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I noticed that in some TV shows, there is this one episode where they don't show one of the main actors, like he was never there to begin with.

An example of this is in Person of Interest, in the last episode Detective Fusco had 0 screen time and neither his name or anything about him was mentioned.

Is there a name of this technique when the writers write a script for one episode which excludes one of the main characters from it? Does this serve some purpose in the story's plot?

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    Its called a day off. Actors take them from time to time. Just like any other person with a job. The character is excluded because the actor wasn't available perhaps. – user25738 May 16 '16 at 21:43
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    In Doctor Who, if the main character is mostly absent, they call this a "Doctor-light episode". – Mr Lister May 17 '16 at 9:38
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    An example of this is in Person of Interest, in the last episode Detective Fusco had 0 screen time and neither his name or anything about him was mentioned. In case you didn't realise the reason for this after the reveal: it's because Samaritan doesn't know Fusco is involved with them so he wasn't in the simulation. – Crow T Robot May 22 '16 at 20:37
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Quoting TV tropes (always fun).

If a character has been written out, but future plotlines depend on their continued existence, that is an example of the Chuck Cunningham Syndrome trope.

If that character is missing (intentionally) to further a plotline, then that's an example of the Chekhov M.I.A. trope.

And finally, if a main character is simply not in the episode, it's most likely a result of an Absentee Actor:

The reason usually has something to do with Real Life. Maybe the actor is sick or otherwise unavailable — but not so unavailable that the writers have to drop a bridge on them or put them on a round trip bus. Maybe the producers need to save money and can't afford to pay them for the episode (hey, every penny saved goes to pay for that big CGI-laden Season Finale!) - in fact, some actors' contracts restrict them to appearing in only a certain number of episodes each season. After all, you get days off work - sometimes actors do, too! Maybe there was just nothing for the character to do that episode. If it's a Lower-Deck Episode then it could easily be said the character was just doing something else that day, but usually explanations for the absence given in show are way too flimsy to explain a total absence — just how unavailable can Captain Picard be if he's at the hair salon for this week's crisis?

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