Ruby Rose joins long line of TV stars’ early exitsby Lauren Sarner
The show must go on — with or without its star.
Ruby Rose is the latest series lead to leave a show prematurely after announcing she’s departing The CW’s “Batwoman” after just one season — even though it’s been renewed for Season 2.
While the Australian model and actress, 34, has stayed mum on exactly why she left — “that’s my choice for now,” she said on Instagram this week — she said in a statement that leaving the show “was not a decision I made lightly as I have the utmost respect for the cast and crew…”
The search is now underway for Rose’s “Batwoman” replacement after the network and the studios behind the show (Warner Bros. TV, Berlanti Productions) said they’re “firmly committed to ‘Batwoman’s’ second season and long-term future, and we … look forward to sharing its new direction…”
While Rose’s departure was unusual, it’s not unprecedented. Here’s a look at other stars who left their shows in recent years — sometimes involuntarily.
Clayne Crawford, “Lethal Weapon” (Fox)
Crawford starred for two seasons (2016-18) as Martin Riggs opposite Damon Wayans’ Roger Murtagh in Fox’s reboot of the classic 1987 buddy cop franchise. He was fired in 2018 after reports of “bad behavior” on the set and alleged problems with Wayans and was replaced by Sean William Scott for the show’s third — and final — season in 2019.
Jennifer Morrison, “Once Upon A Time” (ABC)
Morrison played princess turned bail-bond agent Emma Swan for six seasons of the fairytale drama. She left in 2017 on good terms, citing network TV’s “grueling schedule” and a desire for more of a personal life. She returned as a “special guest” in the seventh and final season to get her happy ending with Captain Hook (Colin O’Donoghue).
Kevin Spacey, “House of Cards” (Netflix)
After Spacey was accused of sexual assault in 2017, Netflix ousted him from its seminal political drama and killed off his character, US president Frank Underwood. The series continued without him as co-star Robin Wright (Claire Underwood) assumed the presidency for a shortened, under-the-radar sixth and final season.
Nina Dobrev, “The Vampire Diaries” (The CW)
After six seasons of murder and mayhem (2009-2015), Dobrev, who starred as human-turned-vampire Elena Gilbert, had enough and left “The Vampire Diaries” at the end of Season 6 — two seasons before it wrapped for good. “I always wanted Elena’s story to be a six-season adventure,” she explained on Instagram. In true soap opera fashion, Elena was put in a magic coma, allowing Dobrev to return for the 2017 series finale.
Roseanne Barr, “Roseanne” (ABC)
ABC’s reboot of its hit sitcom (1988-97) was equally as impressive when it returned in 2018 to a staggering 19 million viewers. That all came crashing down that March, when Barr fired off a racist tweet, ignited a storm of controversy and was fired. ABC subsequently axed the show, but it returned (sans Barr) that fall with a new name, “The Conners,” which has been humming along and will return for a third season.
Travis Fimmel, “Vikings” (History Channel)
The Australian actor starred for four seasons (2013-17) in History’s epic saga as cunning warrior Ragnar Lothbrok — but unlike the majority of star exits, Ragnar’s death really was planned. Creator Michael Hirst (“The Tudors”) said that Ragnar was originally supposed to die at the end of Season 1, but he hung around thanks to Fimmel’s performance. “Vikings” continued for two seasons and is expected to return for its final go-round sometime this year.
Steve Carell, “The Office” (NBC)
Star Steve Carell’s departure as wonky boss Michael Scott in Season 7 left a gaping hole in the show’s final two seasons. According to Andy Greene’s book, “The Office: The Untold Story of the Greatest Sitcom of the 2000s,” Carell wasn’t set on leaving, but when he floated the idea and the network didn’t protest, he saw no reason to stay. Ultimately it was NBC’s loss, as ratings and fan enthusiasm dwindled thereafter.
Connie Britton, “Nashville” (ABC)
Britton starred for five seasons as former country music star Rayna James. When the show jumped from ABC to CMT in Season 5, she left (reportedly for creative reasons) — and “Nashville” got rid of Rayna, leaving co-star Hayden Panettiere to pick up the slack. The show lasted another one-and-a-half seasons; Britton went on to star in Season 1 of Fox’s “9-1-1” and in Bravo’s hit miniseries “Dirty John.”