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An ensemble cast is made up of cast members in which the principal actors and performers are assigned roughly equal amounts of importance and screen time in a dramatic production. This contrasts with productions which develop and focus on certain main characters more than others. This kind of casting became more popular in television series because it allows flexibility for writers to focus on different characters in different episodes. In addition, the departure of players is less disruptive to the premise than it would be if the star of a production with a regularly structured cast were to leave the series. Actors who are on good terms with each other may choose to participate in an ensemble piece, forgoing their usual wage demands, for a chance to work together or to support a friend's career advancement, such as them branching out into writing or directing, though ensemble projects may end acrimoniously as egos clash over the quantity of screen time and quality and relative importance of roles. Ensemble casts of 20 or more actors are common in soap operas.
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