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Actors Who Refused To Return For TV Show Revivals

The world of television is a complex and often frustrating one. TV is a collaborative medium that only works when everyone does their part. The actors are usually the most important puzzle pieces, especially when they become synonymous with a fan-favorite character. This means that whenever a show gets looked at for a potential reboot or revival, whether or not the key cast members will return becomes a major talking point. Sometimes they jump at the chance to reprise their roles, but other times, they flat-out refuse to take part.

We're taking a journey through television history to look at the times actors have said no to reprising their roles in revival shows. This means that they have turned down an official offer from a network, or they have pre-emptively shot down the idea of coming back during an interview. Here are some actors who refused to return for TV show revivals.

Jennette McCurdy - iCarly

When it was announced that "iCarly," one of Nickelodeon's most successful sitcoms, was getting a revival, fans were understandably ecstatic. However, that excitement was curbed ever so slightly when it was confirmed that one of the original show's main actors, Jennette McCurdy, wouldn't be returning. McCurdy became best known for her portrayal of Carly's best friend Sam Puckett, a girl with a penchant for violence and snack cakes. For many fans, Sam was one of the show's highlights, with McCurdy throwing herself into the role with gusto.

Speaking on her podcast "Empty Inside," McCurdy revealed that she's embarrassed by her past as a Nickelodeon star and that she was only acting to support her family. When her mother passed away, her priorities changed. "My mom put me in it when I was 6 and by sort of age, I guess, 10 or 11, I was the main financial support for my family," she said (via E! News). "I'm so ashamed of the parts I've done in the past. I resent my career in a lot of ways. I feel so unfulfilled by the roles that I played and felt like it was the most cheesy, embarrassing." Needless to say, she had zero interest in coming back for the "iCarly" revival.

Tori Spelling - 90210

"Beverly Hills, 90210" is one of the quintessential shows of the 1990s. From the fashion to the music to its sunny California setting, the show hugely influenced popular culture. Today, if you catch a teen-centric show, there's a good chance it's taking a few ques from "Beverly Hills, 90210." The original series followed Brandon (Jason Priestley) and Brenda Walsh (Shannen Doherty) as they attempted to adjust to the California lifestyle. Along for the ride was Donna Martin (Tori Spelling), a ditzy but well-intentioned girl. Throughout the series, we get to see Donna go through her own trials and tribulations, including dealing with her dyslexia and an abusive relationship.

When a series revival titled "90210" was announced, many former cast members, including Shannen Doherty, immediately signed on to appear alongside the new cast. Initial reports suggested that Tori Spelling had ruled herself out because she had just given birth. However, it later transpired that she had agreed to come back, but had backed out when she realized that she was going to be paid less than the others. "Insiders tell me that Tori was hired to reprise her role as fashion boutique owner Donna Martin for just $10,000-$20,000 per episode," Deadline's Nikki Finke revealed. "But then Jennie Garth and Shannen Doherty were signed for $35,000-$50,000 a show. When Tori found out her former co-stars were getting paid way more than she was, she got p***** and demanded equal pay. But the network suits have refused." Spelling would eventually reprise the role in "BH90210."

Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen - Fuller House

Whether you loved it or hated it, there's no denying that "Full House" left an indelible mark on television. A big part of this was the show's breakout performers, Mary-Kate and Ashley, the Olsen twins. Swapping in-and-out of the same role as Michelle Tanner, the twins quickly became mega stars in their own right. When it was announced in 2015 that "Full House" was getting revived, fans got excited. People were even more excited to learn that almost the entire original cast would be reprising their old roles. However, later on it was announced that Mary-Kate and Ashley wouldn't be returning for the long-awaited Tanner family reunion.

When asked about the twins, executive producer Bob Boyett told People that they were done with acting. "Ashley said, 'I have not been in front of a camera since I was 17 and I don't feel comfortable acting. Mary-Kate said, 'It would have to be me because Ash doesn't want to do it. But the timing is so bad for us.'" John Stamos, who reprised his role as Jesse Katsopolis, elaborated on the Olsen twins' absence in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter. "We got a hold of their agent and asked them to do it — 'No.' In retrospect, I should have called them and talked to them, I guess." He went on to say that "they just said it wasn't really in the cards for them at that moment, they hadn't acted in a long time."

