Thomas Gibson (Criminal Minds)
You’d think someone who got fired from their own show for kicking someone’s shins on the set would not be enormously peeved that they had to leave.
As Aaron ‘Hotch’ Hotchner, Gibson was the lead for 11 seasons (apart from the time he had to get anger management therapy after pushing a producer), but after just two episodes of the 12th, he kicked a writer during a dispute over the script. But he felt bad about it – because his character didn’t get the send-off he deserved.
“There were creative differences on the set and a disagreement,” he admitted in a statement at the time. “I regret that it occurred. I love Criminal Minds and have put my heart and soul into it for the last 12 years.
“I had hoped to see it through to the end, but that won’t be possible now. I would just like to say thank you to the writers, producers, actors, our amazing crew, and, most importantly, the best fans that a show could ever hope to have.”
Brian Dunkleman (American Idol)
It’s not just actors who regret leaving their hit shows, just ask poor Brian Dunkleman. Who, you ask? He was the co-host of American Idol’s first season with Ryan Seacrest. Yes, it originally had two hosts.
So while Seacrest has become a huge entertainment star in the US, like a one-man Ant & Dec, Brian is kinda… not. Instead, he decided to quit after just one season and hasn’t quite found success since, aside from small roles and voice work.
“I wanted to have an acting career, and I knew that leaving when I did would give me the best shot of accomplishing that,” he wrote for Variety. “Do I regret not remaining on the show now that it’s coming to an end? Yes. Especially when I open my bank statements.”