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23 Actors Who Almost Got The Part: TV Edition

What could have been.

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1. Jensen Ackles as Clark Kent in Smallville

Via Wikipedia / The CW

Ackles auditioned for the role of Clark Kent but the part ultimately went to Tom Welling. He lated guest starred on the show as Jason Teague.

2. Miley Cyrus as Lilly Truscott in Hannah Montana

Via Pinterest / Disney Channel

Cyrus originally sought the part of Hannah's BFF Lilly Truscott, but producers liked her so much that they invited her to audition for the lead role. Emily Osment was later cast as Lilly.

3. Dwight Yoakam as Coach Taylor in Friday Night Lights

Via Pinterest / NBC

Dwight Yoakam was slated for the role of Coach Taylor but the deal was off due to salary negotiations. The part was later offered to Kyle Chandler.

7. Ethan Embry as Rick Grimes in The Walking Dead

Via LA Confidential Magazine / AMC

Ethan Embry was among those considered for the role of Rick Grimes but show producers decided to cast Andrew Lincoln. Embry was later offered the part of Carter.

8. Sara Paxton as Lizzie McGuire in Lizzie McGuire

Via Pinterest / Disney Channel

Sara Paxton and Lindsay Lohan were both considered for the role of the title character. Network executives decided on Hilary Duff and Paxton was later given a guest starring role.

9. Michael Keaton as Jack Shephard in Lost

Via NeoGAF / ABC

Michael Keaton was in talks to take the part of Jack Shephard. He decided to back out since the character was originally supposed to appear in a single episode and the part went to Matthew Fox.

10. Jane Krakowski as Rachel Green in Friends

Via Pinterest / NBC

Krakowski auditioned for the role of Rachel Green (and was rumored to also be in consideration for the role of Phoebe Buffay) but the role went to Jennifer Aniston.

11. Octavia Spencer as Donna Meagle in Parks and Recreation

Via Alchetron / NBC

Seeking the part of Donna Meagle, Octavia Spencer was among the now well-known actors who auditioned for Parks and Rec roles and didn't make the cut. The part of Donna was offered to Retta.

13. Leah Remini as Monica Geller in Friends

Via Pinterest / NBC

Leah Remini auditioned for the role of Monica Geller and was considered a strong contender, but producers chose to go with Courteney Cox.

14. Sam Claflin as Jon Snow in Game of Thrones

Via Variety / HBO

Claflin revealed that he auditioned for both the roles of Jon Snow and Viserys Targaryen, but also expressed that he didn't think he would have been the best fit to play Snow. The role went to Kit Harrington.

15. Sandra Oh as Miranda Bailey in Grey's Anatomy


Sandra Oh originally auditioned for the role of Miranda Bailey but was instead cast as Christina Yang, while Chandra Wilson was offered the role of Dr. Bailey.

17. Elisabeth Shue as Alicia Florrick in The Good Wife

Via Pinterest / CBS

Shue was considered for the lead role in CBS's The Good Wife but turned down the part to spend time with her family and producers cast Julianna Margulies as Alicia Florrick.

18. Adam Scott as Jim Halpert in The Office


Before playing Ben Wyatt in NBC's Parks and Rec, Adam Scott auditioned for the role of Jim Halpert in The Office, but the part was given to John Krasinski.

20. Kristin Davis as Carrie Bradshaw in Sex and the City

Via Pinterest / HBO

Kristin Davis initially auditioned for the role of Carrie Bradshaw but was offered the role of Charlotte York instead and Sarah Jessica Parker was cast as Carrie.

21. Jim Parsons as Barney Stinson in How I Met Your Mother

Via Variety / CBS

Parsons auditioned for the role of Barney Stinson in CBS's How I Met Your Mother but the role was given to Neil Patrick Harris. He later went on to star in another show within the network, The Big Bang Theory.

22. Katie Cassidy as Serena van der Woodsen in Gossip Girl

Via The CW

Katie Cassidy auditioned for the role of Serena, which Blake Lively almost lost due to producers being initially unconvinced of her ability to pull off the New Yorker look. Lively ended up being cast in the role and Cassidy later guest starred on the show.

23. Katie Holmes as Piper Chapman in Orange Is the New Black

Via Pinterest / Netflix

Katie Holmes was in talks to play Piper Chapman in the hit show but ultimately turned down the role. It was later offered to Taylor Schilling.

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