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Netflix's Ashton Kutcher-led series The Ranch went through a bit of drama recently that ultimately ended in the show firing co-star Danny Masterson from the series. Now, the show has brought in another comedy actor to fill the void left by Masterson's character Rooster, with the always solid Dax Shepard for a recurring role on the streaming sitcom.
Dax Shepard will enter The Ranch as Luke Stevens, who has some ties to the Bennett family's Iron River Ranch. Luke is a military man who arrives in the town of Garrison and strikes an immediate bond with Colt and the rest of the Bennett family. One would imagine that bond is due to the character's connection to the titular ranch, though such a connection was not specifically addressed in the character's description. But we do know he won't be around for the entirety of the season.
Deadline reports Dax Shepard will stick around as Luke for the second half of Season 3 of The Ranch, and will reportedly be involved with five of the ten episodes. Given his fleeting and recurring status on the series, Shepard should not be considered a full-on replacement for Danny Masterson's character Rooster, but his bond with Colt will undoubtedly fill some of the void left by the character, if only temporarily.
Dax Shepard might not be The Ranch's end-all replacement for Danny Masterson, but he's certainly taken over as the on-set buddy for series lead Ashton Kutcher. The two have spent a good deal of time together in the past on the MTV series Punk'd, and they appear to still be having a good time on the set of Season 3 of The Ranch. Kutcher shared a photo of the two hanging out together along with the helpful hashtag "notpunkd," just so no one got confused:
Shepard, whose last recurring role on television was NBC's Parenthood, might only have time for a handful of The Ranch episodes due to his being cast in a Fox pilot set to film in June. Should the pilot Bless This Mess fall through, Shepard could once again be available for more episodes of The Ranch, provided the series continues on Netflix past Season 3. The series would probably have him back in that case, as Kutcher seems rather fond of keeping actors he used to work with around the set. But if all of that falls through, surely Shepard's wife Kristen Bell can wrangle up another cameo for her husband in The Good Place, no?
The Ranch Season 3 doesn't have a release date at this time, but Ashton Kutcher's set photos can at least lead us to speculate some of it is coming in 2018. For more on other upcoming Netflix programming, be sure to check out what films and shows are headed to the platform via our Netflix premiere guide. For a look at what's happening in television this year in a broader sense, head on over to Cinema Blend's midseason premiere guide.