I always thought that was used when a "regular" wasn't on much anymore then came back for a "guest" apperance.
I was recently watching the Waltons and along season 6 Ellen Corby who played Grandma Walton really had a stroke so she wasn't on their for most of that season. Then about season 7 she came back as a "guest".
Maybe I'm wrong on this, but just thought that was how it worked. ??
It is the lack of Christianity that has brought us where we are. Not a lack of churches or religious forms but of the real thing in our hearts. LIW.....Words From a Fearless Heart