Name any show currently airing on television, and I'll give you a show that will be made at least 10%-50% better with the addition of Nathan Fillion. The actor, who is currently not filming future Castle episodes for the first time in many years, has landed his first big follow-up TV gig, and it'll be one one of TV's most popular comedies: Modern Family. Martin Short will also pop up in Season 8, and I kind of need to see these two guys and Ed O'Neill getting their own spinoff now, even without seeing anything from their characters.
Unfortunately, Nathan Fillion has not been added to Modern Family as a regular cast member, but this won't just be a one and done for him, either. Co-creator Steve Levitan spoke to reporters at the TCA press event (via THR) and said that Fillion will be in at least three episodes in Season 8, and he will play a weatherman named Rainer Shine. (If you're wondering how jealous I am that Levitan is actually using this pun-tastic name on a network TV show, I would tell you my life is pure hail now.)
No big story details were given, but we do know he will get mixed up with the Dunphy family in some respect. And I'm not trying to knock Ty Burrell or anything, but I could easily see this story going in the direction of Claire and Rainer having a connection that causes unwanted sparks to fly between the husband and wife. Would it break the rules of sitcoms if Claire just left Phil for Nathan Fillion? Is there a hashtag to use for such a thing?
I know I'm not the only one who's mildly shocked that Nathan Fillion is heading back to ABC so quickly after the snafu that was Castle's cancellation, which came after actress Stana Katic had been ousted and Fillion had been contracted for a shortened ninth season. That finale, which featured an alternate ending from what was planned had the show moved on, was a hotbed of viewer reactions, so here's hoping Fillion's temporary spot on Modern Family can quell some of the remaining rage.
Meanwhile, it was revealed Martin Short will hop from NBC to ABC's Modern Family for a single-episode guest-starring role. He will show up in Episode 2, according to Levitan, and he'll be playing a promotional maven named Merv Schechter. If you've paid attention to Short's recent TV work - including his variety series Maya & Marty, as well as bit parts on Difficult People and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt - then you know he is back in true form. So expect something wild.
With sadly nowhere near as big an audience as Modern Family, Alan Tudyk's web series Con Man will kick off Season 2 later this year on Comic-Con HQ with Nathan Fillion back as the studly Jack Moore. You'll be finding Fillion on the big screen throughout the next year, as well, in films such as Henchmen and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2\_._ And when it comes to Martin Short, look no further than the upcoming musical Hairspray Live! in December.
Modern Family will return to ABC for Season 8 - with Nathan Fillion! - on Wednesday, September 21, at 9 p.m. ET. To see when everything else will be hitting TV later this year, check out our fall premiere schedule.