TV's Five Biggest Casting Shockers

Jennifer Lopez an American Idol judge?! Steven Tyler, too?!

Has there ever been anything as shocking in the history of shocking?!

Well, yeah, actually. Cue the rundown of TV's biggest surprise casting moves:

1. Ellen DeGeneres an American Idol judge?! Was it only last year that the comic came out—of left field, that is? Sure, we knew she liked to dance. But who knew she liked to dance around the fragile egos of budding singers? (Well, as her departure now tells us, she didn't, but still…)

2. Robert Downey Jr. on Saturday Night Live?! The future Iron Man was but a maleable 20 when he joined the sketch show in 1985. At the time, he wasn't known for much other than being an off-lead in Weird Science. He was as random a hire in that strange, strange season as the 17-year-old Anthony Michael Hall, who was a lead in Weird Science, or Randy Quaid, who was freakin' Randy Quaid.

3. Marlee Matlin on Dancing With the Stars?! This show's managed some great headline-making hires: Kate Gosselin, Cloris Leachman and Marie Osmond come to mind. But giving the hearing-impaired Matlin the chance to prove she can keep a beat? Even more brilliant and surprising than when DWTS gave the one-legged Heather Mills the chance to prove she's not nearly as unpleasant as her split from Paul McCartney suggested!

4. The New Darrin on Bewitched?!  No explanation, no wink to the camera, no plastic-surgery plot. The classic sitcom wrote the book on shockaroos—and switcharoos—by plopping Dick Sargent into the TV marital bed where Dick York once slept. Something to remember: Only we think this is shocking behavior; back in the 1960s, nobody much noticed.

5. Linda Hamilton on Chuck?! OK, we admit this one's here because we're distracted by bright, shiny and, above all, new objects. The Comic-Con announcement that the Terminator warrior has been cast to play Chuck's mother shocked us by its pitch-perfectness. All surprises should be so happy.