Fox Boss on Lethal Weapon Shake-Up: 'Real Challenges' Forced Cast Change

Lethal Weapon Riggs Gone Season 3

At the end of the day, the revamped Lethal Weapon you will see on your screens this fall is the only version that was possible, says Fox Television Group CEO Dana Walden.

Speaking to reporters on Monday ahead of Fox’s Upfronts presentation this afternoon, Walden explained that swapping out original cast member Clayne Crawford for incoming addition Seann William Scott (American Pie) “was not our choice” as a network, but one born of untenable production issues reported by Warner Bros. TV.

Acknowledging that it ostensibly should be “very easy going into a third season on a show that we like,” Walden said that instead, “our partners at Warner Bros. came to us about three weeks ago to tell us that they could not deliver Lethal Weapon as we’ve known it, that there were some real challenges in the cast,” born of Crawford’s alleged bad behavior on the show’s set.

“[WBTV] thought long and hard about it — I know that was not their first choice,” Walden added, “but ultimately these were the circumstances that they could offer us the show,” which this season tied for fifth in the demo among Fox’s 10 dramas.

After considering “a lot of different names” to succeed Crawford — in a brand-new role — and eventually picking Scott to pair with Damon Wayans, coupled with “a storytelling engine that works,” “I think we ultimately made the right choice,” Walden said.

Walden affirmed that whereas Fox would not usually need to exert too much effort/money in promoting the third season of a returning show, “We are prepared to support [Lethal Weapon] from a marketing point of view, to educate viewers about [what is] a new dynamic, but a good one. A lot of the show that people love is still intact.”