Ask Alan: Long-Running Shows That Successfully Made Big Changes

Happy Friday, everybody! Time for the first Ask Alan of 2017.

With Crazy Ex-Girlfriend returning tonight after a brief hiatus, I tried to pick season 2’s best song so far, though I may have gotten a bit confused between what’s aired and what I’ve seen on screeners. Then I belatedly reacted to the pre-holiday news of CBS attempting another How I Met Your Mother spin-off (this time lacking Greta Gerwig), and followed that by tackling two separate but related questions — the latter of them with recent Vikings spoilers — about shows that went through major changes — whether a new lead actor or a radically different status quo — late in their runs and actually succeeded as a result. (i.e., Robert California does not count)

(By the way, the actor who played Bart Maverick on Maverick — whose name you may have noticed me mentally searching for as I answered that question — was Jack Kelly. And while Roger Moore initially replaced James Garner, he left after a while and was briefly replaced in turn by Robert Colbert, before the network eventually gave up and just alternated new Jack Kelly episodes with James Garner repeats.)

As always, you can send questions to, or tweet me with the hashtag #AskAlanDay