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10 TV Show Casts That Kept Getting Bigger


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by Xtreme HD IPTV

Summary

  • TV shows that continuously expand their cast can struggle to manage their characters effectively.
  • Introducing new characters can breathe fresh life into long-running shows and prevent reliance on a single personality.
  • Some of the best TV shows carefully eliminate characters when necessary to explore others in more detail.

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While some TV shows center around a limited cast, others continuously expand and introduce new characters. This is the case with many of the most celebrated series ever that excel in balancing an array of personalities and story arcs. Managing so many characters can be a considerable challenge, and it doesn’t always work out. Game of Thrones is the perfect example of a series that continuously expanded its cast, leading to many characters suffering as it attempted to wind things down rapidly.

On the other hand, some of the best TV shows of all time, like The Wire and The Sopranos, grew their casts, carefully eliminating characters when necessary, allowing time to explore others in more detail. Introducing new characters can be a breath of fresh air for TV shows, especially those that run for several seasons and have dozens of episodes, as even the most beloved characters can grow tiresome. Casts that keep getting bigger offer something for everyone, preventing the show from relying too heavily on one personality.

10 Game Of Thrones

Game of Thrones explores an entire fantasy world.

Game of Thrones season 8 cast by the Iron Throne in a promotional photo

The Game of Thrones cast is massive to begin with and can be challenging to follow, as many have unique fantasy names like Daenerys and Tyrion. If the first season wasn’t complicated enough already, each season continues to introduce new cast members from different corners of the fictional world. By season 8, every prominent house in Westeros has a full, fleshed-out family tree. Not to mention the dozens of characters who orbit those families, seeking to acquire power through ongoing wars and political conflicts surrounding the Iron Throne.

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9 Lost

There are more characters on the Island than just the survivors of Oceanic 815.

Jack, Kate, Hurley, Locke, and more looking into the sky on Lost.

Lost

Release Date
September 22, 2004

Cast
Evangeline Lilly , Naveen Andrews , Henry Ian Cusick , Daniel Dae Kim , Harold Perrineau , Dominic Monaghan , Emilie de Ravin , Jorge Garcia , Josh Holloway , Michael Emerson , Terry O’Quinn , Matthew Fox , Ken Leung , Elizabeth Mitchell , Yunjin Kim

Seasons
6

While Lost is initially a series about a group of plane crash survivors who land on a mysterious island, the ABC drama quickly grows into something much bigger. The character-driven show uses a flashback formula, where every episode is centered around a character’s story on the island and their flashbacks from before the crash. Luckily, just as the original cast’s flashbacks start to get tiresome and repetitive, the series begins to introduce waves of other characters, including more arrivals to the island and the Others, who already lived there.

8 Arrow

Arrow starts with one vigilante and expands into the Justice League.

Arrow

Release Date
January 10, 2013

Cast
colin donnell , Paul Blackthorne , Willa Holland , Susanna Thompson , Katie Cassidy , David Ramsey , Stephen Amell

Seasons
8

Oliver Queen is the focal point of Arrow season 1, and while the titular hero remains at the center throughout all eight seasons, continuously growing more team-oriented. In season 2, Oliver works alongside John Diggle and Felicity Smoak. By season 5, he’s recruited a whole team of vigilante heroes. Of course, the expansion of the Arrowverse through some of the best TV crossovers ever saw more classic DC heroes like The Flash and Supergirl crossing paths with Green Arrow, and by Arrow season 8, the CW had its own version of the Justice League.

7 The Walking Dead

Through 11 seasons, The Walking Dead continuously grows its cast.

The Walking Dead

Release Date
October 31, 2010

Cast
Steven Yeun , Andrew Lincoln , Chandler Riggs , Laurie Holden , Jeffrey DeMunn , Sarah Wayne Callies , Melissa McBride , Norman Reedus , Jon Bernthal , Iron E. Singleton

Seasons
11

Like Lost, The Walking Dead is follows an ensemble of characters surviving under harsh conditions. However, while the walkers seem like they might be the biggest threat in the show’s post-apocalyptic environment, the main attraction is the conflicts between human characters. Essential pillars of civilization have been done away with, but humans still desire wealth and power in The Walking Dead, and each season expands as the protagonists face off against various factions and threats. As many heroes die, they’re replaced by newly introduced characters.

