Kristin Cavallari will take over for Lauren Conrad on The Hills next season and judging by the preview of this Sunday’s season finale, Cavallari is bringing on the drama. I’ve decided to make peace with the fact the LC wants out and have begun accepting Cavallari as her replacement. The former Laguna Beach rivals have a lot more in common than the same shade of dress they’ll end up wearing at the Speidi nuptials…apart from fighting over Stephen Coletti in high school, they both share a past with resident Hills manwhore Brody Jenner. Unlike Conrad, Cavallari is pretty much an attention seeker, so expect her to give Spencer and Heidi some stiff competition. This reality TV casting swap couldn’t have be better if it was scripted!
Here’s a look at some TV replacements from the past:
Saved by the Bell
NBC decided to extend the episode order of SBTB’s final season, however Tiffani (Amber) Thiessen (Kelly Kapowski) and Elizabeth Berkley (Jessie Spano) refused to sign new contracts. Producers cast Leanna Creel as tough girl Tori Scott to mix things up with Zack, Screech, Slater and Lisa while Kelly and Jessie were MIA. Initially, Tori argued with Zack (Mark-Paul Gosselaar) but later became his girlfriend. Hmmm…Zack sparred with Jessie at times and Kelly was his on and off girlfriend. Tori was at times sweet like Kelly but had wild curly hair like Jessie. But let’s face it…there was no supercouple like Zack and Kelly and no one else could really get “so excited” like Jessie Spano!
NBC decided to confuse the heck of out the viewers as they would alternate between the Kelly/Jessie and Tori episodes each week. Tori was never mentioned during the Kelly/Jessie episodes while Kelly and Jessie were never mentioned in the Tori episodes.
Beverly Hills 90210
The original 90210 was well-known for its cast changes from season to season however the biggest change came at the end of the fourth season in 1994 when Shannen Doherty left the show. Reports surfaced at the time that the exit was due to the actress’ difficult on-set relationships with many of her co-stars. Producers wrote out Brenda by having her attend school in London.
Tiffani (Amber) Thiessen was then as the new resident bad girl Valerie Malone, who was an old family friend of the Walsh’s from Buffalo. Val moved into Brenda’s old room and stirred up a lot of trouble for the crew (the drugs! the rape accusations!). Val hooked up with Dylan (Luke Perry) and pissed off Kelly (Jennie Garth) on a number of occasions. FYI, producers originally approached Alicia Silverstone (pre-Clueless) for this role but she turned it down.
Val’s time at Bev Hills came to an end in 1998 and Aaron Spelling handpicked General Hospital star Vanessa Marcil to fill the brunette-vixen void. Marcil’s Gina Kincaid was originally Donna’s (Tori Spelling) cousin but turned out to be her half-sister (Doc Martin got around but also liked to keep in the family). Gina also went on to cause trouble for the crew (strippers in the Peach Pitt After Dark!)…hooked up with Dylan and pissed off Kelly.
Michael J. Fox announced that he’d be leaving Spin City at the end of the 1999-2000 season to spend more time with his family and to raise money for the awareness and research into Parkinson’s disease. Deputy Mayor Mike was replaced by Charlie Sheen’s Deputy Mayor Charlie for the show’s final two seasons.
Robert Patrick joined The X-Files in its eight season when David Duchovny decided to leave his role as Fox Mulder in order to devote more time to film and other projects. Character-wise, it was Scully (Gillian Anderson) who became the new “believer” while Patrick’s FBI Agent John Doggett took over as the “skeptic”.
Another Shannen Doherty replacement! Rose McGowan took over as the third (and long-lost) Halliwell sister, Paige Matthews, in the fourth season of the Spelling produced series. Doherty left the show at the end of the third season after an alleged on-set feud with Alyssa Milano (Phoebe). After Prue’s cliffhanger death, the two sisters found out that their mother had an affair with her Whitelighter and gave the baby up so that it could be raised out of harms way. Paige’s arrival shifted the sibling dynamic between the Halliwell sisters as Piper was now the eldest (aka the responsible one), Phoebe was the middle sister (aka the mediator) and Paige was the baby of the bunch (aka the impulsive one).
Although there were reports that Mischa Barton wanted to leave The O.C. at the end of its third season to focus on her film career (how’s that going, by the way?), creator and executive producer Josh Schwartz was adamant that killing off Marissa Cooper was completely a “creative decision”. Really? Then, why did Barton spoil the season finale death to the press a day before it aired?! Season Three guest stars Autumn Reeser (Taylor Townsend) and Willa Holland (Kaitlin Cooper) become regulars in the fourth (and final) season season. The Marissa characteristics were split among the two…Taylor took over as love interest to Ryan (Benjamin McKenzie) and BFF to Summer (Rachel Bilson) while Kaitlin inherited her big sister’s troublemaking duties.