Popular Television Series Regulars Who Were Originally Written as Minor Characters


Sheldon Cooper (Jim Parsons), “Big Bang Theory” — Originally written as a minor character —the roommate and colleague of the show’s main character —

his popularity with audiences resulted in his character being elevated to one of the featured characters. His now the biggest reason for the success of the show (besides the laugh track).


Benjamin Linus (Michael Emerson), “Lost” — He was only supposed to be on the show for three episodes,

but the producers liked him so much that they elevated him to the leader of “The Others” and later made him a series regular.


Steve Urkel (Jaleel White), “Family Matters” — Originally, Urkel was supposed to appear in only one episode as a nerdy kid who dated Laura Winslow.

He proved so popular that the producers brought him back for several more episodes, and he was so winning he was elevated to series regular. Now, he is who most associate with the show.


Mimi Bobeck (Kathy Kinney) “Drew Carey Show” — She was only supposed to appear in the pilot episode,

but was such a hit with producers that she was written into the show permanently.


President Bartlett (Martin Sheen), “West Wing” — Originally, the president wasn’t even supposed to be in “The West Wing,” Aaron Sorkin had meant for the focus to be entirely on the senior staff. However,

he decided to put a face to the President’s name, signing Martin Sheen on for only four episodes. So impressed with his performance, Sorkin wrote him in as a series regular.


Frasier (Kelsey Grammar), “Cheers” — As originally written, Frasier was only supposed to appear on a few episodes of “Cheers,” as the love interest of Diane Chambers and a brief rival to Sam Malone. However,

after Diane left him at the altar, Frasier began coming into the bar regularly, became friends with Sam, and eventually rose to a series regular (and would later, of course, land his own spin-off).

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