Can Roseanne be the latest show to survive a major departure? With The Conners airing this fall, ABC and fans will soon find out if the Conners do not need Roseanne Barr, just like Two and a Half Men survived without Charlie Sheen and Criminal Minds without Thomas Gibson.
The TV business has a long history of shows surviving a major star's firing. It certainly is easier for a crime procedural, where the actors are rotated in and out, but it can be tough for a sitcom or serialized drama.
Roseanne is a special case though. The challenge for The Connors is not just surviving without Barr, it's surviving without the character the original show was named for. Without Barr and her character, there is no way the original series would have lasted nine seasons. There is no way season 10 would have been so successful when it aired earlier this year.
While ABC hopes for success with The Conners, here is a look at 12 shows that prove you can drop a star and survive.
Three years after Dharma & Greg ended, Thomas Gibson quickly found another steady gig: playing Aaron Hotchner on CBS' Criminal Minds. After 11 years and 12 seasons on the crime drama, he was fired due to an altercation with writer/producer Virgil Williams. Gibson was initially suspended for two weeks before CBS and the producers showed him the exit.
The show's viewers, who were already used to a revolving door of actors, continued to tune in. The show will be back for season 14 in the fall.
Charlie Sheen was the big star on Two and a Half Men. Sure, Jon Cryer is a beloved comic actor too, but Sheen was why people tuned in.
It all came crashing down in 2011 when he was fired after he made a series of shocking comments on talk shows and social media. At the time he was fired, Two and a Half Men was the most-watched sitcom on TV. Sheen was replaced by Ashton Kutcher and the series ran until 2015.
In 2011, Steve Carell decided against renewing his contract and left NBC's The Office for greener pastures on the big screen. While fans may be divided over the show's remaining seasons, it stayed alive until 2013. Carell made one unforgettable cameo in the finale though.
"That's what she said."
Shannen Doherty had two notable departures from shows, and both stayed alive without her.
After season four, she was fired from Beverly Hills 90210 because of a sudden decision to get a haircut producers did not approve of, notes Entertainment Weekly.
90210 continued without her, and Doherty later landed a job on Charmed. She stayed on the show until season three, after which she was fired for clashing with Alyssa Milano. Charmed went on for five more seasons without her.
Columbus Short provided Scandal with a real off-set scandal. Shonda Rhimes fired him in 2014 during the show's third season because of accusations of domestic violence by his estranged wife and other run-ins with the law.
Short later said he agreed with ABC's decision to drop him.
Grey's Anatomy, like many other medical dramas and soaps, has survived actors coming and going. Even the death of Dr. Shepherd (Patrick Dempsey) was not enough to kill the show.
One of the show's most notable departures was Isiah Washington, who was fired in 2007. He allegedly used a gay slur during an argument with actor T.R. Knight, who announced he is gay after the argument went public.
Clayne Crawford was fired after two seasons on Fox's Lethal Weapon, in which he stars as the character Mel Gibson played in the movies. He had an on-set blow-up during an episode he directed and clashed with co-star Damon Wayans. Video footage and audio of Crawford and Wayans' explicit spats were leaked to Variety.
After the season ended, show producer Warner Bros. fired Crawford and replaced him with Seann William Scott. After the recasting, Fox agreed to renew it for season three, which will debut this fall.
Amazon fired Transparent star Jeffrey Tambor after he was accused of sexual misconduct, allegations he denied. Creator Jill Soloway and Amazon agreed to keep the show going for a fifth season without him. It is not clear how she will handle Tambor's departure.
Tambor won a Golden Globe and two Emmys for playing the transgender professor Maura Pfefferman.
After star Kevin Spacey was fired over mounting sexual harassment allegations against him, including those by House of Cards staff, Netflix agreed to keep the show going for one more season.
Season six will star Robin Wright as Claire Underwood, who is now president. The show will return in the fall.
One of the most controversial TV departures was David Caruso's decision to leave NYPD Blue. After the show's first season was a breakthrough hit, Caruso began making incredible demands that simply could not be met.
In his memoir, creator Steven Bochco, who died in April, called Caruso's behavior "cancerous." Caruso demanded he be allowed to walk out of his contract if his demands - which included Fridays off and a raise from $40,000 per episode to $100,000 - were not met. They weren't. He walked out, Jimmy Smits walked in, and the rest was history. NYPD Blue ran until 2005.
The Law & Order franchise is the poster child for shows that survive cast changes. Every entry in the series that lasted more than one season included a few casting swaps.
However, Law & Order: SVU was so closely tied to Detectives Benson and Stabler that some wondered if the series could continue without either one of them. Christopher Meloni suddenly left after wrapping season 12, but the show has survived without him, proving that Mariska Hargitay was the show's true heart. Although Meloni and Benson remain close friends, there is no concrete word on Stabler ever returning.
On Aug. 30, Emmy Rossum shocked Shameless fans by announcing she was leaving the long-running Showtime series after its ninth season is over. While Showtime has not said if Shameless will continue past season nine, the producers have said they do not see it as the end. It is not clear if Rossum's shocking decision will change their minds.
"The opportunity to play Fiona has been a gift. There are few characters — female or otherwise — as layered and dynamic. She is a mother lion, fierce, flawed and sexually liberated. She is injured, vulnerable, but will never give up," Rossum wrote on Facebook. "She is living in an economic depression, but refuses to be depressed. She is resourceful. She is loyal. She is brave. I knew it the second I read the pilot script, this was different, this was special."