Darrin Stephens, version 1 and 2 together

 Darrenstevenses My pal Jason Weisberger and I were just discussing how distressing it can be when a familiar TV character is replaced with a different actor in the middle of a series. Of course, the two Darrins from Bewitched, Dick York and later Dick Sargent, immediately came to mind. I Googled for photos of the two and this beautiful illustration appeared.


  1. Take a look at this site that is dedicated to this strange phenomenon and others, and how they affect a TV series.
    (It’s named after the precise moment in Happy Days when it is universally accepted that the series was never good again – when he “jumped the shark.”)


  2. “Bewitched” did it several times before they switched Darrins: Mrs. Kravitz, the Stephens’ hapless busybody neighbor, and Darrin’s father. I know medical reasons prompted recasting Darrin and Edna Kravitz; not sure why they replaced the elder Mr. Stephens.

  3. Antinous (#4): I noticed. It was devastating, and I am still a little touchy about it. OK? ;)

    Thanks Dasbin for the Jump the Shark reminder. according to them Batman holds the record with 3 switcharoonies (The Riddler, Catwoman, Mr. Freeze)

    They also list everyone on Passions, but that barely qualified as a TV show ,-/

    Here’s a question: Do blogs ever “jump the shark”?

  4. Just to clarify: Batman does not hold the record for total cast changes, but JTS readers think changing The Riddler, Catwoman and Mr. Freeze affected the quality of the show…

  5. This picture reminded me of the Two Dicks song, which hasn’t been mentioned. It goes like this (to the tune of the Bewitched theme song):

    Two Dicks
    Two Dicks

    Samantha had two Dicks

    First she had Dick York but he died
    So then she had Dick Sargent

    And that’s how Samantha had two Dicks!

  6. The Bewitched movie would have been soooo much better if they had just switched Darrins in the middle of the movie without commenting on it.

    ie… Will Ferrill goes into the bathroom, but Owen Wilson comes out and the movie just continues. Long way to go for a joke, but would have been better than what they wrote.


  7. I just have to say that Bewitched really freaked me out when I was a little kid.

    She had powers, she could do anything. She could have cured diseases or built homes for poor people or even been a crime fighter.

    And what was the whole point of the show, that she stay home and vacuum and do the dishes and be a housewife so her husband would not feel emasculated.

    Samantha might have had two Dicks, but they were very tiny one and insecure and unimaginative ones.

    Growing up as a little girl in that era, Bewitched depressed and terrified me.

  8. They did it on The Tonight Show too, which is a personal least-favorite, because the new Johnny Carson doesn’t look ANYTHING like the original.

  9. Ah Bewitched…
    Loved that show when I was a kid and I’ll still tune it in when I get the urge (TVLand?) . Coule things:

    @#11 – All the Dicks are gone since the early 90s and so is Elisabeth Montgomery. The story of Dick York is a particularly sad one. Read here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dick_York
    The guy was a genuine sweetheart by all accounts.
    Dick Sargent – usually thought of as the lesser liked Darren, was well thought of in real life too:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dick_Sargent .

    I think I agree with @#12 – a switcheroo in the middle of that movie would have been a very clever joke. I just saw the movie last week and while Will Ferrill is always a kick ,the movie slouched a bit. I think Nicole Kidman was the perfect choice for Sam though.

    Why do I care? I can’t say – a forty-sumpthin’ nostalgia thing I guess

  10. In the British series “The Inspector Lynley Mysteries”, the character of Inspector Lynley’s girlfriend and then wife, Helen, is played by three actresses (so far):
    — Emma Fielding, in the first episode, 2001
    — Lesley Vickerage, 10 episodes, 2002-2004
    — Catherine Russell, 4 episodes, 2006

    The biggest problem with the switch is that the women not only look very different, but they behave very different — Ms Russell, in season 6, is a very different character from Ms Vickerage’s version.

  11. How about the entirely new cast (except for Martin Landau, Barbara Bain and a couple of others from season one) for the second season of Space: 1999?

  12. I was always confused by the two Darrens when I was a kid. One day you’d see the old Darren and the next the new Darren (this was when they were playing reruns) I always just thought maybe Endora had changed him or something. And I thought he was stupid, anyway. A wife who could grant your every wish and he forbids her to use witchcraft. I always figured she could at least have permission to use it to clean the house.

  13. I seems to remember reading that the part was originally written for Dick Sargent but he was unavailable when the show got commissioned so it went to Dick York instead. I guess the writers/producers must have been pretty happy when they got him as a replacement when York left, but by then York had made the role his own so Sargent could only ever be an imitation.

  14. Lionel Jefferson on The Jeffersons.

    Don’t forget the Dukes of Hazzard, though not a switcheroo strictly speaking… they did replace the Bo and Luke with two other Hazzards who just so happened to be a blonde and a brunette.

  15. Oh and don’t forget when Trapper John M.D. hit the air with Pernell Roberts (Bonanza) in the roll made famous on MASH by Wayne Rogers.

  16. also.. more switcheroos

    The Prisoner – every week a new “Number 2″

    and – how could we all forget… Dr. Who

  17. There’s Morty Seinfeld, but the first actor appeared only on one episode.

    Also, the present Gordon on Sesame Street is the third actor in the role.

  18. There were also two Louises on Bewitched, too, and two Tabithas. (Twins played Tabitha until they started looking a bit different, then only one continued playing her until the series finished).

  19. Include Gladys in the list. From the usual sneaky and slender Gladys to that chubby and chatter Gladys. Too bad she died of cancer at such an unripe age.

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