Taking aim at the best and worst of movies and television.
How 10 other TV shows dealt with death
Spartacus (2010-present): When leading man Andy Whitfield died after Season 1, Liam McIntyre was cast in the title role for subsequent seasons.
Cheers (1982-93): Nicholas Colasanto, who played Coach, died during Season 3. The next season, a new bartender, Woody Boyd (played by Woody Harrelson), was hired.
8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter (2002-05): After leading man John Ritter's death early in Season 2, James Garner and David Spade joined the cast.
The West Wing (1999-2006): John Spencer, who played Chief of Staff Leo McGarry, died midway through the final season. His character's death was written into the show.
Barney Miller (1975-82): Jack Soo, who played Sgt. Yemana, died midway through Season 5. His character's death was written into the show.
NewsRadio (1995-99): Phil Hartman died before the fifth and final season. The death of his character, Bill McNeal, was written into the show, and Jon Lovitz was added to the cast.
Alias Smith and Jones (1971-73): Pete Duel, who played outlaw Hannibal Heyes, died in Season 2. The role was recast, with Roger Davis playing Heyes for five more Season 2 episodes and all of Season 3.
Chico and the Man (1974-78): Freddie Prinze, who played Chico, died during Season 3. In Season 4, a different character also named Chico, this one played by child actor Gabriel Melgar, was cast.
The Royal Family (1991-92): Star Redd Foxx died after just seven episodes. Jackée Harry was cast in a revised version, which was canceled after an additional six episodes.
Dallas (1978-91): Jim Davis, who played Jock Ewing, died during Season 4. Although producers considered recasting the role, they ultimately wrote the character's death into the show instead.
-- David Martindale, Special to the Star-Telegram