Fans of Lethal Weapon will be happy to know that Fox just picked up the cop drama for Season 3 today. On the other hand, some fans of Clayne Crawford, who plays Martin Riggs, were not as enthusiastic about it if their reactions on social media are any indication. Their reaction comes after Warner Bros. decided to replace Clayne Crawford with American Pie star Seann William Scott.
Fan reaction was varied with one saying they would stop watching if Clayne Crawford was fired. Another said, “That no official words have been spoken, just rumors spread by the tabloids.” However, Crawford admitted himself in a statement on Instagram that he had been disciplined regarding two incidents on the set.
The incidents involved outbursts, and Crawford stated that he apologized for his part in it. One of the outbursts was rumored to have been between him and Damon Wayans, who plays co-lead Roger Murtaugh.
Crawford exhibited a history of bad behavior, and sources told Entertainment Weekly that he had been disciplined multiple times over complaints that he had emotionally abused others and created a hostile environment.
The toxic environment between Crawford and Wayans had deteriorated to the point that the actors were no longer speaking to each other when they weren’t reciting their lines. In light of all the turmoil, “the situation had escalated to a point where Warner Bros. TV started exploring a recasting of the part of Riggs,” reports Deadline.
Lethal Weapon, the highest rated of Fox’s Warner Bros. TV drama series, went from being a sure thing for renewal to being in limbo because of all the problems with Crawford behind the scenes. They knew they would have to scramble to replace him with another actor or shuttle the show.
Seann William Scott was ultimately selected after approaching other actors for the role. After negotiations wrapped up, he met with Damon Wayans; the casting choice was then sealed. His storyline will involve a new character who partners with the character Roger Murtaugh.
The replacement of a main character is a dramatic and risky move, especially when it involves the lead of an established series such as Lethal Weapon. In other words, it is a move that may go sideways because the character is so well-known and liked.
Kevin Can Wait showrunners found that out the hard way when they made the mistake of replacing original female lead Erinn Hayes midway through the first season with Kevin James’ King of Queens co-star Leah Remini. The recasting left a bad taste in viewer’s mouth and ratings for the show nosedived. Kevin Can Wait went from being a top-rated show in the first season to cancellation after the second season.
Warning. The next paragraph contains spoilers about the Season 2 finale of Lethal Weapon.
Lethal Weapon recently showcased the plotline for Clayne Crawford’s exit in the May 8 Season 2 finale. In the cliffhanger episode, Martin Riggs plans to move to Texas with Molly and her son, but then Garrett arrives and shoots him in the chest. Will he survive and leave to Texas with Molly and her boy, or will Season 3 premiere with us being bystanders to Rigg’s funeral?