Stars who gave a boost to 'Cheers,' 'Buffy,' 'The O.C.,' 'M*A*S*H," and more
Taylor Townsend (Autumn Reeser)
First introduced: season 3, episode 2
Replaced: Nobody, exactly, but functionally she stepped in for Marissa Cooper in Season 4.
Taylor Townsend is one of the great examples of a character developing and evolving in ways that look extreme from the outside, but felt both organic and essential within the show itself. Taylor was introduced as an Type-A adversary for our main characters, specifically to Summer Roberts. But as viewers spent more and more time with Taylor, we saw her she-beast mother and we got to understand the character's core quirkiness and insecurity and as the writers spent more time with Autumn Reeser, they understood her superior comedic timing. That's why Taylor was able to go from scheming rival in Season 3 to a fully integrated and beloved character in Season 4. Yes, America had stopped watching "The O.C." by that final season, but fans of the show recognize how important Taylor was to its creative comeback, whether exploring her furrier side or dealing with French husband Henri Michel de Maumaront.
- Daniel Fienberg