EXCLUSIVE: Actress Mercedes Masohn is leaving ABC’s comedy pilot Mixology. The project, written by feature scribes Jon Lucas and Scott Moore (The Hangover) in their pilot debut, and directed by Larry Charles, is an ambitious high-concept effort featuring 10 lead characters. Set in the world of a sexy Manhattan bar, Mixology chronicles the exploits of singles, five guys and five girls, in search of love — all over the course of one night. Masohn was to play one of them, Maya. She was one of the first actors cast in the project more than a month ago while Charles’ deal was still being finalized and Nina Wass was just joining as non-writing executive producer. Nine other regulars have been cast since Masohn came on board and Lucas and Moore, with input from Charles and Wass, have tweaked some elements of the pilot, including the Maya character. “Masohn is an incredible talent with comedy chops and has been very accommodating and understanding with us, and we plan to be working with her again soon,” the Mixology producers said in a statement.
Masohn may indeed reunite with ABC, whose sister studio ABC Studios produces Mixology. The timing of her exit allows her to get another pilot, and I hear Masohn is already fielding interest, including from projects at ABC, and is expected to book a pilot shortly. “It was such a pleasure working with Jon, Scott & Larry who are true comedic geniuses, but it is unfortunate that things change quickly as a pilot moves into production,” Masohn said. “And on this project, Jon and Scott moved the role in a very different direction, and it became clear this wasn’t right for me. Rather than jeopardize the show, I asked to step aside. They and ABC were very understanding, and I wish them all the best with the show.” Masohn’s exit comes on the heels of Mandy Moore’s departure from another ABC/ABC Studios comedy pilot, Pulling, under similar circumstances. The Maya role in Mixology is now being recast.