Fox has ordered a shorter 13 episode run for Lethal Weapon's third season. Lethal Weapon started life as a spec script by Shane Black, who would go on to write and direct movies like Iron Man 3 and The Predator. The original movie starred Danny Glover and Mel Gibson as mismatched partners who slowly become friends while investigating a dangerous case. While the movie didn't invent the buddy cop genre it would come to define it, and plenty of copycat movies would try to emulate its success.
Lethal Weapon received three sequels of varying quality, and while there was recently talk of the cast and director Richard Donner reuniting for a fifth and final entry, that project appears to have been cancelled. The movie was adapted into a TV show in 2016 with actors Clayne Crawford and Damon Wayans playing Riggs and Murtaugh respectively. While fans had low expectations for the series, the chemistry between the two actors helped the show grow a solid audience.
Despite Lethal Weapon's ratings success, a number of onset incidents recently led to the firing of co-star Crawford, who will be replaced for the upcoming third season with Seann William Scott. Now according to a new report by Deadline, the next season will run for 13 episodes, not the standard 22. This is likely Fox playing things safe and testing the waters with the new dynamic between Scott and Wayans. The interplay between Crawford and Wayans was a big reason fans tuned in during the first two seasons and it’s a risky move to swap one actor out for another at this stage.
While the next season premiere of Lethal Weapon will likely receive big ratings for viewers curious to see how Scott fares, the ratings for subsequent episodes will soon reveal if the revamped show has legs. The report also suggests Scott will be playing Riggs' brother, meaning he won't have to try to copy Crawford's performance. The season two finale ended with Riggs being shot in the chest, so Scott's character will likely come into the show seeking revenge for his death.
Shane Black actually tried to end the movie franchise early with his original draft of Lethal Weapon 2, which was much darker than the final product. The script ended with Riggs dying of his wounds, but producers ultimately decided to keep the character alive in case of more sequels. Killing the character off on the show will a bold move, so it will be interesting to see how audiences take to the new version of Lethal Weapon when it returns.