What casts looked like at the beginning and the end of 20 popular sitcoms

Stacker selected 20 popular sitcoms and examined what their casts looked like at the beginning of the show and the end.

What casts looked like at the beginning and the end of 20 popular sitcoms


Part of the magic of television is in the casting—finding the best actor to bring a particular character to life on screen. The right cast immerses viewers in a fictional world with characters so authentic one might forget they aren’t real.

Stacker curated a list of popular sitcoms and compared their casts at the show’s beginning and end, including photos of the principal cast from each point in time.

Television casting poses some unique challenges, as shows can continue on season after season, year after year. Some of the greatest TV shows of all time became just that because of their long-standing casts, groups of actors that remained in their roles from the pilot until the very last episode.

Imagine what “The X-Files” could have looked like had David Duchovny or Gillian Anderson dropped out halfway through the show’s 11-season run or “Sex and the City” continuing without Sarah Jessica Parker. The shows just wouldn’t be the same.

If a TV show stays on the air long enough, actors may leave to seek other opportunities, or showrunners may mix things up by bringing in new characters. Shonda Rhimes’ long-running drama “Grey’s Anatomy” is a great example, losing lead actors like Sandra Oh and Patrick Dempsey while gaining others like Jesse Williams throughout its 20 seasons and counting.

Keep reading to learn more about how 20 of your favorite TV casts changed—or not—throughout the seasons, with shows presented alphabetically.

30 Rock: 2006

30 Rock: 2006
Comedian Tina Fey was the first woman to become a head writer on “Saturday Night Live,” an experience she later used to create her own successful sitcom about life behind the scenes of a sketch comedy show. “30 Rock” debuted on NBC in October 2006 with Fey starring as head writer Liz Lemon, Alec Baldwin as network executive Jack Donaghy, and Tracy Morgan as the fictional show’s lead actor Tracy Jordan.

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