It’s always a sad day when a TV show ends. Typically, the only hope we have is finding it on Netflix or praying the cast will do a reunion special. Sometimes, we are very lucky and the stars align to give us a TV reboot.
While we’re often ecstatic over the news of a show coming back, there’s usually a sad part when we realize that not every actor and actress from the original series will be part of the new version. Even when actors and actresses are offered to reprise their roles, they often turn them down. Whether it has to do with money, previous commitments, or just not wanting to do it (rude), the point is that the stars won’t be coming back so the reboot will never be fully complete. And then there are celebrities who turn down their shot to be in reality TV show reboots despite the originals making them famous.
Here are 16 stars who refused to come back for their television show’s reboot.
16. Michael Ontkean, Twin Peaks
There was literally a new sheriff in town with the Twin Peaks revival. Michael Ontkean played Sheriff Harry S. Truman when the show came out in 1990. When the sequel happened decades later, Michael had already been long retired from acting. He wasn’t interested in coming out of retirement for the new version so Robert Forster was cast as a new sheriff.
15. Lara Flynn Boyle, Twin Peaks
Here’s another one that was noticeably absent from the Twin Peaks reboot. Lara Flynn Boyle played Donna Hayward on the drama. However, she was famously recast in the Twin Peaks prequel film Fire Walk with Me. She wasn’t the only lady who didn’t come back to the new reboot. Heather Graham and Piper Laurie were also sadly missed.
14. Simon Cowell, American Idol
There have been a lot of American Idol judges during the show’s run. However, the OG judges, Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson, are still the trio we think of. When it was revealed that a new American Idol was coming in 2018, there were a ton of rumors about the original three judges coming back, but it wasn’t happening. Simon has said he would never return to the show “even if they begged him.” Besides, he has his own judging thing going on with America’s Got Talent.
13. Paula Abdul, American Idol
If you’re upset about Simon Cowell not returning to American Idol, this is going to rub salt in the wound. Paula Abdul is also not returning to the 2018 reboot of the TV series. She has said in interviews that she is thrilled the show is getting a reboot, but she doesn’t want to judge. She has hinted that she wouldn’t mind mentoring contestants… so we will have to wait and see if that happens.
12. Kiefer Sutherland, 24: Legacy
It’s impossible to think of 24 and not think of Jack Bauer and Kiefer Sutherland. After all, there really would not have been a show without him. Perhaps that is why 24: Legacy failed to be as successful as the original. When it was announced that the hit drama was getting a reboot in 2016, many praised the return of Jack. However, Kiefer wasn’t returning. Instead, he gave his blessing to star Corey Hawkins.
11. Shelley Morrison, Will & Grace
Everyone was stoked that Will & Grace was coming back to our TV screens after being gone for what feels like forever. While the fabulous foursome of Will, Grace, Jack and Karen were returning, it was revealed that Shelley Morrison, who played Rosario, wouldn’t be. Shelley is still in good health, but she has retired from acting and didn’t want to come out of retirement for the part. The show’s creators ended up working her character’s departure into the reboot.
10. Wayne Wilcox, Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life
If you watched Gilmore Girls, you probably wanted to see every character back for the reboot, Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life. While the vast majority of them did come back, Wayne Wilcox‘s Marty was one that didn’t come back. Producers revealed that they did try to get the actor to come back, but it “just didn’t organically happen.” There could always be a next time, right? Right?!
9. William Fichtner, Prison Break
When Prison Break got a revival, lots of people proudly declared that “the whole gang was back.” That wasn’t completely accurate because William Fichtner did not end up returning. The actor played Alexander Mahone, but he had signed up to be a regular on Mom, so his plate was a bit full already.
8. Victoria Principal, Dallas
If you’re a lover of old TV shows, you will know that Dallas was the Gossip Girl/The O.C. of the 1980s. There was plenty of drama, expensive clothes and a gorgeous cast. TV executives tried to bring the show to a new generation with the 2012 TNT version of the show. Some of the original cast returned and/or made guest appearances. However, Victoria Principal, who played Pam Ewing, did not take part. She released a statement likening her character’s original storyline to Shakespeare saying the best tragic works are left untouched.