Dylan and Cole Sprouse - The Suite Life of Zack & Cody

This is an example of a star turning down a revival before it has even been given a chance to take shape. If you were a '00s kid, there's a good chance that you caught "The Suite Life Of Zack & Cody" on the Disney Channel. The series followed Zack and Cody Martin (Dylan and Cole Sprouse) as they turned the Tipton Hotel into their personal playground. Their shenanigans were often at the expense of the hotel's manager Mr. Moseby (Phill Lewis) and their mother Carey (Kim Rhodes). The duo's antics proved so popular that they went on to star in "The Suite Life on Deck."

With '00s nostalgia running rampant lately, one would think that a "Suite Life" revival would be a no-brainer for Disney. However, it seems as though the show's two most important ingredients — the lead stars — aren't interested in another stint at the Tipton. During an appearance on "The Drew Barrymore Show," Cole said: "No, absolutely not" to any potential revival, citing how much the original show meant to people (via the Daily Mail). While certainly disheartening for fans, it is encouraging that Cole and his brother respect the original series enough that they don't want to taint its legacy.

Victoria Principal - Dallas

Debuting in 1978, the soap opera "Dallas" became huge over the course of its 14 season run, scooping four Emmys. The series focused on the Ewings, an obscenely wealthy family from Texas who made their money via oil and cattle-ranching. Although the original focus was the romance and eventual marriage of Bobby Ewing (Patrick Duffy) and Pamela Barnes (Victoria Principal), the focus soon shifted. The character of J.R. Ewing (Larry Hagman), Bobby's older oil tycoon brother, soon took centerstage as the show's main draw. The series went off the air in 1991, but was brought back for a three-season revival in 2012.

Though many "Dallas" alumni stopped by to grace the revival with their presence, Victoria Principal was not among them. When asked why she wouldn't reprise her old role as Pam, Principal released a statement to Deadline. "Since the inception of 'Dallas,' the creators and fans around the world have referred to Bobby and Pam as the Romeo & Juliet of 'Dallas.' I could not agree more," the actor said. "And since the original author of this scenario, William Shakespeare, felt compelled to make theirs a tragic love story of epic and unforgettable deathly loss, I think I shall respect that very successful example and leave the legacy of Bobby & Pam's tragic love story undisturbed and intact."

Zachary Quinto - Heroes Reborn

Before the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Tim Kring's "Heroes" was providing prime time viewers with superhero action and intrigue on a weekly basis. The show was originally envisioned as having a fluctuating cast, meaning that each season would follow a new group of super-powered people. Though he was a side-character in Season 1, Zachary Quinto's Sylar received more screen time in Season 2. Sylar (aka Gabriel Gray) was a serial killer with the ability to harvest the powers of other superheroes.

Over the course of the show's remaining seasons, Sylar's fluctuation between good and evil became a main plot point. The show concluded in 2010, but "Heroes" was given a second-life just five years later with "Heroes Reborn." While it was "a meaningful experience" for Quinto, he felt like returning to the role for the revival was the wrong move, as he explained during an interview with BuzzFeed's Kate Aurthur. "I just felt like I didn't want to go back to it," he said. "It's a great thing to be a part of. I just felt like I need to cultivate other outlets for myself."

Steve Carell - The Office

Based on the hit British series of the same name, "The Office" is widely considered one of the best American comedies of all time. The remake took us inside paper and office supplies wholesale company Dunder Mifflin, following its weird and wonderful (but mainly just weird) employees. Over the course of its run, the series received critical acclaim and a bevy of awards, including five Emmys. Since the finale in 2013, fans have been wondering if the series would get a reboot or revival at some point. That's yet to happen, but if it does, Steve Carell (who starred in the original as hapless boss Michael Scott) won't be in it.

While being interviewed by Esquire, Carell said that any attempt to retool the series wasn't a good idea because "the climate is different" in Hollywood now. "I mean, the whole idea of that character, Michael Scott, so much of it was predicated on inappropriate behavior," the Oscar nominee said, adding: "I mean, he's certainly not a model boss. A lot of what is depicted on that show is completely wrong-minded. That's the point, you know? But I just don't know how that would fly now."

Shelley Morrison - Will & Grace

More than two decades after its premiere on NBC, "Will & Grace" is still seen as a landmark show in the history of LGBTQ representation on television. The show told the story of Will Truman (Eric McCormack) and Grace Adler (Debra Messing), a gay lawyer and a straight interior designer who are best friends. In 2017, NBC confirmed that the series was being brought back, and it officially premiered in September of the same year. McCormack and Adler were slotted back into their original roles for another go, but, sadly, a beloved co-star wouldn't be joining them this time.

