Why Bull’s Season 3 Premiere Killed Off A Character

Bull Season 3 Cast

Bull is back, which means we are back to being bullish on spoilers. Still, if you don't want to know more about what happened during the season premiere, please turn back now.

Network TV is back for the season, and Bull for one is coming out of the gate charging. The series returned to CBS for Season 3 last night, and the premiere episode did not pull any punches. In fact, although we knew series regular Annabelle Attanasio would be leaving the series, the show actually went a step further and cut out Cable for good. Why did the show kill off the character? Showrunner Glenn Gordon Caron explained in a recent interview, noting,

Annabelle, who's a terrific actress, came to us about three-quarters of the way through last season and said, 'I have this opportunity that means the world to me. Is there any way we could make that work?' I said to the network at the time that the idea of having someone in the cast who wants to be someplace else made no sense to me. I also thought that this was an interesting opportunity, creating a storyline about this person who one day just doesn't show up for work. I don't want to tell you too much more, but this is really the beginning of that mystery, not the ending of it. There's more to it. It all came together slowly, because metaphorically the ground beneath Bull's feet had shifted so much. 'Oh my gosh, I almost died.'

While seemingly positive about Annabelle Attanasio's work on Bull, the showrunner made it very clear that he had no interest working with a cast member who wasn't fully committed to being on the show and working in the network cycle, which involves Bull producing 22 or 23 episodes every single TV season. So, while Attanasio was the person who initiated the conversation and wanted to take another working opportunity, Glenn Gordon Caron thought about her leaving and what it could mean for the storyline in the show during Season 3.

This is likely how we ended up with the narrative this week, which saw the team working on a liver transplant versus insurance company case while also simultaneously looking into the disappearance of Cable, who just stopped showing up to work one day. This plotline honestly wouldn't have been totally out of the ballpark of reason for Cable, a character who spent a lot of Season 2 in tumult with Bull after differences in philosophy and a choice Cable made led to the character's firing for a set of episodes. In this case, however, Cable was not leaving the firm; she, in fact, had gotten into an accident when a bridge had collapsed in New Jersey and had actually died.

cable dead on Bull Season 3

We've known for weeks that Cable would be exiting the show, and Bull even hired Vinyl actress McKenzie Meehan to fill the slot in the cast that Annabelle Attanasio previously held. With that in mind, I'm not sure any of the fans of the series expected Cable to actually be killed off the series, which is why it is a little surprising that Glenn Gordon Caron also told TV Line there was never any discussion to bring her back in a guest-starring capacity. He said:

That was frankly never discussed. You have to deal with the fact, the absolute, that she's not going to be there. Any excuse you come up with is going to seem like a cheat to the audience. The only permanent thing that justifies [her absence] is that character no longer exists. It pierces the reality, any other way.

While Bull is often a story-of-the-week narrative, the show has also striven to spend more time outside the courtroom delving into the lives of its series regulars. Obviously, the death of Cable will have an effect on the characters, but should also introduce us to some new personal storylines as Glenn Gordon Caron also mentioned Cable's mother has more to do in the story in Season 3. We'll have to wait and see what that entails and you can do so when Bull airs on Monday nights at 10 p.m. ET, only on CBS. To see when your other favorites are returning to the TV, take a look at our fall schedule.

Jessica Rawden
Managing Editor

Reality TV fan with a pinch of Disney fairy dust thrown in. Theme park junkie. If you’ve created a rom-com I’ve probably watched it.