Shonda Rhimes New Show The Catch Already Fired A Key Actress

It looks like there’s trouble in Shondaland. Just a few days after ABC revealed its 2015-2016 TV season lineup, the new Shonda Rhimes series The Catch is already making a major change. Bethany Joy Lenz is out as Zoe, the feisty wife of a con artist. She’ll be replaced as The Catch moves forward to series.

Interestingly Lenz, not the network, broke the news on Tuesday, in a thoughtful message on her Whosay account.

Thank you all for your support re:#TheCatch! Looks like they need a different type for ZOE, so I'll be replaced, but please still watch! It really is SUCH a good show and I'm so proud of my friends' work.

Lenz’s character isn’t the first lead in the series, so presumably The Catch will be able to retool with few problems. The drama stars Mireille Enos as a woman who catches con artists but then is conned in her own home by her supposed fiancé, Kieren, played by Damon Dayoub. In the series, Bethany Joy Lenz was supposed to play Kieren’s actual partner, a woman who has to deal with the ramifications of Kieren’s “mark” getting into his head. You can catch her in the trailer, below.

The news is likely a huge bummer for fans of Lenz, who spent nine seasons starring on the CW hit One Tree Hill before hopping to smaller roles in Dexter and CSI. Last year, the actress was signed on to the pilot Songbyrd over at E!, which didn’t end up moving forward. This year, no doubt it was a relief to hear The Catch had been picked up to series, at least until the creative team let Lenz know her services would no longer be needed.

New shows get retooled all the time after they are picked up by the networks. In fact, The Catch isn’t the only show this season to be losing a major name. Earlier, it was reported that Anna Gunn will no longer be a part of the Criminal Minds spinoff and will be replaced by someone who is a good fit for Gary Sinise and the rest of the team.

Still, the Lenz news is particularly sucky, as her return to television would have been a highlight for fans. We’ll let you know as soon as the ABC drama signs another individual on in the role. In the meantime, here’s what ABC has coming up this summer.

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.