Rumors and speculation are the lifeblood of fandom. These channels give fans a way to express and entertain themselves, even after they’ve discussed all the action, every hidden meaning and the minutia involved with their favorite TV shows. Rumors are an outlet. They are the embodiment of our love and our paranoia. They are also, almost always, ridiculously untrue. Every show is surrounded by rumors. Most never gain any traction once they’ve been started, but sometimes, when the conditions are just right, a rumor takes flight, infiltrating forums and penetrating even the thickest of our skins. We skeptics might pretend that we’re unaffected, but deep down we feel something; it starts out as a near-silent murmur in the pit of our stomachs, grows to a twinge and then is vocalized from our lips in a resounding “what if?”
With love comes fear. These two elements of the human condition are always connected. The worst part about our love is the necessary fear of loss associated with it. Our world is filled with temporariness. Everything around us has a shelf-life and coming to terms with that is difficult, especially if that life is to be ended before we’re ready. When it comes to our favorite TV shows, we’re almost never ready. We wouldn’t be able to cope without it. So, we grin and bear the rumors. Every whisper we hear, we scoff at, cackling at the ridiculousness of it all. Yet, deep in our hearts, we’re praying it’s not true. Thankfully, most of them aren’t. Here are some of the wildest we’ve heard so far. Here are the 15 stupidest rumors about TV cast members leaving the show.
15. Jim Parsons – The Big Bang Theory
Plenty of people have wondered how The Big Bang Theory has become one of the biggest shows on television, but that doesn’t change the fact that it’s one of the biggest shows on television. We can be mad at the success of the show all we want, but we aren’t changing it. With the contracts given to the main stars coming up for renewal, there has been a lot of talk of who’s staying and who’s leaving. The craziest of these rumors has been about Jim Parsons, the actor who plays Sheldon on the show. To suggest that this actor, now the highest paid actor on television, is considering leaving the only show he’s ever had success on is insane. Where would he go? Would another show even come close to offering him the same money? Nope. Not in a million years. He found a cash cow and the only way he’d leave it now is if they forcefully removed him from the set.
14. Trai Byers – Empire
Trai Byers is well-liked for playing the bipolar oldest son Andre on Empire. That’s why fans were so upset when a story emerged stating that the actor was dissatisfied and wanted out. While Byers denies any reports that he’s leaving, he did voice some frustration with the character. “Andre is a very complicated character. And my approach is complicated as well. The character is going through spirituality, trying to find his identity. How do we get to the truth but still keep it interesting and still fit into the world of Empire? I think that’s where the frustration lies.” But, Byers has been assured that the writers are doing their best to make sure that his character and his story are treated well moving forward. “One of the things we said was, ‘If season one was Jamal’s season and season two was Hakeem’s, then season 3 is gonna be Andre’s,’” producer, Ilene Chaiken, said. “Andre has a big story, a great story, and we’re being rigorous about tracking his character.”
13. Steve Burns – Blue’s Clues
When Steve Burns finally left Blue Clues, the kids’ television show that he had been hosting for six years, the rumor mill starting churning, speculating about why he left. There were several crazy explanations as to why Steve had left, most involving his death in some way, from a heroin overdose to a car accident. Some people had suggested that Steve had died and was replaced by a doppelganger, a la Paul McCartney. Unfortunately for the media, the real reason behind Steve’s departure was much more ordinary. While Steve was planning on pursuing a music career once he was done with the show, he ultimately left because of his advanced male pattern baldness. “I knew I wasn’t going to be doing children’s television all my life, mostly because I refused to lose my hair on a kid’s TV show,” the TV host said, “and it was happening, fast.”
12. Pauley Perrette – NCIS
Some of the rumors involving stars leaving a TV show are more of a fallout, stemming from rumors about the star’s personal life. Take death hoaxes, for example. They happen all the time, but only the very best seem to capture the imaginations of the public. Usually it involves a well-known, but still somewhat obscure celebrity. Pauley Perrette from NCIS fits this bill perfectly, and that’s why her death rumor got so much buzz. It also followed closely on the heels of the very real news of her being attacked by a psychotic homeless man outside her home. “He grabbed me so forcefully, pinned my arm, punched me in the nose, forehead repeatedly telling me he was going to kill me,” Perrette wrote after the attack. “Then he showed me how he was going to kill me. He kept repeating his name: “William ___ ___, don’t forget that! I’m going to kill you.” When fans had finished grieving for the actress Perrette, the logical next step was that they grieve for her character on NCIS as well. Fans should know by now that you can’t kill NCIS. That show seems like it will go on forever.
