Netflix is banking on a new season of The Ranch, despite the controversial firing of Danny Masterson.
The Ashton Kutcher-led sitcom has been renewed for a fourth season, which will consist of 20 episodes like the previous season.
According to Deadline, original cast members Ashton Kutcher, Sam Elliott and Elisha Cuthbert will return for the new season, joined with Dax Shepard who was cast as a replacement for Masterson after he was fired for multiple allegation of sexual misconduct.
Shepard will reportedly continue to recur as he is committed to star in new Fox pilot Bless This Mess, and he would go to that show should it go forward.
The Ranch was the first comedy series to be produced in-house by the streaming giant and the first to introduce 20-episode season and released in two halves.
Before season 4, the series is still set to premiere the second half of season 3, known by fans as part 6, at a yet-to-be announced date.
Masterson was fired from the multi-camera comedy series in December following allegations of sexual assault.
"As a result of ongoing discussions, Netflix and the producers have written Danny Masterson out of The Ranch,” a Netflix spokesperson said in a statement at the time, according to Variety. "Yesterday was his last day on the show, and production will resume in early 2018 without him."
His character, Rooster Bennett, was written out of the show during the latest batch of episode, which premiered back in June, after Mary's ex-boyfriend Nick threatens him t leave town after he suspects he's sleeping with her.
In the altercation, Nick offers Rooster a duffle bag and tells him "You either take that bag and disappears, or you could just disappear." When Rooster fights back Nick pulls out a gun and threatens Rooster's family. Rooster heeds the warning and leaves for good.
Shepard was brought into the series to fill the void left by Masterson's exit.
He was introduced as Luke Matthews, a former soldier who comes to Garrison with some history concerning the Iron River Ranch. Though fans of the series were left angry after Masterson was fired, they seemed to warm up to Shepard's character when part 5 premiered.2comments
The series follows Colt's (Kutcher) return home in Colorado after a brief and failed semi-professional football career to run the family ranching business with his father Beau (Sam Elliott).
The Ranch is expected to release part 6 in late 2018.