What Was Really Going On With Damon Wayans When He Threatened To Quit Lethal Weapon

Damon Wayans in Lethal Weapon Season 3

In recent memory, things have not been entirely copacetic on the set of Fox’s Lethal Weapon. The show replaced Clayne Crawford with Seann William Scott after Crawford allegedly did not get along and had some altercations with other series lead Damon Wayans. Then Damon Wayans came out to say he was leaving Lethal Weapon at the end of Season 3, so obviously plenty of people have some questions related to where the show is going and show creator Matt Miller addressed the situation at the TCA Winter Press Tour this week, noting,

What I would say is regarding the morale of the cast, so Damon you’re speaking to Damon having some medical issues and things like that that came out sort of halfway through our season. And as a result of that, it sort of made us all sit down, roll up our sleeves and say, ‘OK. We’re now really hearing you. What do you need? You’re sick. What do you need?’ Because he was tired, and I think when all of us are tired, you’re, like, ‘Yeah, yeah, we’re all tired. Let’s keep going.’ And then he’s, like, ‘No, no, no. I’m really sick.’ And it was a cry for help, you know.

By all accounts, network shows can often be grueling to film. Even The Good Wife’s Julianna Margulies talked about how tough it can be, and she didn’t even have to perform stunts on that show. Throw in Damon Wayans’ age, the fact he was dealing with tense stuff on set and had to do major stuntwork on top of his basic job and Lethal Weapon had a grumpy actor on its hands.

Luckily, Matt Miller says the situation was rectifiable. Damon Wayans was able to sit down and rework his schedule. Things are going better, although he doesn’t expressly say whether or not Wayans would be back for another season should Lethal Weapon get renewed.

We all sat down, and we worked on some hours and ways to fix his schedule a little bit and ways to maybe change some storyline things around that could accommodate him, since that time. You should certainly ask him. I don’t want to speak for him. But since that time, it has been an absolute delight making the show. And I can say that for myself. He has come to work with a smile. He’s been thrilled to be he may have a different take on this, but what I would say is seeing him there, he has a big smile on his face the entire time. Brought the whole crew together at the end of our wrap last week that we had and thanked everybody.

While at TCA, Matt Miller also revealed to CinemaBlend and other outlets why we should presumably have a little empathy for the actor, who turned 58 back in September.

It was tough for him. He’s not a young guy. And this is a crazy show to make. The stunts that we do on the amount of time that we have, it’s really, really grueling. And all I can say, without deferring to him, is he’s in Hawaii right now. He’s got a big smile on his face. He thanked everyone. He got everyone these incredibly expensive jackets on the crew. And he and Seann got along great. It was really a charmed experience from that moment until right now.

Still, none of this technically reveals whether or not Lethal Weapon will return to Fox for a fourth season. When asked about the possibility, Fox President Charlie Collier indicated things are going better on the show but that the network hasn’t made any official plans for next season yet, noting,

Those comments predate me, but in speaking with the producers and with the studio, I’m told and I think the show reflects it that they’re walking in lockstep. We have nothing to announce today.

So, if you were hoping for a yay or nay in regards to Season 4 of Lethal Weapon, the network has us on hold for now. Still, it’s good to hear the new amalgamation on the show seems to be working.

As far as the ratings go, the numbers have been down a little bit in Season 3 from what the show was doing during Season 2. However, the series is still averaging well over 5 million viewers each week, so it's not a total disaster. It just means that Lethal Weapon has gone from a sure thing for Fox to a series that is on the bubble. Even if the issues with Damon Wayans no longer persist, Season 4 may not be a go.

Sometimes, when shows lose a lead they are able to rapidly recover. However, Lethal Weapon was so heavily reliant on the Riggs and Murtaugh dynamic that even though Seann William Scott has admirably come in and created an entirely new personality, the drama that came with Clayne Crawford's eventual firing made it a rather challenging role to take on.

Fox had said the network was confident in the series and would have not renewed it had it not been for what Seann William Scott could bring to the table, but it's still been a bit of an uphill battle for the drama, which is based on the popular series of movies starring Mel Gibson and Danny Glover.

Likely, we won't learn more about an official renewal or cancellation until Fox is getting all of its ducks in its row this spring. Of course, we'll be sure to keep you posted either way. In the meantime, we're glad to hear Daman Wayans was able to recover and move forward with the series during Season 3 in a way that seems as if it was productive and worked for everyone. Following all of the drama, that seemed like it would be impossible, and now it's not quite so much.

You can catch new episodes of Lethal Weapon on Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET or take a look at what else has yet to hit the schedule at midseason with our full premiere guide.

Jessica Rawden
Managing Editor

Jessica Rawden is Managing Editor at CinemaBlend. She’s been kicking out news stories since 2007 and joined the full-time staff in 2014. She oversees news content, hiring and training for the site, and her areas of expertise include theme parks, rom-coms, Hallmark (particularly Christmas movie season), reality TV, celebrity interviews and primetime. She loves a good animated movie. Jessica has a Masters in Library Science degree from Indiana University, and used to be found behind a reference desk most definitely not shushing people. She now uses those skills in researching and tracking down information in very different ways.