought in Oliver: A character comes in, screws around with everyone's emotions and then just vanishes into thin air. After Oliver's disappearance, he was never heard of again.

Oliver Tyler: The Brady Bunch
Added: Season 5

Producers felt that if they added a much younger character to the show, it would balance out the already "maturing" cast. In other words, they wanted to improve their lackluster ratings. In the end their plan failed and young Oliver (Robbie Rist) became very unpopular with the viewers.

Luke Bower: Growing Pains
Added: Season 7

Before hitting it big in the movies, Leonardo DiCaprio landed a role as Luke Bower on the family comedy "Growing Pains." He was an orphan boy who Mike Seaver (Kirk Cameron) found living at the school and decided to let him stay at the Seaver house. DiCaprio's character made this already painful show even more unbearable to watch. Twenty-two episodes later, DiCaprio's character left the show and shortly later, the series ended.




Seven: Married with Children
Added: Season 7

The character Seven (Shane Sweet) was supposedly a young boy that Al & Peggy Bundy (Ed O'Neill & Katey Sagal) decided to adopt. The writers' intention was to have Seven as a parody to "cousin Oliver." It didn't work out, and the character was gone a season later.




April Nardini: Gilmore Girls
Added: Season 6

Things were going great between Luke Danes and Lorelai Gilmore (Scott Patterson and Lauren Graham). They were in love and planning their June wedding. That is until a young girl named April Nardini (Vanessa Marano) came into the diner looking for Luke Danes, her potential father. It turned out that Luke was her dad, and things took a turn for the worse. Luke and Lorelai broke up, and she eventually got back together with and married Rory's father Christopher. Since April's appearance on the show, the series and storyline went downhill and the show was never able to recover.

What do you think were the worst character additions? Make a comment!

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Angie Rentmeester
Story by Angie Rentmeester
Starpulse.com contributing writer


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