7. Sammi “Sweetheart” Giancola, Jersey Shore
It’s hard to keep track with all the rumored Jersey Shore reunions and potential spin-offs, but there actually is a Jersey Shore: Family Vacation reboot in the works for 2018. However, not all of the OG cast will be present. One person that will be missing is Sammi “Sweetheart” Giancola. It is being reported that Sammi likely isn’t interested in doing the reboot because former co-star and ex Ronnie Ortiz-Magro is involved. For those keeping track, Sammi was in Reunion Road Trip: Return to the Jersey Shore, but Ronnie wasn’t.
6. Hayden Panettiere, Heroes Reborn
Hayden Panettiere might be known for her role on Nashville now, but it was really the 2006 show Heroes that catapulted her fame. Heroes was a popular show about “ordinary” people who discovered they have superpowers and must use them to help save the world. Hayden played cheerleader Claire Bennet. When she was given the option of joining the 2015 reboot, Heroes Reborn, Hayden was among many of the cast members who couldn’t come back because of bad timing. Not even superheroes can make schedules work.
5. Milo Ventimiglia, Heroes Reborn
Remember what we just said about how not a lot of the original Heroes cast were able to do the reboot? Another one you can add to the list is the adorable Milo Ventimiglia. He was a fan favorite as the sensitive paramedic-superhero-hospice-nurse Peter Petrelli. He had the ability to mimic people’s powers which made for some great scenes. Too bad we didn’t get to see him in the short-lived Heroes Reborn. He was another one that had scheduling issues. Who knows, had he been able to do it, This Is Us might never have happened.
4. Zachary Quinto, Heroes Reborn
Before he became Spock in the Star Trek reboot, Zachary Quinto starred as the sometimes-scheming Gabriel Gray aka Sylar on the NBC show hit Heroes. He had a lot of special abilities, but they didn’t seem to be enough for Zachary to come back to the show’s 2015 reboot, Heroes Reborn. Zachary explained that he was offered the chance to come back, but told creators it wasn’t really something he wanted to go back to despite loving the job.
3. Tori Spelling, 90210
When the ’90s hit Beverly Hills, 90210‘s modern reboot was announced, former cast members like Shannen Doherty and Jennie Garth signed on to play recurring roles on the show that shot them into teen TV stardom. Tori Spelling originally agreed to bring her character, Donna Martin, back on TV, too for a regular role. Although she was set to appear in the premiere, “personal issues” prevented her from doing so and she also had her hands full with a new baby. However, when she was ready to return to So-Cal’s most dramatic TV show, she appeared in just a couple episodes… until she found out that Shannen and Jennie made more than she would per episode. She asked to have her salary match theirs but when studio execs refused, Tori refused to return to the show for good.
2. Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, Fuller House
We actually get two-in-one here. When it was announced that Full House was getting a reboot as Fuller House, everyone wondered what was going to happen with Michelle Tanner. Obviously, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen didn’t have to worry about sharing a character to fit in with child acting rules. Plus, the twins were pretty busy with their multiple fashion brands. Furthermore, they have mostly stepped away from acting. As much as people wanted to see Michelle back, it didn’t happen. The show brilliantly explained Michelle’s absence by saying she was running her fashion empire in New York — just like the twins.
1. Chad Michael Murray, Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life
Marty wasn’t the only guy that GG execs tried to bring back with no success. Tristan, who was in the middle of a Rory-Paris-Tristan-Dean love-square during the early seasons of the show, played the ultimate bad boy (except Jess, of course). But when it came to A Year in the Life, this bad boy had a different face — the face of Anton Narinskiy. Chad discussed his character being recast saying, “I heard [the revival was happening] and I wasn’t available at the time. I’m pretty positive I was having a baby — my first child.” But he had no hard feelings about someone else filling his shoes and said, “Good job, man!” to Anton for his portrayal of Tristan.