The Otto family returned to TV screens Wednesday night with a new face in the role of Anna-Kat on American Housewife. After original actress Julia Butters left the role after four seasons, 13-year-old actress Giselle Eisenberg graced ABC's airwaves Wednesday night for the first time in Anna-Kat's shoes, drawing plenty of reactions from fans of the comedy series.
Wednesday night’s premiere, however, didn't stray away from poking fun at the cast shakeup. In one scene, Katie, in a meta reference, lamented that "kids change" as Anna-Kat speedily typed away on her latop before popping up from behind the screen, giving viewers this first look at the new Anna-Kat. Katie went on to state in disbelief that her daughter "is going to sleepaway camp! I've taken her from being a weirdo to a strong, confident girl!"
Eisenberg's additions to the cast was more than welcomed by many fans, though the sudden unfamiliar face left a few viewers who had not previously learned of the casting change a little confused. Scroll down to see what fans had to say as they turned into American Housewife's Season 5 premiere, "Graduation."
Loved the episode. I admit I was a little thrown by the new Anna-Kat, but loved the “kids change” line! Keep up the good work! 😁— Angela Johanknecht (@ajohanknecht) October 29, 2020
Although she is just 13, Eisenberg has a long list of credits to her name. She got her start in acting at the age of 5 when she starred in The Wolf of Wall Street as Leonardo DiCaprio and Margot Robbie's daughter, Skylar Belfort. Her other film credits include The Enormity of Life and A Most Violent Year, along with the Hallmark Channel Original movie I'll Be Home For Christmas, which debuted on the network on Oct. 25.prevnext
The new Anna-Kat is amazing. Don’t get me wrong, Julia will always be with us, but this new one has potential— Patrick Williams (@ImPatWilliams) October 29, 2020
Eisenberg is also no stranger to single-camera comedy. From 2015-2019, the young actress starred as sassy daughter Sophia Hughes on the CBS family comedy Life in Pieces. The series ended last year after four seasons on the network, with Eisenberg going on to voice Lollie and Dot the Cheetah in Puppy Dog Pals.prevnext
Hair Impeccable. New Anna-Kat Wonderful. Old Anna-Kat Missed.— Joel L. Kauihou (@kauihou) October 29, 2020
The actress was confirmed to have landed Butters' replacement role in American Housewife in early September, with Deadline being the first to report the news. Eisenberg herself later confirmed her casting as Anna-Kat on social media, writing, "I've been waiting to share! I'm soooo excited about this. To those who know me - You will love it... To those who don't ...I'll do you proud."prevnext
Wait, there's a new Anna-Kat? Hold please while I go watch the new episode...— Lisa 🏳️🌈 Vote like our lives depend on it (@redqueen73) October 29, 2020
This new Anna-Kat is amazing! #AmericanHousewife— Patrick Williams (@ImPatWilliams) October 29, 2020
The cast shakeup that led to Eisenberg scoring a chance at taking on the character of Anna-Kat was due to the original actress's decision to leave the series. Butters, 11, opted to pursue other opportunities after her breakout role in Quentin Tarantino's Once Upon a Time in Hollywood opened new doors for her.prevnext
Great episode! Though we do miss Julia Butters! (Anna-Kat)— PaulaW-Valencia (@PaulaWValencia1) October 29, 2020
Deadline reported that "Butters earned acclaim and landed a slew of nominations for her role in the movie, which opened a lot of doors for her. The young actress and her team wanted to pursue them and the studio behind American Housewife, ABC Signature, granted her request to leave the series."prevnext
We really enjoy the acting of both young actresses playing Anna-Kat— Kelvin Davis (@SafetymanDavis) October 27, 2020
I was NOT prepared to see a new Anna-Kat on #AmericanHousewife— Jennifer Feliz (@JennJennFeliz) October 29, 2020
At this time, it is unclear what's next for Butters or what roles she may have her eyes on. Her IMDb page lists American Housewife as her final credit. She also starred in the 2020 TV series short Short Circuit. Her other past credits include the TV series Transparent, A Family Man, and 13 Hours, among several others. She first graced screens back in 2014 when she appeared in an episode of CBS' crime drama Criminal Minds.prevnext
I'm not going to lie, I don't read the tabloids, so my mom and I had no idea @Julia_Butters left @AmericanWifeABC and just saw the new Anna-Kat... 💔 It's going to take some time 😭 I wish you luck though @Julia_Butters thank you for bringing us so much joy!— Courtney Watson (@ItsWatsonMyDear) October 29, 2020
Fans can catch up on the first four seasons of American Housewife on Hulu, where they are available for streaming with a subscription. They can watch Eisenberg as Anna-Kat when new episodes of American Housewife premiere each Wednesday at 8:30 p.m. ET on ABC. The Season 5 premiere is available to view on ABC's website with cable login.prev