UPDATED: Veteran TV writer-producer Ed Bernero has left NBC’s fall drama State Of Affairs about two months after boarding the new series as executive producer/showrunner. Trauma creator Dario Scardapane is rumored as a replacement. State Of Affairs, originally conceived by Alexi Hawley, had been shepherded at the pilot stage by The Blacklist‘s Joe Carnahan, who rewrote Hawley’s script and directed the pilot, steering it to a series order and the plum post-The Voice slot Mondays at 10 PM, taking over The Blacklist in November.
It is not uncommon for showrunners joining new series that they didn’t create to leave after a brief stay if the fit is not good; another veteran, Rene Echevarria, did the same on CBS’ Intelligence last summer. State Of Affairs attracts extra scrutiny because of its star, Katherine Heigl, and her so-called reputation of being difficult on set. According to multiple sources, there were no issues between the showrunner and the star. (Bernero actually jumped to Heigl’s defense when she was grilled about her “difficult” perception at TCA last month.) I hear Bernero departed over creative differences with Carnahan, who continues to be very much at the helm of the series, directing the important post-pilot Episode 2 as well as several more episodes of the initial 13-episode order. Bernero’s departure will have no impact on production of State Of Affairs, which is filming Episode 2 and is on track to make its November 17 premiere. The series is expected to bring in another experienced writing showrunner. Former Criminal Minds showrunner Bernero remains on good terms with NBC, where he also had series Crossing Lines last summer, and State Of Affairs producer Universal TV. Carnahan serves as executive producer of State Of Affairs with Heigl, her mother Nancy Heigl, Robert Simonds, Sophie Watts, Henry Crumpton, Rodney Faraon and Julia Franz.