A Lethal Blow? Wayans Out at Lethal Weapon

Lethal Weapon, the TV adaptation of the movie franchise, is supposed to be a buddy cop comedy.  But in addition to makes headlines for its behind-the-scenes drama, it will soon be without either of its original buddy cops.

Today, Damon Wayans told eurweb that he’s leaving the show. He said that as a 58-year-old diabetic he doesn’t want to keep working the 16 hour days that are required to do a network show.

Damon plans to finish shooting the first 13 episodes of the season then walk away.  This seems to come out of the blue, and honestly we believe this may have been the way the execs at FOX found out.  There was absolutely no hint this was coming.

But you know what may be coming next? Cancellation!

A Drama Series

This comes about five months after Clayne Crawford, who played Riggs, Wayans’ original partner, was fired for being abusive on set.  Audio leaked of Wayans and Crawford exchanging junior high school level insults, and sources from on the set said the two wouldn’t talk to each other when the cameras weren’t rolling.

But here’s what’s perplexing: instead of recasting the role, producers created a new character, Wesley Cole, and hired career smart ass Seann William Scott to embody the character.

If Wayans was having doubts about his workload or the future of the show, the time to address it would have been before hiring Seann.

Arresting Developments

So.. what’s next for the show? We have no idea, and get the feeling that neither does FOX.

They shouldn’t recast the role.  If FOX does decide to press on to a full season, the could create another character to pair with Scott, and basically just start to create new canon for the franchise.

But the fact is, this show was launched as the TV version of the movies, and now both characters will, presumably, be long gone.  It was also launched on the name of an iconic actor, Wayans.  It was his world and everyone else was just living in it.

So while going forward will be 100% futile difficult, we expect FOX to try.  Last season, it was the network’s second highest rated scripted show, behind Empire.  And for a network in desperate need of a winning program that doesn’t involve sports or shouting chefs, they will likely try to puzzle this out.

The New Kid

We feel particularly bad for Seann, who joined the show and told The Cocktail he spent all summer working with the writers and developing the character.  “It was interesting because it did come together pretty quickly. I thought they did a really great job from the time that they were telling me about the character and I was able to kinda pitch in my ideas as well. And how they executed it for that first script, for the first episode.”

And then there’s his mom.  She’s so proud that he finally has a role that wouldn’t revolve around crude, R-rated humor.

When we talked with Seann a couple weeks ago, we joke about what could happen if the show got moved to FXX. He told us “There’ll be swearing. But she’s used to it at this point.”

She may have to get used to it again sooner rather than later.

The Critic’s Cocktail Recommendation

Whisky. Up. Cuz that’s what a bunch of FOX executives are having today while they try to figure out what to do with the show tomorrow!


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