'Lethal Weapon' Season 3 Ordered for Only 13 Episodes

Lethal Weapon's third season and first one without Clayne Crawford will be significantly shorter, only lasting 13 episodes.

When Fox renewed the show on Sunday, the network did not announce an episode total. However, Deadline's sources said the new season will only run 13 episodes, even though the show will debut in the fall. While it's typical for midseason network shows to have such a short episode total, it is uncommon for ones debuting at the start of a new TV season. Usually, networks order returning shows for a full 22-episode season.

The first season of Lethal Weapon included 18 episodes, while season two had 22.

According to Deadline, the network understands the risks of changing leads of an established show. While Fox chairman Gary Newman pointed out Monday the NYPD Blue survived David Caruso's exit, a more recent lead switch did not work. When CBS dropped Erinn Hayes for Leah Remini on Kevin Can Wait, viewers complained on social media and the show was cancelled this weekend.

Since there are already signs that fans do not want to see the show without Crawford, Fox would rather commit to a shorter season in case Seann William Scott is not welcomed by viewers.

“It wasn’t our choice,” Fox co-chairman Dana Walden told reporters of the casting switch. “Our partners at Warner Bros. came to us and said that they could not deliver the show as it was.”

Crawford was fired because of his on-set behavior, which he later apologized for on Instagram. But after the show was renewed and Crawford was officially fired, star Damon Wayans took to Twitter to detail incidents during the filming of an episode Crawford directed. Wayans later turned his Twitter page private.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Wayans tweeted a picture of him bleeding from the back of his head. He also posted a photo of a sticker reading "Clayne Crawford is an emotional terrorist." Wayans also claimed Crawford punched another actor.

Sources told THR that Warner Bros. did reprimand Crawford after several occasions, but he did not change. They decided to fire him and recast the lead, forcing Fox to renew the show with a lead star.

Scott will play a new role, which is expected to be the brother of Crawford's Martin Riggs. That way, Warner Bros. gets to keep the name from the movie franchise in the show.

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In Crawford's last scene, he was shot and left to bleed out near his wife's grave.

Fox said Monday that Lethal Weapon will air on Tuesdays in the fall at 9 p.m. ET.