Charlie Sheen and Other Celebs Who Regret Their Early Exits from TV

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Former "Two and a Half Men" star Charlie Sheen has revealed in an interview that leaving his role at CBS might not have been a "winning" move. Sheen explained away his bombastic post-"Two and a Half Men" outbursts.

"Clearly, a guy gets fired, his relationships are in the toilet...there's nothing 'winning' about any of that," he said. "I mean, how does a guy who's obviously quicksanded, how does he consider any of it a victory? I was in total denial."

While Sheen does have a new show lined up ("Anger Management," set to air on FX later this summer), it seems like he might harbor some regret at losing his lucrative acting gig. But Sheen's far from the first actor to regret an early exit from a successful TV show. Here are a handful of other stars who made a bad career move when they left their best-known roles behind.

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Shelley Long, "Cheers"

After a pretty long run on "Cheers," Shelley Long left the show to pursue a film career. And while that path has worked out well for other comedic actors, Long crashed and burned. Her first post-TV project was "Troop Beverly Hills," which was critically panned (and currently has an 8% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.)

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David Caruso

Caruso was smart enough to stick with "CSI: Miami" for as long as possible, but it's only because he learned his lesson after a disastrous early exit from "NYPD Blue." He left the show after just a single season to pursue film, and it didn't really pan out.

Denise Crosby, "Star Trek: The Next Generation"

Despite being featured prominently in episodes like "Code of Honor" and "The Naked Now," the character of Tasha Yar started to fade into the background a bit as the series went on. Crosby stuck around for just 22 episodes of the series (which ran for seven seasons). Her early exit meant she got killed off in a surprising death scene, making it hard for the producers to bring her back on a permanent basis after she changed her mind and wanted to reprise her role.

Christopher Eccleston, "Doctor Who"

When the BBC revived the classic sci-fi show "Doctor Who" in 2005, Christopher Eccleston was tapped to play the role of The Doctor. But after just one season, Eccleston left, later citing exhaustion and a dislike of the creative environment.

The show's popularity continued to grow during the David Tennant years, and the most recent season starring Matt Smith was the most downloaded TV program on iTunes last year. Had Eccleston stayed on longer, he could have been completely responsible for the show's triumphant return and remarkable international growth.
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