“Lethal Weapon” Season 3 almost didn’t happen, Fox Television Group chairman and CEO Gary Newman said during the Television Critics Association press tour Thursday.
Newman told reporters the chance the Matt Miller-run action drama wasn’t going to come back for a third season after the Clayne Crawford ousting was “very real.” But then they got Seann William Scott.
“If we could not feel confident that we could bring that show back with a great cast and in a way the audience would accept it, we simply wouldn’t have brought the show back,” Newman said. “And until they came up with Seann, we were planning on a schedule without ‘Lethal Weapon.’ But, again, we’re very excited about the choice of Seann and look forward to ‘Lethal Weapon’ being an important part of our schedule.”
The Fox chief told reporters the network is excited about the character Scott is about to play, which we recently found out is not a member of the Riggs family. And, no, Newman says they weren’t going to pull a soap opera-like face swap to try and turn Scott into Martin Riggs in Crawford’s absence either.
“When Warner Bros came to us at the end of last season and said they needed to make a change, Matt Miller started developing that character and it was very much informed by the actor he was able to get,” Newman said. “We were incredibly excited about being in business with Seann. We had pursued him before and never successfully landed him. And Matt is a fantastic showrunner, came up with a great character. There was really no thoughts of, you know the plastic surgery, and bringing back the same character. He developed a completely layered character for Seann, which we’re excited to show the audience in September.”
When it was first announced Scott would join the cast next season as a new character who will partner with Roger Murtaugh (Wayans), some fans thought he might be a member of Martin Riggs’ family. Instead, he will be playing the part of Wesley Cole, a war veteran and a father, a person with knowledge of production tells TheWrap.
“Psych” star Maggie Lawson will also be joining the cast, playing emergency room surgeon Natalie Flynn, who is Cole’s ex-girlfriend and the mother of his child.
According to the character description, the two met in an active war zone years earlier (where Natalie served as a medic) and had a brief romance that resulted in a child. Over a decade later, Cole is once again a regular in Natalie’s ER, and he’s moved to Los Angeles to get closer to both her and their kid.
“Lethal Weapon” was renewed for another season by Fox back in May, but Crawford’s contract was not. A representative for Warner Bros told TheWrap at the time that the studio had “decided not to renew Clayne Crawford’s contract for ‘Lethal Weapon,'” following incidents of bad behavior.
In June, footage surfaced of Crawford and Wayans exchanging expletives in an argument about an injury Wayans sustained while Crawford was directing. In another incident, Crawford can be heard off-camera losing his temper during a scene because of background noise. Two months before that video leaked, Crawford apologized for his behavior, saying he’d “been reprimanded twice during the past two seasons of ‘Lethal Weapon.'”
After news of his firing, Crawford wished the rest of the cast and crew good luck on Season 3. “”To my cast and crew – CONGRATULATIONS on season 3!” Crawford wrote on Instagram. “To the Fans – Thank you for the overwhelming support and love. Riggs was a dream role and the experience will live with me forever. My heart is full. Good Luck nxt season!!”