2:00pm PT by Lesley Goldberg
Dax Shepard Books 'The Ranch' Arc in Post-Danny Masterson Season
Netflix is starting to help fill the void created by Danny Masterson's upcoming departure from The Ranch.
Parenthood alum Dax Shepard has booked a recurring guest star role in the upcoming third season of the streaming giant's comedy.
Shepard will play Luke Matthews, a former soldier who has come to Garrison with some history concerning the Iron River Ranch. There, he meets the Bennetts and forms an immediate bond with Colt (Ashton Kutcher) and Beau (Sam Elliott), but Luke's past has a way of catching up with him.
For Shepard, The Ranch is in second position to Fox pilot Bless This Mess, a comedy from New Girl creator Liz Meriwether. The pilot will shoot off-cycle in June and will see Shepard star (and executive produce) opposite Lake Bell.
Masterson, amid rape allegations, was fired from The Ranch in December. He appeared in the second half of The Ranch's second season, which was filmed before he was axed. The actor could return for part of the first half of the previously announced third season as producers write his character out of the series. Shepard will appear in the second half of season three. A premiere date has not yet been determined.
Should Shepard's Fox pilot not go to series, he could return to The Ranch in a larger capacity. The actor, who was among the most heavily sought-after stars this broadcast pilot season, is repped by WME and Lichter Grossman.