10 Replacement TV Characters Who Were Better Than The Original

Split image showing Mike Prince from Billions, Morgaus from Merlin and Adam from Dynasty

Character departures happen quite often in TV shows and this tends to be influenced by behind-the-scenes factors such as actors quitting the projects to work on something else or getting dismissed due to contract disputes of misbehavior. On other occasions, the writers simply feel the need to take the story in a different direction.

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Whenever the popular characters depart, there is always the guarantee that they will either get replaced. However, great risk comes with substituting rather than recasting since there is never a guarantee that fans will warm up to the new protagonists or antagonists. Luckily, a few replacement characters turned out to be better than the original.



10 Adam Carrington


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After staying away from the family for most of his life, Adam shows up to claim his rightful place in the Carrington family and in order to do that, he comes up with a devious plan to get his brother out of the picture. Steven Carrington, therefore, disappears from Dynasty and Adam sneaks his way into the opulent life he craves. Though he is villainous, Adam is way more interesting.

Adam is proactive, ambitious, and mischievous, compared to Steven who had no interest in family affairs and was simply content with being Blake Carrington’s son. During the series, Adam engages in numerous schemes, such as poisoning Jeff Colby, tampering with evidence in Blake’s murder trial, and working his way up the corporate ladder. What’s impressive is that he never gets caught.

9 Mike Prince


<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Mike Prince announces his takeover of Axe Capital (Billions)

Bobby Axelrod’s escape to Switzerland in Season 5 of Billions allows his billionaire rival Mike Prince to take over as the protagonist as well as the new boss of Axe Capital. The shoes appear too big to fill at first, but Mike turns out to be a better-developed character.

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For starters, Mike isn’t tied to business arcs only. While Bobby rarely even got to date, Mike is shown to have a chaotic relationship with his love interest. The one-percenter also does way more than just engage in cat-and-mouse games with Chuck Rhoades. He focuses on growing Axe Capital and is so ambitious that he works to have the 2028 Olympics brought to the city.

8 Ryan Wilder


<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Flash S9E4 Red Death in Batwoman costume

Batwoman might be one of the shows that were canceled just as they were getting good but fans will be glad that they got to see Ryan Wilder’s version of Batwoman. At first, the series uses Katy Kane as the titular character, but Ryan Wilder takes over the mantle after finding the Batsuit from a plane crash’s wreckage.

Ryan happens to be more of a team player than her predecessor and thanks to her eagerness to engage others, characters like Mary, Sophie, and Lucy become more fleshed out. The Arrowverse project also gets to have a better hero-villain dynamic when she takes over, with the character frequently engaging in psychological duels with Alice rather than just ordinary fights.

7 Buzz Hickey

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Buzz welcomes a student to his office (Community)

As a student-for-life and heir to the Hawthorne Wips empire, Pierce is generally portrayed as one of the smartest characters in Community, thanks to his endless bits of advice. Sadly, he dies in Season 5 and while his departure triggers plenty of melancholy, it creates room for a much better character, Buzz Hickey.

The Criminology professor is a reliable voice of reason and never hesitates to correct the students whenever he feels that they are losing their way. Having been a soldier and police officer before, he has an easier time doing this. He isn’t a dull tutor either. Buzz has a couple of interesting hobbies, notably drawing comic strips that feature ducks as the main characters.

6 David Rossi

Criminal Minds

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>David Rossi inside the BAU offices in Criminal Minds

Soon after Jason Gideon quits the BAU because of emotional distress, he is replaced by David Rossi, who goes on to be a more likable character than him. Rossi’s abrasive nature is mostly what makes him come off as better than Gideon since he heavily relies on traditional police practices and never beats himself up when things go wrong.

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As for Gideon, he appears way too emotional to be an officer. He blames himself for most of the show’s major tragedies, including the warehouse bomb and Reid’s torture at the hands of Tobias Hankel. He also feels guilty about the shooting Agent Elle Greenaway. The constant self-blame thus Criminal Minds character annoying.

5 Rey Curtis

Law & Order

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Rey argues with his wife in Law & Order

In Law & Order, Rey Curtis is brought to Manhattan’s 27th Precinct Detective Squad to replace Mike Logan and ends up being a better officer than him. The major difference between the two is that Rey is a more realistic lawman. He does things by the book and never breaks rules or takes unnecessary risks.

Mike, on the other hand, is modeled after some of the toughest action movie cops. He is more concerned with being the star and beating up baddies than following the laid-down procedures. Their personalities aside, it’s through Rey that the show makes major steps in the use of technology. He is the first character to use a laptop and is also depicted as being more computer-literate than the rest.

4 Morgause


<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Morgause announces her victory (Merlin)

Nimueh isn’t a terrible character in Merlin, but she is dull compared to the person that replaces her in Season 2. Morgause is depicted as totally Machiavellian, often scheming her way to glory and backstabbing others. Furthermore, she is extremely ruthless, something that makes her a better fit for the show compared to the softer Nimueh.

Morgasue’s introduction goes a long way in making Merlin one of the most entertaining fantasy shows. There’s hardly anything she isn’t good at and at one point, she even beats Merlin in a fight. On another occasion, she makes the whole of Camelot fall into an enchanted sleep state just so she can kill Uther.

3 Ben Wyatt

Parks & Recreation

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Television Ben Wyatt Parks and Recreation

Charm goes a long way in making a sitcom character interesting. Unfortunately, the Pawnee Indiana city planner, Mark Brendanawicz, is anything but charming. His ability to convince others to do his bidding makes him a successful lothario, but he is self-centered and never really cares about any of the women he sleeps with, including Leslie.

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As for the state auditor, Ben Wyatt, he proves himself a better professional as soon as he is introduced in Season 2. He is competitive, thorough and never bends his principles for anyone. Additionally, Ben is more romantic, and that’s why he goes on to have a successful relationship with Leslie in Parks And Recreation. He’s so selfless that he gives up his desire to run for Governor of Indiana just so Leslie can instead.

2 Jim Phelps

Mission Impossible

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Jim Phelps examines a gadget in Mission Impossible (TV)

The Mission Impossible movie franchise is way more popular, thanks to better stunts and a world-famous lead. Still, the TV series that inspired the movies isn’t bad either. The series has many well-written characters, and among them is the IMF boss, Jim Phelps. Though he is a little overbearing, he is smart and always knows how to improvise in order to get the job done.

Phelps grows to be the show’s most fascinating character, which is impressive considering the fact that he isn’t there at the start of the series. Initially, the IMF is led by Dan Briggs. The former United States Army’s G-2 Section member is more of a behind-the-desk boss who only issues orders and never really follows them up, hence he never gets to connect with the viewers.

1 Ziva David


<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Ziva (NCIS)

Ziva first appears in Season 3 as a replacement for Kate, who dies at the hands of Ari Haswari. As a former agent of the Mossad’s Kidon Unit, Ziva happens to be a much more skilled fighter hence she makes NCIS’ action set pieces way more entertaining. She kills without hesitation, compared to Kate, who gets emotionally attached to baddies.

On top of that, Ziva stands out from NCIS‘s other protagonists because of her Israeli background. Through her, several aspects of Israeli get explored, something that often feels refreshing. For example, she enjoys music by the Israeli pop band Hadag Nahash and is always more than glad to educate others about Israeli history.

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