12:02pm PT by Lesley Goldberg
Damon Wayans Says He's Quitting Fox's 'Lethal Weapon'
Fox's Lethal Weapon may look considerably different if the rebooted third season earns a back-nine episodes.
Star Damon Wayans on Wednesday announced that he plans to leave the Fox reboot in December, after the third season's original 13-episode order wraps production.
"I am going to be quitting the show in December, after we finish the initial 13. So, I really don't know what they're planning but that's what I'm planning," Wayans told Electronic Urban Report. "I'm a 58-year-old diabetic and I'm working 16-hour days," Wayans said, noting he's that "done" with the series. (Watch the interview, below.)
Having fired beleaguered star Clayne Crawford and cast Seann William Scott as the male lead opposite original leading man Wayans, Fox renewed Lethal Weapon for a 13-episode third season to see if the retooled procedural can continue to connect with viewers. It's unclear if the network plans to pick the series up for additional episodes beyond the initial 13, so there may not be a Lethal Weapon for Wayans to return to. Lethal Weapon producers Warner Bros. TV declined comment.
In the interview, Wayans says he plans to return to the stage and to "try and find my smile again," though he did not provide additional details. "It's hard for me to play this loving, supportive father, husband, friend on TV, and be the guy in life that is telling everyone, 'I can’t, I have to work,'" the actor said in the interview after revealing that his mother and daughter recently underwent surgery and he was unable to be there due to production on Lethal Weapon. "You have to look yourself in the eye and go, 'Who are you?' It can’t all be about work. I’m from a big family, a loving family. I haven't seen them. All the family gatherings, I’m too tired or I can’t because it conflicts with work. … I have seven grandkids. I’ve been missing recitals and graduations. To me, it’s just not worth it. There is a better way to live life."
In an August interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Wayans said he was having more fun on season three of Lethal Weapon, which fired Crawford following multiple on-set altercations and friction with Wayans. "It's a lot looser. Nobody is overthinking; we're just doing and we're having fun trying to get home," he said.
For his part, fired star Crawford, in an expletive-riddled podcast, admitted that he believed the initial story about his bad behavior on set — which was published the day he started directing his first episode — would eventually blow over. Crawford explained — multiple times — that he and co-star Wayans never wanted to do Lethal Weapon and that both had issues with one another. Crawford also noted that he felt the studio set him up to fail by allowing him to direct. Crawford also challenged multiple press reports about his behavior — as well as many of Wayans' tweets about the drama on set — while claiming he was being blackmailed to keep quiet about his issues with his co-star and the overall production as many people on set had audio tapes of him screaming at a first assistant director (who quit that day).