Martin Riggs is out
FOX officially renewed Lethal Weapon for a third season, and officially fired Clayne Crawford. Until now, the actor has been suggesting on social media that he had not heard anything definitive. He surely has now. Not only will he not be returning with the show, a new partner for Damon Wayans' character has already been chosen.
Seann William Scott, still mainly of American Pie fame (though I've only ever liked him in Dude, Where's My Car?), will be stepping into a new role, and not taking on the Martin Riggs role that some had expected. Riggs was in the process of returning to Texas, but was subsequently attacked in the finale of season 2, giving the writers and producers an easy way out for the character, whether he survives or not.
It's strange that the show was renewed on a Sunday, and not with the rest of the returning shows announced earlier this week. It would seem that the production company felt the cast changes were necessary for the renewal, which led to the confusion with Crawford, and the delay with the announcement.
"This was not our choice to scramble at the 11th hour," Dana Walden (FOX CEO) says. "…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 before. There were some real challenges in the cast. They thought long and hard about it. I know that was not their first choice, but ultimately these were the circumstances that they could offer us the show."
Fans of the show, and of Crawford, reacted with anger, many saying they would boycott the show from now on. This doesn't seem to have deterred FOX, who believe they have made the right decision. Crawford was let go after he had been reprimanded more than once for his actions and anger on set, and an incident during an episode he was directed where Wayans was hit with shrapnel that left a visibly nasty cut on the back of his head. Many believe that Wayans had a large say in whether his co-star would return, and decided against it. Wayans had already posted to social media his dislike of Crawford, airing both his personal opinions and images of posters up around the set deriding Crawford for his demeanour and actions.
"I think we made the right choice," Walden adds. "We are prepared to support it from a marketing point of view about a new dynamic, but a good one. A lot of the show that people love is still intact."
Lethal Weapon returns in fall on Tuesdays on FOX.