Shelley Morrison, who portrayed Rosario Salazar — a maid employed by Grace's assistant Karen Walker — was not coming back. The character of Rosario became a favorite of many, hence her expanded role in the show's later seasons. Unfortunately, when the revival came around and the creators reached out, Morrison opted not to reprise her role. "Shelley has decided to retire," co-creator Max Mutchnick said (via The Hollywood Reporter). "It was with a heavy heart that she gave us that information and that we received it, but it is the way that it goes. It is a choice that she has made. We really wanted Shelley to be a part of this series, so we find ourselves having to figure that out moving forward." Morrison passed away just two years later. She was 83.

Sarah Michelle Gellar - Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Vampires were all the rage in the '90s, thanks to the likes of "Interview with the Vampire" and the hit supernatural teen series "Buffy the Vampire Slayer." The series follows Buffy Summers (Sarah Michelle Gellar), a teen vampire hunter who has just moved to the town of Sunnydale. Along with her Watcher, a librarian named Giles (Anthony Head), and her two besties Xander (Nicholas Brendon) and Willow (Alyson Hannigan), Buffy must consistently combat the forces of evil. This includes not only vampires, but also demons, zombies, hyena people, androids, and kaiju-sized snakes, all while traversing the pitfalls of growing up.

Following the show's epic conclusion in 2003, "Buffy" lived on primarily through video games and a successful comic book run. However, if you were hoping for a revival featuring the original Buffy, Gellar has made it clear that it's not happening. In a chat with Variety, she addressed the idea of bringing "Buffy" back, stating very plainly: "I am very proud of the show that we created and it doesn't need to be done. We wrapped that up." While a "Buffy" revival may not be entirely off the table, one with Gellar back in her former role isn't likely.

Michael Ontkean - Twin Peaks

If you want some television that'll make you feel like your brain just took a ride on the Tilt-A-Whirl, then "Twin Peaks" is priority viewing. David Lynch's hybrid of small town Americana and his standard surrealism turned some heads back in the 1990s. While initially centered on the murder of homecoming queen Laura Palmer, it quickly became more about the day-to-day interactions within the titular town. This resulted in an increasingly quirky cast of characters, all possessing their own odd traits and idiosyncrasies.

Following the show's cancellation, the series took on a cult following, resulting in a feature film and a revival in 2017. When the revival was announced, many of the show's original cast were quick to jump aboard. However, Michael Ontkean, the man who portrayed Sheriff Harry S. Truman, wasn't interested in donning the uniform for the show's big comeback, it was quickly confirmed. A source close to Ontkean spoke to Nerdist and informed them that "Michael is fully retired from show business, and has been for many years." While his presence was missed, we can respect Ontkean's choice to maintain his peaceful life away from the bright lights of television.

Simon Cowell and Paula Abdul - American Idol

Few television shows had the world in a vice grip quite like the reality singing competition series "American Idol." For years, viewers would tune in week after week to see everyday people sing their way to potential stardom. For most of the show's existence, four names truly helped to define its image — Ryan Secrest, Randy Jackson, Simon Cowell, and Paula Abdul. However, it's those last two names that we'll be focusing on here, especially in regard to the "American Idol" revival back in 2018.

The series had a successful run on Fox for many years, concluding in 2016 before being resurrected on ABC in 2018. Cowell and Abdul almost immediately shot down the notion of returning to their former judging roles. "I have no interest," Cowell told Extra TV, adding: "It was not the same show, just the same name. I left for a reason and I never regretted that." Just a few days after his comments, Abdul followed suit during a chat with "Today" (via Us Weekly). Her comments were slightly kinder than Cowell's. "I had an incredible time on that show and [was] blessed to be part of it from the beginning, but I think they need to do a whole reboot."

David Hyde Pierce - Frasier

"Frasier" is still regarded as one of the greatest spin-offs ever made, and it isn't hard to see why: Its stellar blend of lowbrow and highbrow humor struck a chord with viewers across the board. With 264 episodes over 11 seasons, there are too many hilarious and meaningful moments to count. A major player in many of those moments was Frasier's eccentric brother Niles (David Hyde Pierce). For the show's entire run, Pierce brought big laughs with his quick timing and mastery of the show's witty writing.

That's what makes Pierce's confirmation that he won't be returning in the "Frasier" revival all the more disheartening. In an interview with People, star Kelsey Grammer said: "David basically decided he wasn't really interested in repeating the performance of Niles." When interviewed later on by Vulture, Pierce explained his decision. "Because it's so valuable to me, I also wouldn't do it just [to] do it. And I believe it can be done without me, too — finding new stories to tell, in the same way that 'Frasier' did after 'Cheers.'" While not writing off an appearance entirely, Pierce has made it clear that it won't be happening anytime soon.