“Suburgatory” boss Emily Kapnek addressed cost-cutting changes that helped her show nab a Season 3 renewal during its session at the Television Critics Association press tour on Friday.
“Obviously, we scaled back a little. The show’s a bit leaner up here,” creator Emily Kapnek told the group about the ABC show.
The show, produced by Warner Bros. Television, had to let go of series regulars Alan Tudyk, who played Noah Werner, George Altman’s (Jeremy Sisto) best friend; and Rex Lee, who played the Chatswin High School’s guidance counselor, Mr. Wolf, among other cost cuts.
But, Kapnek said that the cuts worked out in the end. “We get to focus more on our existing characters and get a little deeper into their characters,” she explained.
“It was a fun challenge,” she continued. “I think we all feel really great about this season. It’s a great season.”
The good news is that Tudyk will appear on three episodes this season.
“He had a rough go at it last year, his marriage ended, so he checks himself into a mental wellness institution and he returns to spread love — or he tries,” Jeremy Sisto, who plays George, teased of Noah’s return storyline.
Additionally, Parker Young, who played Ryan Shay, didn’t return to the show this season.
“He did that!” Kapnek yelled out when TheWrap mentioned that Young had expressed a fear that he would be written out to this and other reporters during press event at the end of Season 2.
Well, his character did leave for college, but Young found a new gig. He’s currently starring on new military comedy, “Enlisted,” on Fox. But, he will also return for three episodes.
“We found a way to bring him back and find out what’s there and not there with Tessa,” co-executive producer Andrew Guest said.
“He’s such a huge part of the show,” Kapnek said. “Obviously, him and Tessa have huge chemistry, we didn’t want to lose that.”
“I also think his presence is felt even though he’s not there,” exec producer Patricia Breen added.
In an effort to fill the void of Ryan, his parents (played by the hilarious Chris Parnell and Ana Gasteyer) find a foster son. Viewers will meet Victor Ha on next week’s episode 2.
Earlier during the executive session, ABC Entertainment Group president Paul Lee said he loved “Suburgatory.” Despite the iffy Season 3 renewal, scheduling circus and finally their midseason placement this season, Kapnek admitted she did feel the network’s love.
“We’re very happy to be back on the schedule!” she joked.
“Suburgatory” airs Wednesdays at 8:30/7:30c.