Hostages has made a change.
Executive Producer Rick Eid broke the news to me shortly after the show's panel at the Television Critics Association press tour wrapped earlier today.
“We’ve recanted Kate Burton because of her schedule, [which] has really gotten bigger on Scandal,” he said. "And it’s going to be very tough to coordinate and we loved her and everybody was very upset that we had to do that and it was just one of those things but we’ve recast in the role – and it just closed: Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio is going to play the First Lady."
The series will reshoot two scenes from the pilot to include Mastrantonio instead of Burton.
Complimenting both Burton and Mastrantonio as “great actors,” Eid also talked about what the actress - recently seen on Grimm as David Giuntoli’s mother - would bring to the role.
“I think the thing that we responded to with Mary Elizabeth is she’s a strong actress, she’s a formidable First Lady and opponent and she creates a presence on the screen, which I think is great and gets us excited. We’re excited that she’s going to do it.”
In fact, the producer teased an early episode of the series where they’d need exactly what he thinks the actress will bring to the role: “[The First Lady is] strong and she’s not going to get run over by the President. In our third episode, she’s pretty integral to the storyline and we need someone really strong and she sort of presses down the President and calls some shots over there. There’s a real strength there.”
The 15-episode opening season of Hostages premieres September 23 on CBS.
Jim Halterman is the West Coast Editor of TV Fanatic and the owner of JimHalterman.com. Follow him on Twitter.