Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: Fox is re-conceiving one of the lead characters in Dads, its six-episode multi-camera comedy series from Ted‘s team of Alec Sulkin, Wellesley Wild and Seth MacFarlane. As a result, the role is being recast, with Giovanni Ribisi replacing Tommy Dewey as the co-lead opposite Seth Green. The decision was made after the taping of the show’s first episode late last week, which was expected to prompt some tweaking. Written by Sulkin and Wild, the 20th TV-produced Dads centers on two successful guys in their 30s, Eli (Green) and Warner (Ribisi), who have their lives turned upside down when their nightmare dads (Peter Riegert, Martin Mull) unexpectedly move in with them. Ribisi’s casting likely stems from the actor’s relationship with MacFarlane, Sulkin and Wild. He co-starred in the trio’s blockbuster Ted and is also on board to star in their follow-up Western comedy feature, also co-written by the three of them and directed by and starring MacFarlane.

Dewey was the very first actor cast in Dads in early February, before the project took several turns during the casting process, including changing casting directors. Dewey has been a favorite of Fox brass — he played the co-lead in the network’s 2011 comedy pilot Tagged and did a major recurring role on Fox’s freshman comedy series The Mindy Project before getting the Dads co-lead. (Dewey also co-created the Fox/20th comedy series Sons Of Tucson.) This is the second recasting on Dads: Vanessa Lachey replaced Erin Pineda as Warner’s wife after the table read.

This marks a rare series gig for Ribisi, who has focused on features for the past 15 years. His biggest series stint over the last decade was a major recurring role on another 20th comedy, My Name Is Earl, which was developed at NBC by Fox chairman Kevin Reilly. It earned Ribisi an Emmy nomination. He is with CAA and Management 360.

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