You know when actors say they love their co-stars like family? Yeah, well, that’s not always the case. The behind-the-scenes drama usually boils down to who’s making more money or one star stealing the spotlight from another, but a set is also like any other workplace, and some people just don’t get along. While we’re sure all that discord must make for tough working conditions for the cast, we’d also wager it would make for some pretty amazing TV for us regular folk. Here are 11 scandal-ridden shows that we can’t wait to pull back the curtain on:
1. Saved By the Bell
Ask and ye shall receive: Coming soon to a TV near you (September 1 at 9 p.m. EST on M3, in fact), The Unauthorized Saved By the Bell Story is based on the book Behind the Bell (Transit Publishing, 2009) by series star Dustin Diamond. Diamond (a.k.a. Screech) alleged that everyone in the cast was sleeping together and dabbling in drugs. (Except for himself, of course.) We’re so excited!
2. Two and a Half Men
The feud between Men creator Chuck Lorre and series star Charlie Sheen was much publicized. Sheen’s personal life was a hot mess and it soon affected work as the show had to go on hiatus while he attempted rehab (for the third time in 12 months). Production was suspended, then stopped all together for Season 8, affecting 200 staffers and causing the studio, the network, cast, crew and countless others to lose an estimated $10 million. Sheen continued to badmouth Lorre, called co-star Jon Cryer a “traitor” and, finally, enough was enough. Charlie’s contract was terminated, and just to make sure his character would never return, Charlie Harper was killed off for good. The show moved on with Ashton Kutcher, but CBS has since announced the upcoming 12th season will be the last.
3. American Idol
There’s easily a whole movie in the reality show’s 12th season alone, which featured Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj as two of the judges. A video was leaked to TMZ showing Minaj losing it on Mimi with poor, helpless Keith Urban stuck in the middle. Minaj reportedly said off-camera, “If I had a gun, I would shoot that b*tch,” but later denied it. Carey, however, said it “felt like an unsafe work environment,” and claimed she had to boost her personal security. After her first (and last) season, Mimi even stated that “It was like hell. It was like going to work every day in hell with Satan.” Amazing.
Things got messy between creator/executive producer, Dan Harmon, and series co-star Chevy Chase. Near the end of Season 4, Chase walked off the set on the last day of shooting without filming one of his scenes, reportedly because he didn’t find the scene funny. Harmon gave a “F*** you, Chevy” speech in front of Chase, his wife and daughter at the series’ wrap party, and Chase stormed out and left a profanity-laden voicemail for Harmon, which went viral. Chase has a rep for being difficult, but both men have been described as “passionate” and “volatile” so a blow-up was “inevitable,” one source told Deadline. Chase ended his run on the show in 2012, but Harmon also had tension with execs and was soon given the boot himself. He returned the following year, serving as co-showrunner. The show was cancelled by NBC after its fifth-season finale but has since been picked up by Yahoo! for a 13-episode sixth season to air online. Good things can happen to arguably not-so-good people.
5. The A-Team
The show about a group of ex-special forces working as soldiers of fortune was testosterone-filled — in every way. In fact, the two women who had the misfortune of joining the cast — Melinda Culea and Marla Heasley — were made to feel like hair models, weren’t welcomed by the male stars and were eventually let go. Star George Peppard said, “Whenever the studio slips an actress onto the team, she becomes a distraction. She always slows down the action. She’s someone who’s only there for the glamour shots.” Yup, girls are just awful.
Back in the day, Yang (Sandra Oh) and Burke (Isaiah Washington) were the couple to watch, but things came to a head when actor T.R. Knight was reportedly late to set, resulting in Washington busting out a homophobic slur. Even though he denied the incident happened, Washington’s contract wasn’t renewed. However, he couldn’t have burned too many bridges as he was able to tie up Yang’s storyline when Oh left last season. Guess it isn’t always bad news.
7. Mighty Morphin Power Rangers
David Yost played the original Blue Ranger throughout the series, in the first movie and in Power Rangers Zeo but left the franchise because he was tired of being called “fa***t.” Yost walked off the set during a break and never returned, and the show had to deal with his untimely departure. But they had to have known it was coming, right? You can only treat someone like crap for so long. Of course, producer Scott Page-Pagter argued that Yost didn’t get along with any of the crew and left over money issues because, of course.
8. Desperate Housewives
Series star Nicollette Sheridan filed a $20-million lawsuit against showrunner Marc Cherry after her character, Edie Britt, was killed off, electrocution-style. There was talk that the actress had trouble with her lines, had problems with co-star Teri Hatcher and other behind-the-scenes issues. But Sheridan accused Cherry of assault, wrongful termination and battery, among other things. While the battery charge was dismissed immediately, the rest were later dismissed in court.
Star vs. creator: What would CBS do? In the end, the face of NCIS, Mark Harmon, won and after numerous fights with Don Bellisario both on and off the set. Bellisario’s “chaotic management style” and last-minute script changes caused CBS to give the creator his walking papers. NCIS has since spawned off a successful spinoff, NCIS: LA and the upcoming NCIS: New Orleans, and Bellisario and CBS have settled a lawsuit regarding his role in CBS’s success.
10. Beverly Hills, 90210
The series began with two wide-eyed Minnesotan teenagers entering the 90210, and while Brandon Walsh (Jason Priestley) managed to adapt, his sister, Brenda (Shannen Doherty)? Not so much. But Brenda had it good compared to her portrayer, who was reportedly difficult on the set and didn’t play nicely with others. Brenda was written out at the end of Season 4 and Beverly Hills, Calif., became a much more peaceful place to live.
11. Mad Men, Breaking Bad and The Walking Dead
Conflict between network brass and series execs is nothing new but after Mad Men creator, Matthew Weiner, hijacked AMC for more money, the cabler’s other shows suffered because of the financial standoff, particularly Breaking Bad, The Walking Dead and their respective creators, Vince Gilligan and Frank Darabont. While Gilligan dealt with it by cutting back on episodes, Darabont was dropped from his own ground-breaking series for budgetary reasons. Though Weiner seems like the bad guy, he was just fighting for his own show, and the blame was mostly directed at AMC, who didn’t really know how to handle its sudden rise to the top.