Skip to comments.Horrible Showbiz Career Decisions (McLean Stevenson Effect)
Posted on 11/25/2012 7:06:22 AM PST by PJ-Comix
People in the entertainment business sometimes make horrible career decisions. This is what is known as the "McLean Stevenson Effect." Named after actor McLean Stevenson who played the part of Henry Blake in the hit TV series "M*A*S*H." Stevenson was unhappy with being part of an ensemble so after about 3 seasons left the show to become the lead in the "McLean Stevenson Show" which promptly flopped. His career never recovered.
Another victim of the McLean Stevenson effect was Shelly Long who was in the hit series "Cheers." She left after 5 seasons to become a movie actress but pretty much flopped in that endeavor.
Finally there was Jeff Conaway who starred in my own favorite TV series "Taxi." After 3 seasons he left the show with a one-way ticket to obscurity.
Who else made poor showbiz career decisions to become victims of the "McLean Stevenson Effect."
Jeff Conaway had a pretty good run on Babylon 5.
I have heard it said that if an actor(ess) can be on an even MODERATELY successful TV Series(or 2 Good Movies), he (or she) will never have to work again. Is this true?
There was also David Caruso from “NYPD Blue.” He never really went on to do anything in movies, so he jumped back to one of the 3,000 iterations of “CSI.”
Or, do like Wayne Rogers also from MASH. Quit showbiz and get a real job as an investment guy. I think he did a lot better. Smart move on his part.
Helping keep mankind warm for 65 years.
Rob Morrow, who ruined Northern Exposure when he left and then never amounted to a hill of beans.
I heard the same thing. I believe it was four years of a successful series and the actor was set for life. Given how unlikely it is to get that four-year show, I certainly wouldn’t bank on it...
I remember interviews with fellow MASH actors. They all testified that McLean Stevenson was purposely set up to fail, as revenge for leaving his contract early.
The nutcase that left Bonanza because he was afraid of being typecast , Pernell Roberts. Didn’t see much of him afterward.
Actually, Wayne Rogers was an investment adviser at the time he was acting on MASH. He actually considered his show business career a part-time gig to supplement his income.
Trapper John MD.
“In the first episode of South Park, (”Cartman Gets an Anal Probe”) Kyle tells his brother Ike to “do your impersonation of David Caruso’s career” to get Ike to jump out of a spaceship.”
“Jeff Conaway had a pretty good run on Babalon 5.”
Did 2 years on celebrity rehab too.
How about Scott Baio’s decision to leave “Happy Days” for “Joanie Loves Chachi”?
Then you have guys like James Arness who rode Gunsmoke right into old age and then made a couple of Gunsmoke movies.
What is it called when someone in show business parts company and becomes an even greater celebrity? I think I would call it the "Dolly Pardon Effect" but there must be other examples.
Lead actors in NUMBERS.
Shelly Long left the most successful sitcom ever and never did anything of real significance after (but at least she kept working). That decision had to sting, but I guess she can take comfort that she was set for life as long as she didn’t get into drugs or spend her money like the average lottery winner.
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