Major characters killed off sitcoms but not because of the actor's death.

Kenny McCormick answers both this question and the OP, I think.

The ratings for the first season of Sledge Hammer! were so low that they didn’t expect the show to be renewed, so Inspector Hammer was killed in the season ending episode in a failed attempt to disarm a nuclear bomb. However, the show was in fact renewed, so the second season was said to consist of flashbacks to a five year earlier period in his life.

Susan Ross was killed off because the principle players and writers just didn’t feel she and the character were working out with the rest of the show. It wasn’t anything against Heidi Swedberg, they just felt the dynamic was wrong.

Chevy Chase’s character Pierce Hawthorne was killed off on Community, mainly because everyone hated him.

I don’t think that any count as major characters, but The Simpsons has killed off a few, like Bleeding Gums Murphy and Mrs. Flanders.

Joe Coffey. He was killed about 3/4 of the way through the episode; the last minute or so, Lucy Bates was looking at his corpse on the floor, just before they covered his face.

His pointless death was indeed a shocker.

Marvin Erickson on* How I Met Your Mother*. Maybe not “major” but at least recurring and not a character who was brought in just to be killed off.

Mrs Landingham appeared a few times in flashback scenes after her character died in the show. Kathryn Joosten, who is still alive, returned to play her.

Doctor (insert character name here) on ER? I mean, seriously, there was at least three of them, right?

Also, if series finales count, Zeke on Parenthood.

To be fair, the entire cast of *The Blackadder *died to return as their descendants in
Black-adder II, who in turn died to return as their descendants in
Black Adder the Third , who in turn died to return as their descendants in
Blackadder Goes Forth.
And if you’d like, you could squeeze in Blackadder’s Christmas Carol in between the Third & Goes Forth, assuming they all died to return in Goes Forth.
That was the schtick of the series.

On Seinfeld, Kramer was killed off when his body was dumped in the East River. But he managed to escape.

I wouldn’t call “ER” a sitcom.

Unless you’re talking about the 1984 short lived sitcom “E/R”
Though if memory serves, it wasn’t too funny.:slight_smile:

But it also had George Clooney, so there you go.

You’re obviously talking about The West Wing here (fantastic series, also not a sitcom). Mrs. Landingham’s most memorable return, of course, was in “Two Cathedrals,” not as a flashback, but as a kind of truthtelling vision to President Bartlet (“But if you don’t run because you think it’s gonna be too hard or you think you’re gonna lose, well, God, Jed, I don’t even want to know you.”).

And unfortunately, Kathryn Joosten is no longer with us, having passed away in 2012.

My bad. Reading fail.

My mistake. I meant to write “Kathryn Joosten, who was still alive, returned to play her.”

In his “I’m nodding continuously because I’m a really really really nice guy” era.

On the original One Day at a Time Ann’s boyfriend Nick (played by the still alive Ron Rifkin) was killed between seasons 6 and 7 in a car accident. I don’t know why they killed the character.

With the exception that most survive in Blackadder the Third and Blackadder Back & Forth (1999).

And:

In both that series and the tv movie: The dog, Blackadder, got his bone; and becomes king of England in the end.