Doesn’t everything seem to be happening earlier this upfront season? For the most part (CBS largely excluded), series pickups came in a lot earlier than in previous years as networks and studios tried to give their new shows a leg up in pursuing the hottest writers on the market. And remember how in previous years, some actors on pilots picked up to series were euphoric for a week before being told they were being recast? That changed this year too, with recasting news coming down often within hours or even minutes of the pickup announcements. And, in some cases, even before the official order. That happened on CBS’ new comedy $#! My Dad Says: the network informed lead Ryan Devlin last Friday he won’t continue before picking up the series on Monday.
Rarely have I seen so many big lead roles on new series being recast: $#!, NBC’s Harry’s Law, where Ben Chaplin is being replaced, and ABC’s The Whole Truth where Joely Richardson pulled out for personal reasons. NBC’s new comedy series Friends With Benefits also is recasting two roles, played in the pilot by Fran Kranz and Ian Reed Kesler. Most recently, the football coach role on the CW’s new cheerleading drama Hellcats also is being recast, and the character may be retooled as well. Ben Browder played the role in the pilot. Additionally, there are rumblings about a potential recastings on CBS’ new drama Blue Bloods and ABC’s My Generation.