Ch-ch-changes: How to Handle Evolving Casts Without Killing the Show

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13. Ziva David - NCIS

Ziva David - NCIS
No, not DiNozzo. There's no replacing Tony, even with multiple new agents, as NCIS has found out. No, I'm looking at Ziva, the female lead for this long-running series. For 11 years, she was the action hero NCIS needed, and viewers loved her sexual tension with DiNozzo. They should have paid her what she wanted. And they shouldn't have killed her off just to ease Tony's exit.

14. Emily Bishop - NCIS

Emily Bishop - NCIS
(See what I mean about DiNozzo?) Poor Emily Bishop. Ziva is a damn hard act to follow. But Bishop was written in smartly, starting as an NSA analyst and slowly finding her way as a field agent. She's had a rough go of it, with a cheating husband and an assassinated boyfriend. But Bishop has spunk. I like spunk. She's also fit smoothly into the team which NCIS has become.

15. Elliot Stabler - Law & Order: SVU

Elliot Stabler - Law & Order: SVU
For 12 seasons, Stabler was half of the winning formula that was SVU. He was a rock, seeking justice for victims, regardless of what it cost him in his personal life. And then he was suddenly gone, supposedly because of guilt over a squadroom shooting. The truth is that contract negotiations fell apart with Christopher Meloni, and series executives decided to go a different route.

16. Olivia Benson - Law & Order: SVU

Olivia Benson - Law & Order: SVU
The focus shifted to the remaining half of the winning formula. It's all about Benson now: her dedication, her loves, her son. She eventually became captain and is aided by Finn and a changing squad around her. As long as the cases stay engrossing and ripped from the headlines, Olivia and SVU will successfully soldier on. Barba leaving hurts, though.

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