Is it possible that Lethal Weapon might just be cursed? A little over a week after Fox launched the revamped version of the show, with Seann William Scott replacing co-lead Clayne Crawford, original star Damon Wayans has announced he is quitting the show.
Wayans, who plays Roger Murtaugh, told Electronic Urban Report that he will stick with the show through its thirteen episode order, but after that he is done. The actor said that his diabetes and being away from his family were key factors in the decision. “It’s hard for me to play this loving, supportive father/husband/friend on TV and be the guy in life that is telling everyone ‘I can’t. I have to work’”, he said.
While Wayans said that he was given Fox and series producer Warner Bros. Television “enough time to find a replacement”, it seems incredibly unlikely that either the network or the studio will opt to continue. Fox had hedged their bets of the revamped show to begin with by placing a shorter than usual 13 episode order. Couple that will the corporate changes looming at Fox and they may well simply decide that a new project will be less problematic.
The announcement is also unlikely to make things easy on Warner Bros. Television and their international sales division, Warner Bros. International Television Distribution. As TVWise exclusively reported last month, UK broadcaster ITV has yet to decide on picking up season three as a direct result of the creative changes and they are waiting to see the new episodes before making a final decision. Will WBITD be able to convince ITV to still pick up the new season now that original series star Wayans is also heading out the door?
For those not following the original drama from May, Clayne Crawford, who played co-lead Riggs, was fired by series producer Warner Bros. Television over allegations relating to his behaviour on-set. While Crawford did apologise, the studio felt it had no other recourse and had to let him go. When the producers locked in American Pie‘s Seann William Scott to star opposite Damon Wayans as the new co-lead, Fox pulled the trigger and picked up a third season.