Sometimes, the best decisions show writers make are the ones that they don't follow through on.
Could you imagine if some of the characters that we've grown to know and love were meant to meet their end? Well, it almost happened. Whether it was due to creative differences or positive fan reception, these characters were all given a second chance.
Let's take a look at 15 TV characters that were originally intended to be killed off.
Jack - Lost
Could you imagine LOST without it's main protagonist, Jack Shepard? The character was not intended to make it past the pilot. Shortly after waking up on the island, Jack was originally killed by the smoke monster. However, a network executive demanded this to be changed as they loved the character. The episode was subsequently rewritten and Jack went on to become the definitive leader of the group and a fan favorite.
Hershel Greene - The Walking Dead
Sure, Hershel did eventually meet his maker regardless at the hands of the Governor during season four. but did you know that the character was never meant to make it out of the second season alive? Positive reception to the character caused the showrunners to keep Hershel around for a while, with Dale ending up being killed in his place.
Klaus - The Originals/The Vampire Diaries
That's right, this blood sucker was originally intended to meet his maker at the end of The Vampire Diaries' third season. The producers however, loved Joseph Morgan's portrayal of the character and decided to keep him around long enough to get his own spinoff with The Originals.
Harry Crane - Mad Men
During season one, show creators originally intended to have Harry killed off by jumping out of the building. Which would have been provided significance of the man falling during the opening credits in a similar fashion.
Castiel - Supernatural
It's difficult to imagine where the Winchesters would be, had it not been for their pal Cas coming through for them time and time again. That's right, our favorite angel was originally intended to only appear in a six episode arc during season four. Thankfully, the character was rewritten to continue on due to positive reactions from fans and critics.
Jesse Pinkman - Breaking Bad
The original concept was to have Jessie killed during Breaking Bad's first season. Coincidentally, due to the 2008 writer's strike, the writers had time to reevaluate the direction of the character.
Carol Peletier - The Walking Dead
Through seven seasons, Carol has transformed from helpless housewife to badass zombie slayer in her own right. Arguably one of the most beloved characters on The Walking Dead, it's difficult to imagine the series without Melissa McBride. The original plan was to have Carol killed off early in season three, but a last minute decision caused the writers to nix the idea and giving T-Dog the ax instead.
Spike - Buffy the Vampire Slayer
This villain turned fan favorite was meant to be on the wrong end of stake in season two. Lucky for us, series creator Joss Wheden made the wise decision to keep Spike around.
Andy Dwyer - Parks and Recreation
This entry deviates from this list a bit since this particular character wasn't going to be killed off, but simply written out. Chris Pratt's character, Andy, was originally intended to have a limited run on the show as Anne's boyfriend. Much to the delight of fans, Andy stayed around.
Nicholas Brody - Homeland
Nicholas' failed assassination of the vice president wasn't originally intended to fail. Executive producer Alex Gansa explained that they felt there was more story to tell with the character, so they decided to keep him alive.
Carol Hathaway - ER
Originally, Nurse Hathaway was not supposed to survive her suicide attempt in the pilot. Fortunately, that scene didn't test well with audiences and the producers brought the character back. Just think, we could have easily missed out on the relationship between her and George Clooney's, Dr. Ross. And without Carol Hathaway, would we have ever had The Good Wife?
Boyd Crowder - Justified
In the short story in which the series is based, Boyd Crowder is killed during a showdown with U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens. This was meant to take place during the FX series' pilot, but the test audiences were intrigued by the character and were eager to learn more about him. The rest is history.
LaFayette Reynolds - True Blood
Lafayette is killed rather early at the end of the first novel, of which the show is based. However, the character survives the end of the series' run, while becoming a fan favorite.
Angel - Buffy the Vampire Slayer
When Buffy "killed" Angel in the season two finale, the character was supposed to be killed off for good. Still, Joss Whedon saved the day yet again as he was able to bring this fan favorite back, along with a soul to boot.
Josh Rosza - The Originals
Josh was never meant to get out of season one alive, but as the season went on, the character turned into a fan favorite. When series creator, Julie Plec, was planning on killing Josh off, the rest of the other writers persuaded her otherwise.