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Carla Gugino Replacing Christina Hendricks In Cameron Crowe's Showtime Pilot

There are a ton of potentially excellent pilots and series in development at the moment, and one of the most exciting is Showtime’s Roadies, director Cameron Crowe’s first trip to the small screen. But that doesn’t mean that everything is going smoothly, and there’s already been a casting upheaval, as actress Carla Gugino is taking over a role previously slotted for Mad Men’s Christina Hendricks. Let this be the only snafu-that-isn’t-really-a-snafu that’ll affect this show.

Hendricks was set to play leading lady Shelli, but reportedly decided to exit the hour-long comedy project after the creative team decided to revamp some of Shelli’s characteristics. According to THR, Hendricks’ vacating the series was on amicable terms, and the decision to conceive the character in a new way had nothing to do with the actress or her performance. No feuds here.

So now we’ll get to see Gugino as Shelli – assuming Showtime picks the project up to series, anyway – who will be the production manager for the band that Roadies revolves around. (The concept centers on the behind-the-scenes team that keeps a rock tour from imploding.) Shelli is being described as “a world class multitasker, passionate music fan and tireless work partner” to Bill, the band’s tour manager to be played by Luke Wilson. Their relationship will be a core facet of the show’s comedy-infused drama as they mix their professional relationship with their personal one. It’s a description that doesn’t really sound all that different from the original version, but it’s possible the connection between Shelli and Bill was built up more.

Gugino is the latest addition to a cast that already includes Wilson, Imogen Poots, Rafe Spall, Keisha Castle-Hughes, Peter Cambor and rapper Colson Baker, better known as Machine Gun Kelly. I can’t wait to see who else gets added as it goes on, and hopefully more musical acts will pop in and out.

A veteran of both television and movies, Gugino has been all over the place in recent years, most recently on the big screen with Dwayne Johnson in San Andreas. She was part of the mystery in Fox’s recent bonkers thriller Wayward Pines, which could possibly see her return for a second season if it comes to that. She’s also on the HBO comedy The Brink, which could make her the rare performer to be on two premium cable networks at the same time. Her Roadies role reconnects her with Showtime, where she starred on Californication during Season 4.

The Oscar-winning Crowe (whose career took a recent critical tumble with Aloha) wrote the pilot and will be directing. The showrunner will be Winnie Holzman, who created the one-season-wonder My So-Called Life, and she’ll be executive producing alongside J.J. Abrams, whose Bad Robot cohorts Bryan Burk and Kathy Lingg will be there as well. Here’s hoping we get more info on Roadies soon.

Nick Venable

Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.