Lethal Weapon was not an easy show to work on for the past year and a half.
First, star Clayne Crawford was fired after problematic behavior on set, and replaced with Sean William Scott as a new character. Then, Damon Wayans claimed he was also leaving the Fox drama, but now everyone at Fox is claiming that things have vastly improved, especially after Wayans complained that he was having health problems that were making it hard to do his job.
“It was a cry for help,” Miller said. “We all sat down and we worked on some hours…things that could accommodate him.”
After making changes, Miller says “it has been a delight making this show.”
He said he didn’t want to speak for Wayans, but he understood what the actor was going through.
“It was tough for him. He’s not a young guy, this is a crazy show to make… It’s really, really grueling,” Miller said, but ever since changes were made, Wayans has “had a smile on his face the entire time.”
Miller says that Wayans “is in Hawaii right now, he’s got a big smile on his face, he thanked everyone, he got everyone these incredibly expensive jackets on the crew, and he and Seann got along great, it was really a charmed experience from that moment until right now.”
Miller made it sound like this problem was much easier to solve than the first problem, which resulted in Clayne Crawford being fired for his on-set behavior.
“If you found me at this time last year, it’s much different,” he said. “I’m sprawled out on the floor, sucking my thumb, drooling. We touched bottom, you know. No one knew if the show was going to come back, and we obviously had some problems with the cast…”
Miller says Fox gave the show a lifeline, allowing them to continue if they could resolve the problems themselves.
“That allowed us to roll up our sleeves and come up with, ‘how do you keep these things going?'” he said. “The premise is these two broken cops who need each other, and that hasn’t changed.”
Seann William Scott came in as a replacement for Crawford in May, which allowed the show to be renewed for a third season. He was playing a completely new character, and his addition gave new life to the show, in a way.
“I personally don’t love a show that’s stagnant,” Miller said, going on to talk about the nature of procedurals. “The way that [procedurals] work is repetition. This is a show that’s very much a character piece with a procedural element. For two seasons we played that hand really hard with these two guys.”
“We kinda ran that relationship into the ground,” Miller admitted. “It was really an incredible gift to be able to relaunch a new version of that relationship, starting from scratch, with two characters that didn’t know each other, with new sets of problems.”
Miller said he couldn’t see the show going 10 seasons as many procedurals have, “because fo the fact that this is this living, breathing kind of character thing that’s gonna go…it has a shelf life to it, and that’s OK with me.”
Lethal Weapon airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. on Fox.