NBC has dropped Chicago Justice’s Richard Brooks from Echo.
The actor was released from his contract for the sci-fi pilot on Friday—along with the entire rest of the cast, per a report from Deadline.
NBC recently pushed the project back from this year to 2021, since TV production was shut down for several months due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Rather than pay Brooks and his Echo co-stars to wait until next year, the powers that be opted to let their contracts expire—meaning that Brooks is no longer involved with the project.
Echo was originally going to star Reid Scott (Veep), Janina Gavankar (Sleepy Hollow, The Way Back) and Brooks as members of a law enforcement unit that travels through time, stopping crime by transporting themselves into the bodies of potential victims.
Now any or all of those roles could be recast.
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Releasing Richard Brooks from his contract means that he is free to go off and find other work. As the Deadline article notes, he could be asked back to Echo if he happens to be available when NBC resumes production—but that’s a big if. He’s under no obligation to come back, he could be busy, or the producers could simply decide to start with an entirely new ensemble.
The fact that the network dropped the entire cast, not just Brooks, means they didn’t find any of the current actors irreplaceable.
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