Netflix has cast Dax Shepard as a recurring guest star for Season 3 of “The Ranch.”
Shepard will play former soldier Luke Matthews, who arrives in Garrison with some history with the Iron River Ranch. He forms a quick bond with Colt (Ashton Kutcher) and Beau (Sam Elliott), but his past has a way of catching up to him.
Shepard’s casting comes after Danny Masterson was written out of the show following a series of sexual assault accusations against the actor. Masterson’s last day on the show was in December. Production went on a hiatus after the accusations surfaced, and is expected to resume production this year.
“I am obviously very disappointed in Netflix’s decision to write my character off of ‘The Ranch,'” Masterson said in a statement to TheWrap at the time. “From day one, I have denied the outrageous allegations against me. Law enforcement investigated these claims more than 15 years ago and determined them to be without merit. I have never been charged with a crime, let alone convicted of one. In this country, you are presumed innocent until proven guilty.”
The actor continued, “However, in the current climate, it seems as if you are presumed guilty the moment you are accused. I understand and look forward to clearing my name once and for all. In the meantime, I want to express my gratitude to the cast and crew that I’ve worked so closely with over the past three seasons. I wish them nothing but success. I am also so thankful to the fans that have supported me and continue to do so.”
Shepard is not replacing Masterson’s co-lead character, as Kutcher replaced Charlie Sheen in “Two and a Half Men.”
He has also been cast opposite Lake Bell in the pilot for “Bless This Mess” on Fox, which he will also executive produce. He hosts the podcast “Armchair Expert.”
Shepard is repped by WME and Lichter Grossman.