NBC Delays Project After Struggling to Replace Departed Star

Mar 29, 2013  •  Post A Comment

One of NBC’s most promising development projects has hit a hurdle, with the network rescheduling the pilot to film off cycle, according the The Hollywood Reporter’s Live Feed.

“The network has postponed ‘Girlfriend in a Coma’ to June after trouble recasting the lead role of Christina Ricci,” THR reports. “The decision to recast the role out of the traditional pilot-season window was made mutually by NBC, creator Liz Brixius (‘Nurse Jackie’) and producers Wolf Films and Universal Television and comes 10 days after Ricci exited the pilot following the table read.”

The report notes: “Ricci, who was the first person cast in the project in early February, was poised to star as Karen, who wakes up from a coma after almost two decades to find out she has a 17-year-old daughter from a pregnancy she was unaware of when her life was put on hold.”

The network continues to be high on the project, with the delay designed to enable producers to consider a large number of actresses for the former Ricci role — especially after the networks begin paring down the current load of about 100 broadcast pilots.

Brixius is set to write and executive produce along with Dick Wolf (“Law & Order: SVU,” “Chicago Fire”), Danielle Gelber and Peter Jankowski, the piece notes.

“’Girlfriend in a Coma’ becomes the latest project to move off-cycle this pilot season,” the THR report notes. “Fox pushed big-swing Navy drama ‘Wild Blue’ after difficulties casting the lead, and NBC delayed ‘Wonderland’ to allow producers more time to prepare the extensive special effects and ‘Donor Party’ after trouble with casting the lead.”

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