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The Ranch Gets Part 6 Premiere Date — First Eps Without Danny Masterson

The Ranch will begin its post-Danny Masterson era before year’s end. The second-half of Season 3 (aka Part 6) will be released on Friday, Dec. 7, Netflix has announced via the Ashton Kutcher/Elisha Cuthbert teaser above.

The next batch of episodes will pick up sometime after Masterson’s Rooster (presumably) ditched town. As fans will recall, the midseason finale found Rooster held at gunpoint by Mary’s ex-con boyfriend Nick, who told him to take his belongings and disappear… or else. Nick also threatened to kill (!) Rooster’s entire family if he ever snitched, so it’s anyone’s guess how his absence will be explained to brother Colt (Ashton Kutcher), sister-in-law Abby (Elisha Cuthbert) and parents Beau (Sam Elliott) and Maggie (Debra Winger).

Masterson, who was fired last December after he was accused of raping four women in the early 2000s, will essentially be replaced by new recurring guest star Dax Shepard (Parenthood), who previously worked alongside Kutcher on the MTV prank series Punk’d.

While Rooster’s sudden disappearance is sure to factor heavily into early Part 6 episodes, The Ranch will have no shortage of ground to cover upon its return. Newlyweds Colt and Abby are expecting their first child. Colt will also have the Peterson Ranch to run on his own, now that Beau has decided not to sell to Neumann’s Hill. (UPDATE: The fate of Masterson’s Rooster was revealed in The Ranch Part 6. Read our recap here.)

Are you looking forward to The Ranch‘s return? Curious to see how they handle Rooster’s bizarre exit? Drop your thoughts in a comment below.