LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) -- With only a week behind us since the broadcast networks wrapped their upfront presentations, several cast changes have already been revealed for next season. Here's a breakdown of the affected series, culled from recent wire reports:
BOSTON LEGAL (ABC) - Julie Bowen, who played the female lead in the ABC comedy pilot "love life," is moving over to "Boston Legal," where she'll join the cast next season. In addition, both Monica Potter and Rhona Mitra will not return next season. With five episodes from its first season yet to air however, it may be several weeks before the exit of Potter and Mitra and the addition of Bowen are addressed. No details on either character's exit or Bowen's character were specified. The producers are also understood to be looking to add another female character to help balance out the loss of both Potter and Mitra. "Boston Legal" moves to Tuesdays at 10:00/9:00c on ABC beginning this fall.
E-RING (NBC) - Sarah Clarke ("24") and Leonor Varela ("Blade 2") are both reportedly exiting their respective roles on the freshman drama, which will air on Wednesdays at 9:00/8:00c on NBC this fall. Clarke plays Sharon Tisnewski, the wife of Benjamin Bratt's character - a former C.I.A. agent who left the job to be a stay-at-home mother, while Varela plays Catherine "Cat" Rodriquez, a Military Assistant at the Pentagon who has a romantic and professional history with Bratt's character. No reason was given for why either actress is being recast. Dennis Hopper and Aunjanue Ellis also star.
FOUR KINGS (NBC) - The producers are said to be considering adding one or more female cast members to the midseason comedy. Seth Green, Shane McRae, Josh Cooke and Todd Grinnell all star in the project, about four lifelong friends on the cusp of adulthood. Kiele Sanchez plays the only female cast member, the girlfriend of Josh Cooke's character.
HEAD CASES (FOX) - Rachael Leigh Cook ("She's All That") is departing her role on the freshman drama. She played Kate, a troubled young woman Chris O'Donnell's character befriends after being checked into a wellness center after his nervous breakdown. No details were given about why Cook left the series. Krista Allen, Adam Goldberg, Rockmond Dunbar and Jake Cherry also star in the project, which will air on Wednesday nights at 9:00/8:00c beginning this fall on FOX.
THE LOOP (FOX) - Becki Newton, who plays the female lead in the upcoming comedy series, is no longer involved with the project. Casting is understood to be underway for a replacement on the series, about the first in a group of slacker friends (Bret Harrison) to get a real job. Eric Christian Olsen, Philip Baker Hall, Joy Osmanski and Mimi Rogers also star in the comedy, which will air on Wednesday nights at 9:30/8:30c beginning next year.
LOVE, INC. (UPN) - Shannen Doherty ("Charmed") has been dropped as the lead of the netlet's new comedy. "Shannen is a terrific actress," a UPN spokeswoman said in a statement. "We simply decided to take the show in a different creative direction." She played Denise Johnson in the project, who's described in the network's press materials as: "an energetic, pragmatic young woman who takes pride in her success as a full-service dating consultant. As the female version of a 'wingman,' this savvy matchmaker and her quirky co-workers help lovelorn single men, and even women, present the best image possible to just the right prospects. Skilled at helping her clients find their seemingly unattainable soulmates, Denise continues to grapple with her inability to find one herself." Casting is currently underway for a replacement. It's understood said development won't affect the rest of the cast, which includes Holly Robinson Peete, Reagan Gomez-Preston, Vince Vieluf and Ion Overman. "Love, Inc." will air on Thursday nights at 9:30/8:30c on UPN this fall.
N.C.I.S. (CBS) - The death of Sasha Alexander's character in the show's season finale has not surprisingly lead to a search for a new female lead on the drama series. Executive producer Donald Bellisario told USA Today that he's looking for a foreign-born actress for the still unannounced character. As for why Alexander exited the series, Bellisario said she decided she didn't want to stay for what will likely be a run of many seasons, adding: "She worked like a trouper to the very end."
NUMB3RS (CBS) - Sabrina Lloyd will not be returning for the show's second season after not appearing in the show's final installments this season. The producers released a statement to TV Guide which said: "Sabrina Lloyd will not be returning for the 2005/2006 season of Numbers. Her contract allowed her the option of leaving following the first season. Everyone at Numbers obviously wishes her well. In addition, her character of Terry Lake will not be recast. However, new principal cast members will be added to the FBI world."
RELATED (The WB) - Laura San Giacomo ("Just Shoot Me") is no longer part of the cast of the upcoming drama, which will air on Wednesdays at 9:00/8:00c on the WB this fall. Her character, Ann, is described in the network's press materials as a "33-year-old legal aid lawyer and the nurturing mother hen of the group. Ann works out of a run-down office, helping people who have no voice." Casting is underway for a replacement on the series, about four adult sisters in New York. Jennifer Esposito, Lizzy Caplan and Laura Breckenridge play the other sisters.
SOUTH BEACH (UPN) - Sara Foster ("D.E.B.S."), who co-starred in show's pilot, apparently will not continue as a series regular when the show launches next year. No reason for her exit from the series, about best friends (Marcus Coloma, Chris Johnson) who get caught up in "the dangerous and possibly seedy underbelly of South Beach," was given. Foster plays the fashion-model ex-girlfriend of Coloma's character whom he remains preoccupied with. Lee Thompson Young and Vanessa L. Williams also star in the project.
Sources: Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Reuters