When a TV show becomes highly successful a lot of people often think that the casting director and whoever else is involved managed to pull the best talent out of nowhere or were instrumental in finding the best talent possible for one role or another. What some folks don’t know however is that many of the best roles that have enjoyed some of the greatest success were done so by accident or weren’t planned the way they happened, but worked out perfectly anyway. If not for the occasional misfire when it comes to casting certain actors in iconic roles there are a few shows out there might not have become as well known or as legendary as they did. The thought that one wrong casting mistake could have ruined an entire show is hard to imagine since many shows feature more moving parts and subplots that help to strengthen their overall fan base and main point, but with some TV shows it’s quite obvious that if a single iconic actor hadn’t been cast in the role that made them famous that things would have been far different and, quite possibly, not nearly as effective.
Here are a few accidental casting ideas that turned into success stories.
5. Bryan Cranston – Walter White
Cranston actually wasn’t the first pick for this role, which is amazing to hear, but it was turned down by Matthew Broderick and John Cusack, both of whom are decent to great actors in their own right. Unfortunately, it’s not likely that either man would be able to really bring the level of mania and anxiety that Cranston has been so well-known for during his career since as Walter White, Bryan managed to create a character that was the least assuming person that anyone could think of when it came to his eventual turn. Broderick and Cusack are good, but seeing them as eventual bad guys is a bit difficult.
4. Ty Burrell – Phil Dunphy
Matt LeBlanc was offered this role and to be perfectly honest he just doesn’t feel like the type that Ed O’Neil could possibly torment as easily since Ty Burrell really stood out as the father figure that’s a bit of a geek and is also the tech-savvy member of his family. For one reason or another, largely because of his role as Joey on Friends, LeBlanc just doesn’t come off as the nerdy type that well and would have likely been hard to buy as Phil since he tends to be far more macho than Ty has shown himself to be in pretty much anything he’s done to this point. Even in Dawn of the Dead Ty was more of an insecure jerk than a believable egomaniac.
3. Courtney Cox – Monica
If you can believe it, Courtney had an offer to audition as Rachel for the same show, but apparently, after reading the character she felt closer to Monica and as it’s said, the rest is history. Trying to picture her as Rachel is pretty difficult at this stage but it does feel as though she might not have been able to dull her more neurotic edges down enough to really pull off the role. At this point, it does feel that she was made to play the role of Monica if only because she was far more capable of pretending to be a nervous wreck half the time that was on the verge of snapping at people at several points in the show.
2. George Wendt and John Ratzenberger – Norm Peterson and Cliff Claven
There are certain duos that just shouldn’t be broken up since they go so well together that mentioning them at the same time is kind of standard. George and John might not have occupied their stools for so long at one point had the initial idea gone through, as there was only supposed to be one of them in attendance, but through some quirk of fate the two men auditioned and it was found that they worked so well together that they were kept on. Eventually, it was just expected that if Norm was there that Cliff couldn’t be too far behind, and the idea stuck for a long while as most fans already know.
1. Jim Parsons – Sheldon
Initially, Johnny Galecki was in line to take on the role of Sheldon, but as it appears to happen so often he felt that he was better off trying to take on a different character, and as a result, Jim was brought in to test out the role of Sheldon. Lo and behold he became the favorite individual for the role and years later people are celebrating him as the most iconic character of the show that starred several talented individuals and became a sensation that people are bound to talk about for years to come.
Sometimes accidents can be the best thing that ever happened to a TV show.