11. Blake Shelton – The Voice
Millions of fans tune in each week to listen to the amateur singers take the stage on The Voice, but there’s also a lot of love given to the celebrity hosts, especially the two mainstays, Blake Shelton and Adam Levine. That’s why it’s so strange but also so expected that each season, like clockwork, rumors come out about the departures of one or both celebrity coaches. This past season, there’s been a lot of talk about the country coach, Shelton, leaving. The most recent rumors were that Blake was fired, but considering he’s the most popular coach by a country mile, we know this is all baseless talk. When asked about it, Shelton said, “I’ve heard many rumors that I’ve been fired… I don’t plan on going anywhere. I’d like to stay there as long as I can. Of course I’m going to stay there!” He also responded to questions about his long-time co-star, Levine. “The moron is coming back, too,” he said. “It’s going to be a lot of fun.”
10. Rodger Bumpass – Spongebob Squarepants
There’s been a lot of talk this past year about the long-running television show, Spongebob Squarepants, and if it’s finally come to the end of its run. First there were rumors aplenty about Rodger Bumpass, the voice of Squidward on the show, and what his DUI arrest would mean for his future on the show. This then led into other rumors about the show being cancelled after season 10. Nickelodeon representatives have since put all that talk to bed, saying that, while Bumpass’ actions were immoral, they will not be canning him. They also went on to show snippets of the upcoming season and saying that they’ve been guaranteed two more seasons at least. So, no worries! Yet…
9. The Entire Cast – The View
For some reason, a number of reports came out earlier this year that the entire cast of The View was being fired. The show’s ratings have steadily declined over the past few years, but one cast member change is often enough to fix that. Raven-Symoné announced earlier that she was leaving the show, so that should help that problem. As for the other members, Joy Behar has addressed the rumors that she’s leaving the show by saying, “Sorry, Donald [Trump], I’m not leaving.” It’s unclear if there will be further changes to the cast or not, but it doesn’t look like Whoopi Goldberg or Candace Cameron Bure are leaving either.
8. Norman Reedus – The Walking Dead
Next to Andrew Lincoln‘s character, Rick Grimes, Norman Reedus and his character Daryl are the most sacred element in The Walking Dead. Still, that doesn’t stop fans from believing every rumor about Reedus leaving the show. Two years ago, a random house sold in Atlanta and reports came out that Reedus had sold his home and would be leaving the show. Reedus responded to these reports by saying, “That’s not even my house. It’s a rumor. I wish that was my house. It’s a nice house.” Then there were rumors that he wanted the potential Ghost Rider role. Not true. Now, there’s a fear that his other show, Ride with Norman Reedus, will create a scheduling conflict. He must be gone. Just stop it people. Stop it. The show will never survive without Daryl. That’s suicide for them.
7. Steven Amell – Arrow
It seems that as soon as Steven Amell, star of the DC series Arrow, suggested that he would be interested in taking on the role of a villain in a DC film, people took that to mean that he wanted to leave or was planning on leaving Arrow. Luckily for fans of the show, this rumor held absolutely no weight. Just like the rumors that Amell was leaving the show when he did Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows didn’t hold any weight. This time, when the actor started hearing about his departure, he decided to clear things up himself by releasing the details of his contract. “I keep reading that I’m leaving Arrow,” Amell said. “I’m not. I have a contract that runs through 2019. At least. Now… That doesn’t mean Arrow will run that long, but if it does… I’ll be here. Any other questions I can answer?”
6. Peter Capaldi – Doctor Who
Fans of Doctor Who have to suffer through countless rumors about cast members leaving because it’s part of the show’s shtick. Since the main character, the Doctor, can regenerate, which essentially means he can die and come back as a new actor, this opens up the possibility that the main actor might leave at any point. When Peter Capaldi came on in 2013 as the 12th Doctor, fans expected we would get a few seasons out of him, which is wear we’re at now. So naturally, the rumors about his departure have begun. Many are now saying this upcoming season, season 10, will be Capaldi’s last. There show’s producer, Steven Moffat, who is actually leaving after this season, has denied this rumor, stating, “I have no reason to suppose that I’m writing out a Doctor. Peter is loving the role, and long may he do so.”