6 Friday Night Lights

The centerpiece of Friday Night Lights is the Dillon Panthers football team, and in a series about high school football, new blood is essential to keep the squad afloat. As characters graduate, fresh personalities join the team to replace them. The original cast of players like Tim Riggins, Jason Street, Smash, and Matt Saracen have outstanding chemistry, and the later seasons try desperately to recreate it with Coach Taylor’s new team, the East Dillion Lions. With new players come new love interests, new families, and more.

5 The Wire

Each The Wire season introduces a new section of urban life in Baltimore.

The cast of The Wire at the police station

The Wire

Release Date
June 2, 2002

Seasons
5

HBO’s The Wire begins as a show centered around the police force’s struggle to take down organized crime, examining characters at different levels on both sides. In every season, the series expands its cast by introducing new sections of urban life to explore, from the union workers on the docks, different crime organizations, the political system, public schools, and the Baltimore Sun newspaper. With each new season comes a wave of valuable new characters, and while old characters are killed off or take a backseat, the show continues to focus on its central theme: urban societal struggle.

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4 The Sopranos

Every character in The Sopranos has their time to shine.

The Sopranos

Release Date
January 10, 1999

Cast
James Gandolfini , Lorraine Bracco , Edie Falco , Michael Imperioli , Dominic Chianese , Steven Van Zandt , Tony Sirico , Robert Iler , Jamie-Lynn Sigler

Seasons
6

Much of The Sopranos cast is introduced from the get-go, but minor characters grow more impactful as seasons go on. While it can be challenging to remember so many names and faces, every character in The Sopranos, specifically those associated with the mafia life, is vital to the series. For example, Vito Spatafore first appears in season 2, yet it isn’t until season 6 that he becomes an essential character. Several antagonists, like Ralph Cifaretto and Phil Leotardo, are introduced as the series progresses.

3 Peaky Blinders

Every Peaky Blinders season adds new movie star cast members.

Peaky Blinders

Release Date
September 12, 2013

Cast
Annabelle Wallis , Ian Peck , Helen McCrory , Paul Anderson , Cillian Murphy , Ned Dennehy , Aimee-Ffion Edwards , Sam Neill , Sophie Rundle , Tony Pitts , Joe Cole

Seasons
6

From great villains like Luca Changretta and Father Hughes to vital allies like Alfie Solomons and Aberama Gold, many of Peaky Blinders’ best characters are introduced throughout the series. The series has an unbelievable cast to begin with, with Cillian Murphy in the lead role, but each season continues to add more movie star talent to the mix, from Sam Claflin to Tom Hardy to Anya Taylor-Joy. As Thomas Shelby grows more powerful, the cast grows more significant with him, and the series boasts phenomenal acting talent.

2 Twin Peaks

The town of Twin Peaks continuously yields eccentric new personalities.

The cast of Twin Peaks all looking at each other

Twin Peaks

Release Date
May 23, 1990

Cast
Russ Tamblyn , Sheryl Lee , Kimmy Robertson , Dana Ashbrook , Grace Zabriskie , Everett McGill , Ernie Hudson , Mädchen Amick , Ray Wise , Kyle MacLachlan

Main Genre
Mystery

Seasons
3

The ABC mystery drama Twin Peaks relies on its massive cast early on, creating several red herrings to who could be Laura Palmer’s murderer. But even after her death is solved, the show continues to expand with fresh faces surrounding new mysteries. By season 3, which was released decades later on Showtime, the series is no longer focused primarily on the town of Twin Peaks, instead covering characters throughout the US. Many of these new faces are played by movie star talent, including Naomi Watts, Laura Dern, and Jennifer Jason Leigh.

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1 The Boys

Amazon Prime’s The Boys keeps introducing new supes.

The Seven walking together in The Boys

The Boys

Release Date
July 26, 2019

Cast
Elisabeth Shue , Jensen Ackles , Goran Visnjic , Jessie T. Usher , Chace Crawford , Dominique McElligott , Laz Alonso , Nathan Mitchell , Aya Cash , Colby Minifie , Karl Urban , Erin Moriarty , Karen Fukuhara , Jack Quaid , Antony Starr , claudia doumit , Tomer Capon

Seasons
3

Amazon Prime Video’s The Boys is an edgy superhero show that breaks the mold, and each season has expanded the gritty TV universe. The first season introduces the conflict between the malicious superhero group known as the Seven and the resistance squad called the Boys, led by Billy Butcher. Like many comic book shows, every season introduces more super-powered characters and political players surrounding Vought and the Seven.

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