A couple of weeks ago, ABC announced its new fall schedule, slotting in the new Cobie Smulders series, Stumptown, on Wednesday at 10:00 EST, following the second season of Single Parents, which stars Smulders’ real-life husband, former SNL star Taran Killam. It was great news for most of the cast of Stumptown, save for Mark Webber, who plays the best friend of Smulders’ character in the series based on the ongoing graphic novels by Greg Rucka.
Unfortunately, Mark Webber was notified that he was being recast because he was not “handsome” enough. He was one of several actors recast during the upfront season, along with Freddie Prinze Jr., who was replaced by Scott Wolf on the CW’s Nancy Drew series and Anders Holm, who was recast on ABC’s Mixed-ish. Recasting is not unusual this time of year.
Nevertheless, Webber took to Twitter to air his grievances over the recasting, gaining the support on social media of several other television stars who have had similar experiences, including Pablo Schreiber, Josh Charles, and Webber’s wife, Teresa Palmer from Warm Bodies. In the heat of the moment, Webber may have also said something he regretted (he subsequently deleted one tweet and apologized).
In either respect, it didn’t result in Webber getting his job back. However, today we have learned from Deadline who ABC believed was handsome enough to replace Webber: New Girl star Jake Johnson. Johnson will play Grey McConnell, an army veteran with gambling debts, a complicated love life, and unresolved feelings with the character played by Smolders. It’s Johnson’s first regular gig on television since New Girl.
The trailer for the series, by the way, looks fairly good, even if the two minutes strongly resemble the pilot episode of Preacher. Tulip O’Hare did it better.