Breaking Bad is the first series that I watched which had continuity going over multiple seasons.

How do producers and Directors plan series like these which go on for period of multiple years. I mean say, while Breaking Bad was still being shot and Bryan Cranston would have been affected by health issues which would restricted him to shoot for long time. Or say, some actor playing important role meets with an accident (Heath Ledger type of accident).

How do Producers and Directors plan to cope up in case of such huge loss.

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    RE- casting, as done in Spartacus Vengeance when Andy Whitfield died. Or they can reduce the role of said character etc etc.
    – Ankit Sharma
    Jul 3, 2015 at 6:53
  • @AnkitSharma Movies are for period of 2 to 2.5 hrs. So if actor is unable to shoot. Say Paul Walker, they can pull CGI. But a series, recasting means convincing audience to believe that it is the same character, getting audience to accept them. I mean, my favorite serial is The Big Bang Theory and My fav is Howard. I can't imagine anyone other than Simon Helberg playing him. But in case of TBBT, they can show that he has moved on with his married life and so. Jul 3, 2015 at 6:55
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    That's why i given example from TV series, Spartacus Vengeance is a TV series. Two and half man even changed the story to remove the character.
    – Ankit Sharma
    Jul 3, 2015 at 6:57

2 Answers 2


There have been various ways of coping that I know of for movies/movie series at least...

  1. Change the story or the focus of the story (as they did with The Dark Knight Rises, since having the Joker in that third installment wasn't exactly practical anymore.)
  2. Just change actors and either ignore it (Dumbledore in the Harry Potter series) or attempt to give an explanation (the Oracle in the Matrix series)
  3. Piece things together using what they'd already shot (Philip Seymour Hoffman's character in Mockingjay)
  4. Kind of an offshoot of #1 here - rewrite the specific character or write the character off of the movie or the TV show entirely (finally a TV-specific example here: On Angel, the Buffy spinoff, Charisma Carpenter - who played Cordelia - got married, went on honeymoon, and later got pregnant. Joss Whedon had to write in excuses for her absence during her honeymoon and later wrote an entire storyline around her pregnancy so it wouldn't seem quite as strange when she started showing. He didn't do a particularly good job of working around the pregnancy, and he eventually wrote Cordelia off the show* - all of which got a lot of backlash from fans. But it's a good example of a show trying to work around inevitable life occurrences.)

*I believe Charisma Carpenter talks about it at some point in this video.

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    Or change the actor, but neither ignore it nor give an explanation, like they did in The Fresh Prince of Bel Air. ;-)
    – Napoleon Wilson
    Jul 3, 2015 at 16:12
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    Or use a body double and spend some nice amount of money on CGI like they did in Furious 7 Jul 3, 2015 at 17:54

Depends on what you mean by 'cope'.

In terms of retaining talent, that's what contracts or for. We pay you X for you to commit to X number of seasons.

In terms of dealing with the story, that's what writers are for. Someone leaves the show? That's on the writers to 'fix'.

In terms of the investment, most productions of any size take out insurance to protect them over things exactly like the loss of Paul Walker during filming.

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    Downvoter: care to explain? How can I improve this answer?
    – DA.
    Jul 6, 2015 at 6:42

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