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Anna Faris took fans by surprise with the rather sudden announcement that she would be leaving Mom ahead of Season 8. Mom and several other CBS shows are gearing up to return to production after months of waiting for it to be safe enough, and Faris’ decision shocked more than just the loyal fanbase. It's being reported that Faris’ Mom exit is a “nightmare” for her now-former co-stars and crew members.
Everyone at Mom is still dealing with the shockwaves over one half of its starring duo departing the popular Chuck Lorre sitcom. Allison Janney and Anna Faris have starred as Mom’s mother and daughter duo Bonnie and Christy, respectively, since the beginning. But that's not happening for much longer, and a source told People that no one at Mom is “happy” about it, adding:
It was sudden and unwelcome, and it left the entire network scrambling. This is not a good thing at all. . . . Mom has been one of CBS' more profitable scripted shows, in a very challenging economic time. And now one of the leads is gone. It’s actually a nightmare. No one wanted this.
Mom does not sound ready to make that big a leap despite Anna Faris’ prominent role in the show. The “nightmare” described by the source behind-the-scenes is tied to Faris allegedly not sharing her future plans with anyone involved with the creative team. In a statement, Faris said that her departure would allow her to “pursue new opportunities.”
For his part, Mom’s co-creator Chuck Lorre is familiar with losing a popular co-lead for one of his sitcoms, which could potentially help resolve the “nightmare” at hand. While The Big Bang Theory opted to stop after Jim Parsons chose to leave, Lorre’s Two and a Half Men kept going after Charlie Sheen’s highly publicized exit from the show. That exit was under completely different circumstances, of course.
Two and a Half Men moved forward by introducing Ashton Kutcher’s new character, Walden to take the place of Charlie Sheen, and the CBS sitcom lasted for three more seasons after the change-up. Could Mom go the same way? Stay tuned and take heart, since it is also not the first time that there has been drama behind-the-scenes at Mom.
Ahead of Season 7, there were fears that Mom may not continue as contract negotiations between Anna Faris and Allison Janney grew protracted. Before their re-negotiations, Faris and Janney were reportedly pulling in $200,000 per episode. Fast forward to now, as Season 8 is gearing up to start production, and Faris has bid it all farewell.
Based on what Anna Faris has said regarding her departure from Mom, it was apparently not specifically about money. Instead, she indicated her desire to pursue her creative freedom and explore new projects. A year after The Big Bang Theory has ended, Jim Parsons has shed further light on why he decided to leave it, so Faris may eventually do the same.