Television shows may seem like a lot of fun to film when you’re watching them from the couch, but in certain cases, they can be an absolute torture. Such was the case for the following shows, which dealt with everything from feuds between castmembers to unfortunate homophobic slurs. Is your favorite show on the list? Probably!
In October 2006, co-stars Patrick Dempsey and Isaiah Washington reportedly got into a harsh exchange of words while filming a scene on the set of Grey’s Anatomy. The fight became infamous, as Washington allegedly used a slur in reference to their gay co-star, T.R. Knight. Washington vehemently denied the reports, most infamously in the press room at the January 2007 Golden Globes, where he bluntly said to reporters, “No, I did not call T.R. a f*****.” Washington was ultimately fired from the show a few months later. Knight later told Ellen DeGeneres that the feud inspired him to officially come out as gay. So, at least something good happened.
GREY’S ANATOMY (AGAIN)
After Washington was fired from the show, the set of Grey’s Anatomy had a new villain to contend with: co-star Katherine Heigl. The actress created tension beyond the extreme when she publicly removed herself from Emmy consideration the year after she won the award, blaming the writers for not giving her enough good material. Rumors that she was a diva on set and difficult to work with continued up until she left the show about a year and a half later. Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter in 2014, Grey’s creator Shonda Rhimes seemed to imply that it was Heigl who catalyzed Rhimes’ “no a**holes” policy on the set of her follow-up hit, Scandal. “There are no Heigls in this situation…I don’t put up with bulls*** or nasty people. I don’t have time for it,” Rhimes said. Ouch.
In 2014, TMZ reported that Glee co-stars Naya Rivera and Lea Michele got into a legitimate tiff while filming an episode of their hit musical-comedy series. To this day, in a true case of Diva Said, Diva Said, nobody knows what the fight was actually about. TMZ’s sources for Rivera alleged that the actress was ticked off over Lea Michele’s bad behavior on set, and went to the producers to complain. Then, when Michele found out about it, she stormed off in a fit. TMZ’s Michele sources, however, claimed that pretty much the opposite happened. Whatever happened, if TMZ is taking time out to report on it, you know it must have been pretty rough.
If you were to look up the term “Miserable TV Set” in the Hollywood dictionary, odds are good that Moonlighting would pictured next to the definition. The ’80s dramedy, starring Cybill Shepherd and Bruce Willis, was fraught with tension from day one and lasted until the very end of the show’s fifth and final season, according to a 1989 article in People. Among the causes: Willis’ blossoming film career, catalyzed by 1988’s Die Hard; and Shepherd’s pregnancy in 1987 that caused the production schedule to fall out of place. “Willis … suddenly cared a lot ‘about not working, about getting out of work, leaving work early,'” a source told People at the time. Willis also threw a loud, violent tantrum on set after the production schedule “threatened to cut into a planned afternoon getaway.” Great!
Throughout Roseanne’s first season, Roseanne Barr famously fought with the show’s creator and writer, Matt Williams, over creative control and various credits. As production continued, Barr wanted Williams fired so badly that she would storm off the set and engage in nasty back-and-forths with executives. At one point, ABC even threatened to find a replacement for her. “I was crying all the time,” Barr told Entertainment Weekly in 2008. “…It was extremely tumultuous because Matt was a talented person. I told him, ‘Maybe this is the fault of the producers who told you it was your show and I was your actress, and they told me it was my show and you were my writer.'” Williams was ultimately fired from the show, though that didn’t stop Barr from feuding with subsequent writers. As Entertainment Weekly reported, Barr would only refer to the writers—whom, like Williams, were often fired—by number, in an effort to deflate their egos. “The writers did not think it was funny,” said Gilmore Girls creator Amy Sherman-Palladino, who wrote for Roseanne during seasons three through six. “Anytime you tell someone, ‘I’m not going to learn your name, here’s your number,’ you’re diminishing their worth.” No kidding.
In 2005, at the peak of the success of ABC’s primetime soap, Desperate Housewives, the principal castmembers reportedly got into it at a shoot for the cover of Vanity Fair. According to People, ABC told Vanity Fair that Teri Hatcher couldn’t get first dibs on wardrobe or take over the shoot, suggesting that the rest of the cast wasn’t happy with her behavior on set. Hatcher ultimately arrived to the set early, setting off a chain in events that allegedly ended with Marcia Cross storming off the shoot and Hatcher crying on the phone. The feud between Hatcher and the rest of the Desperate Housewives cast reportedly continued throughout the show’s seven-season run.
DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES (AGAIN)
In 2010, star Desperate Housewives star Nicollette Sheridan sued ABC for wrongful termination and battery after claiming she was hit on the head by the show’s creator, Marc Cherry, and subsequently written off the show for complaining about the incident. The suit went to trial in 2012, during which Cherry testified (via E! News) that he tapped Sheridan on the head and the tap was only done to help demonstrate how Sheridan’s scene should play out. A judge ultimately declared a mistrial after the jury became deadlocked; Sheridan has been fighting for a retrial ever since. As an aside, Cherry’s testimony also seemed to confirm Hatcher’s feud with the rest of the cast. At one point, he recalled an incident in which Hatcher and Sheridan were fighting on set. “Nicollette pulled me aside and told me that Teri Hatcher was the meanest woman in the world because of how she was acting,” Cherry testified. Incidentally, Cherry also testified that co-stars Eva Longoria and Felicity Huffman were “relieved” when Sheridan was written off the show. So, who knows?
Shannen Doherty and Jennie Garth famously fought on the set of 90210. And, if co-star Tori Spelling is to be believed, their feud at one point actually turned physical. “I remember I could hear the door fly open and everyone screaming and crying,” Spelling revealed on the Lifetime interview series, Celebrity Lie Detector. “That’s when I was told the boys just had to break up Jennie and Shannen…It was like a fist fight.” “Shannen had everything, but she could be arrogant and carefree. Jennie [Garth] was outspoken when she thought Shannen was out of line. Sometimes they got along, but there were explosions,” Spelling also wrote in her 2008 autobiography.
During a 2012 audition episode in North Carolina, newly minted American Idol judges Nicki Minaj and Mariah Carey entered a war of words after disagreeing about a contestant’s performance, TMZ reported at the time. TMZ actually obtained footage of the disagreement, which showed Minaj firing a number of expletive insults at Carey. “Every time you take a shot at me I’ma take it back, and if you gotta f****** problem then handle it…” Minaj says at one point. “I told them I’m not f*****’ putting up with her f*****’ highness over there.” Much to the surprise of no one, Carey and Minaj quit the show after one season. In 2015, Carey reflected on her one-season stint on Idol, calling it the worst experience of her life.
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