5. Emilia Clarke – Game of Thrones
Every new season of Game of Thrones brings with it some new rumors about cast members leaving. We’ve come to expect that no character is safe within the confines of the murderous show, but why is it that people always believe crazy rumors about central figures picking up and leaving? Robb died yeah, get over it. He didn’t even have a narrative in the books. The last few seasons it’s been Emilia Clarke, the beauty who plays Daenerys Targaryen, who’s been rumored to be on her way out. Clarke has been rumored to want off the show every off-season and, every off-season, fans totally flip out. Slow your role people. Why would Clarke leave a show that has made her into a megastar before its completed? Well, the most recent answer was that she wanted to play the new James Bond, er Jane Bond, simply because she half-jokingly said she had interest. “I would love to play Jane Bond,” Clarke said. “My ultimate leading man would be Leonardo DiCaprio. No doubt about it,” she added. Yeah, we’ll get right on that.
4. Andrew Lincoln – The Walking Dead
There are people out there who choose not to entertain rumors about primary cast members leaving a show. Those people think about things logically: why would show makers kill of the character that everyone has followed and connected with since the show first started? Sure, it would generate buzz for the moment, but what happens afterward? How does the show survive without the main character? Yeah, the answer is they can’t. They wouldn’t. So, how do these rumors go viral, you ask. Well, because we let them. When the cliffhanger at the end of season six of The Walking Dead left it up in the air who in Rick’s group was going to die, some people automatically assumed it was Rick Grimes himself (Lincoln). Not wanting to ruin the surprise, Lincoln than gave the cryptic quote, “It’s the greatest television job I’ve had in my career, and it’s also the hardest because you know you’re saying farewell. It’s unique in that way. It’s one of the excitements in that it keeps evolving. It has to by definition. We’re telling a story, and the story has to move forward.” Obviously, he was talking about someone else dying folks, not himself. Again, let’s be intelligent here. If Rick dies, The Walking Dead dies. Don’t believe everything you hear.
3. Ellen DeGeneres – The Ellen Show
There was a bit of buzz around The Ellen Show earlier this year about Ellen DeGeneres‘ rumored departure from the show that she’s made one of the most popular daytime television shows of all time. Of course, this is nothing more than just a crazy lie meant to drive up hits to the websites spouting the garbage. Still, people fell for it. There was a skincare company who was connecting Ellen to their new crappy product line, something they did with Joy Behar from The View as well. No. Ellen is not leaving her hugely popular show and no, she is also not leaving her hugely hot wife, Portia de Rossi.
2. Ariel Winter – Modern Family
Despite the talk on the streets, Ariel Winter, one of the stars of Modern Family has not been fired. These rumors have been rampant since the young actress has chosen to dress a little more scandalous and show off her risqué side more and more. This has led people to guess that the powers behind Modern Family might want to distance themselves from the actress who plays Alex Dunphy. “Nothing could be further from the truth,” said co-creator Steve Levitan. “Ariel is a beloved cast member and a crucial part of our show. While she is starting to attend classes this year at UCLA, we are happy to report that she’ll continue to be a part of Modern Family’s coming season.” All that said, it is kind of funny how opposite Alex is from Ariel.
1. Kaley Cuoco – The Big Bang Theory
Some rumors surfaced recently suggesting that Kaley Cuoco, star of the smash hit TV show The Big Bang Theory, is seriously considering leaving her steady-paying gig. Apparently, Cuoco is said to be jealous of actress Melissa Rauch and the newfound attention that her character, Bernadette, is receiving from the writers. You probably know that Bernadette is pregnant, so the show is having fun with creating episodes centered on her mood swings and difficulties adjusting to pregnant life. This whole Cuoco leaving the show thing makes sense if you forgot that the actress makes ONE friggin’ MILLION dollars an episode. The only way Cuoco is leaving the set is through death or fire, either being fired or lit on fire. There’s no other place in the world that she makes that much money ever again.