Why NBC's 'Good Girls' Recast Kathleen Rose Perkins

The Good Girls Still - Publicity - H 2018
Courtesy of Danielle Levitt/NBC

NBC's midseason drama Good Girls made one major change after it was picked up to series, replacing leading lady Kathleen Rose Perkins (Episodes) with Mad Men alum Christina Hendricks. And to hear showrunner Jenna Bans tell it, that change had nothing to do with Perkins — or a network note.

From creator Bans (Scandal), Good Girls revolves around three suburban moms (Hendricks, Retta and Mae Whitman) who get tired of trying to make ends meet and decide it's time to stick up for themselves by robbing the local supermarket at (toy) gunpoint. But when the manager catches a glimpse of one of them and the loot is far more than they expected, it doesn’t take long for the three best friends to realize the perfect getaway will be harder than they think.

"It wasn't necessarily a network note. To tell you the truth, the character dramatically changed from Kathleen to Christina. I love Kathleen, Episodes is my favorite show and we were so excited to get her. But the character is a totally different character," Bans told The Hollywood Reporter on Tuesday at the Television Critics Association's winter press tour. "Christina's version of Beth is more put together; she's more of a tight-ass, more repressed, more efficient and runs her life with this maniacal efficiency. And the Kathleen version was a little more frazzled and haphazard. That was absolutely the character we hired Kathleen to play and she did an amazing job with it. But for various creative reasons, we took the character in a new direction and that's how it all went down. But I remain a giant fan of both of them; they're both so talented. Maybe there's a third or a fourth sister coming down the road."

Whitman (Parenthood), Retta (Parks and Recreation), Matthew Lillard, Manny Montana, Reno Wilson, Lidya Jewett, Izzy Stannard and Zach Gilford co-star in the drama, which was an early frontrunner through pilot season after earning raves for the cast's chemistry. 

Good Girls marks Hendricks' first broadcast series-regular role since her seven-season turn as Joan Harris on AMC's critical gem Mad Men. Since that show wrapped, she has starred on Sundance TV's Hap and Leonard and was among the repertoire cast of Comedy Central's Another Period. 

Good Girls premieres Feb. 26 on NBC. Watch the trailer, below.