Carla Gugino, a seasoned actress who’s been involved in a number of popular TV and movie projects including Wayward Pine, The Brink, and San Andreas, has taken over the lead role from Christina Hendricks in the upcoming Showtime series pilot, Roadies, reports Variety.
Hendricks, known as the buxom office manager-turned-ad-firm-partner from Mad Men, was reportedly removed from the project after a decision to completely revamp the character. Cameron Crowe, who wrote Roadies, is in the process of rewriting the pilot script to accommodate the newly conceived character, for which Gugino was likely a better fit to play.
Roadies, as the name implies, will highlight the tech crew of a rock band on tour. Given the past roles she’s played, including Hank Moody’s lawyer and one of many love interests in another Showtime series, Californication, it isn’t surprising to hear Gugino will fill the role of the band’s hard-nosed production manager.
Crowe, who’s best known for penning a few iconic ‘80s films like Fast Times at Ridgemont High and Say Anything, isn’t the only major Hollywood name behind the new series – J.J. Abrams is also executive producer. Abrams’ most high profile gig of late is, of course, as director of the upcoming Star Wars: The Force Awakens film. In addition to writing, Crowe will also direct, and serve as executive producer alongside Abrams, Bryan Burk, and Winnie Holzman, the latter of whom will also serve as showrunner.
The other big name in the show is Keisha Castle-Hughes, who was the youngest person ever nominated in the Best Actress category at the Academy Awards for her role in Whale Rider (a title that the adorable Quvenzhane Wallis has since taken from her for Beats of the Southern Wild.) Others appearing in the show include Imogene Poots (Need for Speed), Rafe Spall (Life of Pi), and Peter Cambor (NCIS: Los Angeles). Luis Guzman (Traffic, Boogie Nights) and stand-up comedian and former Saturday Night Live cast member Finesse Mitchell will have guest-starring roles.
Hendricks, for her part, isn’t standing still since the end of Mad Men. She is currently featured in Another Period, a comedy on Comedy Central, and will appear in Sundance TV’s Hap and Leonard.