The broadcast upfront has always been a rollercoaster, with the highs of series pickups sometime followed by the lows of actors on newly ordered shows being replaced. While recastings are virtually inevitable when the networks rush to cast and film 70+ pilots within a two-month window, competing for talent with the other broadcasters as well as cable and streaming networks, 2018 was particularly brutal, with major recastings on three new CBS series, The Code, F.B.I and The Neighborhood.
Unlike years past when cast members would often go through the celebration of their pilots’ series orders before finding out they were not continuing, this year I hear that the actors who were being recast were at least told at the time of the pickup.
One of those affected was Dave Annable, who played the male lead in the pilot for The Code. He was in Disneyland with his family when 10 days ago he got the good news-bad news call. The next day, he wrote a dignified, thoughtful and inspiring Instagram post about his firing that provides a glimpse into what actors in that position go through, the mixed emotions involved, as well as the inevitable element of self-doubt that creeps in. Like the famous “You took the sourest lemon life has to offer, and turned it into something resembling lemonade” speech from the This Is Us pilot, Brothers & Sisters alum Annable manages to find a silver lining in the setback and to look forward without bitterness.
“I’ve never been fired before and certainly not publicly,” he wrote. “Right now I want to run. I want to hide. I want to quit. The TOUGHER thing to do is face it. To embrace it. Learning to deal with failure is one of the most important lessons you’ll deal with in your life. Guess what? Failure is mandatory. It’s growth. It’ll never stop.”
It took me awhile to discover Annable’s post because of the craziness of upfront week but it’s worth sharing. It already has drawn support from fellow actors including Octavia Spencer and Bonnie Sommerville. They are among a slew of people who have applauded Annable in the comments to his note.
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You may be wondering why the hell is this guy posting this when he was just fired from the show? Great question. There are multiple reasons. The first is that I fucking LOVED the people I worked with and for and wish them NOTHING but success and love on this great show. To only see this as my loss is limiting and self centered. It’s so much bigger than me. How about all of the other writers, producers, crew and fellow actors that worked so hard and gave everything they had to make this show work? This isn’t just my story. All of my friends and family who have reached out have said “F them! You’ll show them!”. I understand this way of thinking but let me pose a question. How does it serve me to be angry? It would not and does not CHANGE the situation. Me being angry at someone or something would not ultimately make me feel any better. It actually would make me feel much worse. If I chose to be angry that emotion spills over into my relationship with myself, my family and my friends. If I choose anger then I’m taking on the perspective of a victim. I’m not a victim. This is a circumstance. It is my choice and my choice only on how I choose to deal with it. After receiving the call that the show was being picked up and I was being replaced (while I was at Disneyland with my family, ugh) I went to the perspective of the student. What is the lesson here? What can I learn from this experience moving forward? I’ve yet to be given a reason but when I do you bet your ass that I will try and learn from it. Another reason I am posting this is fear. Fear of embarrassment. Fear of Failure. I’ve never been fired before and certainly not publicly. Right now I want to run. I want to hide. I want to quit. The TOUGHER thing to do is face it. To embrace it. Learning to deal with failure is one of the most important lessons you’ll deal with in your life. Guess what? Failure is mandatory. It’s growth. It’ll never stop. It’s where all the good shit happens that makes you a better person when you are open to seeing the right perspective. (Continued in comments section)…