The spring TV season was full of ups and downs this year, with some fan-favorites ending up on the chopping block. However, one show with solid ratings that also found itself in the bubble was Fox's Lethal Weapon, following reports that the two leads didn't get along and that the series was having trouble with actor Clayne Crawford on set. Since the show is pretty focused on Riggs and Murtaugh, it seemed like the death knell was tolling, and this week at TCA Fox Boss Gary Newman admitted that Lethal Weapon was, in fact, about to get canceled. Then, Warner Bros. came through with a last minute Hail Mary in Seann William Scott. He said:
If we could not feel confident to bring that show back with a great cast in a way that the audience would accept it, we would have simply not brought the show back. Until they came up with Seann, we were planning a schedule without Lethal Weapon.
Obviously, it's not new news that the network was enamored with the Seann William Scott solution. We've known for a few months that the actor would be joining Lethal Weapon and playing a brand new character on the series. The fate of Riggs was up in the air at the end of Season 3, and I'm assuming the character will either be retired off the show with a disability following getting shot or will be killed off the series completely. However, despite there being rumors the show could be canceled last spring, this quote makes it clear how close Lethal Weapon actually came to being canceled--and it was close.
Fox TV Group's Gary Newman also said at TCA (via Deadline) that previously the network had wanted to work with Seann William Scott, but for whatever reason it never worked out. So, it was a fortuitous win for Lethal Weapon when Matt Miller started creating a new character for the show and the actor wanted to sign on. He said:
When Warner Bros. came to us at the end of last season and said that they needed to make a change, Matt Miller started developing that character, and it was very much informed by the actor he was able to get. We're incredibly excited about being in business with Seann. We pursued him before and never successfully landed him and Matt is a fantastic showrunner and came up with a great character.
Eventually Lethal Weapon was renewed and will live on for Season 3 on Fox. The new season will actually be Seann William Scott's first network TV gig as a leading man. We'll have to wait and see how the series fares with a totally different dynamic and what that means for some characters on the show. Will, for instance, Jordana Brewster still have enough to do with no Riggs? (I always felt like she wasn't in the show enough, anyway.) Undoubtedly, Riggs' Dad and girlfriend should be out of the picture, as well. We'll find out soon enough. Lethal Weapon will return to Fox this fall, and if you want to take a look at what other shows are coming back, you can check out CinemaBlend's fall premiere schedule.