What you see in a TV show's first episode (whether it's the premiere or a backdoor pilot in the case of spinoffs) isn't always what you get for the rest of the series.
The casts of several of the most popular shows looked quite different when they were first introduced; all three NCISes lost characters from their backdoor pilots to their series' pickups. Brooklyn Nine-Nine had a third less-than-useful member of the squad.
Scroll down for these and more characters that were dropped after pilots. (New Girl's Coach, played by Damon Wayans Jr., left after the pilot but would go on to return, including in a series regular capacity.)
Brooklyn Nine-Nine's Daniels
In the pilot, as the then-sergeant Terry Jeffords (Terry Crews) filled in the precinct’s new captain, Raymond Holt (Andre Braugher), on the squad, he described Scully (Joel McKinnon Miller), Hitchcock (Dirk Blocker), and Daniels as “pretty much worthless, but they make good coffee.” Daniels was never seen or mentioned again.
When fans met the cast of the Bones spinoff in the backdoor pilot, “finder” Walter Sherman (Geoff Stults) and his legal advisor and bodyguard Leo Knox (Michael Clarke Duncan) were joined by bartender and pilot Ike Latulippe (Saffron Burrows). When the series was picked up, Ike was nowhere to be seen and they were joined by other characters, including Deputy U.S. Marshal Isabel Zambada (Mercedes Masohn).
The 100's Callie "Cece" Cartwig
Kelly Hu’s character was an Officer on the Ark and was to look after her friend Abby’s (Paige Turco) daughter Clarke (Eliza Taylor), if she’d been executed in the premiere. She was never seen again, and according to creator Jason Rothenberg on Twitter, “Cece was floated off camera. Truth is things change between pilot and series. Mainly budget.”
NCIS' Vivian Blackadder
Back when NCIS was just a possibility and a backdoor pilot in JAG Season 8 (“Ice Queen” and “Meltdown”), Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs’ (Mark Harmon) team consisted of Tony DiNozzo (Michael Weatherly, who would go on to star in 13 seasons) and Vivian Blackadder (Robyn Lively), who, in Gibbs’ eyes, blew an operation. When the series was picked up, it was just Gibbs and Tony, and in the first episode, Caitlin Todd (Sasha Alexander) went from the Secret Service to NCIS.
NCIS: Los Angeles' Lara Macy
When NCIS‘ Gibbs and Special Agent McGee (Sean Murray) headed to Los Angeles to work with the Office of Special Projects in the spinoff’s backdoor pilot, its operations manager was Lara Macy (Louise Lombard). But when the series was picked up, Linda Hunt’s Hetty Lange filled that role (and still does). Unlike some other characters dropped after a pilot (or backdoor pilot), fans actually got closure on her: not only did we learn she was reassigned, but she was also killed off (offscreen) in NCIS Season 7.
NCIS New Orleans' Wendell Hobbs
Before there was Rob Kerkovich’s Sebastian Lund, NOLA’s team had Aaron Moten’s Wendell Hobbs as its forensic scientist. As fans learned when Gibbs and Special Agent Bishop (Emily Wickersham) met him, playing the keyboard relaxed him and helped him think.
Psych's Lucinda Barry
Maggie Lawson’s Detective Juliet O’Hara wasn’t in the pilot of the comedy series. Instead, Carlton Lassiter’s (Timothy Omundson) partner was Lucinda Barry (Anne Dudek). As creator Steve Franks explained to Entertainment Weekly, “People didn’t understand Lassiter was separated from his wife. They thought he was married and having an affair with her.” She was written out so fans would give Lassie a chance, and so entered Juliet in Episode 2.