Demi Lovato Suddenly Quits Acting Project Just Ahead of Production Start

Demi Lovato will no longer be starring in NBC's upcoming multi-cam comedy pilot Hungry. The singer and actor has been attached to the project for a year but stepped back from their acting duties just as the show was about to begin production, Deadline reported Thursday. Lovato remains an executive producer on the project alongside manager Scooter Braun.

Lovato's role is reportedly being recast, with the goal to have a replacement "shortly" so that the pilot can stay on schedule. Sources close to production told Deadline that Lovato bowed out as an actor due to "scheduling issues." Hungry, written and executive produced by Suzanne Martin and directed by James Burrows, follows a group of friends who are part of a food issues group as they help one another while looking for "love, success and the perfect thing in the fridge that's going to make it all better." Also starring in the pilot are Valerie Bertinelli, Gabriel "Fluffy" Iglesias, Ryan McPartlin, Alex Brightman and Ashley D. Kelley.

Coming off of their 2021 release of Dancing With the Devil and corresponding YouTube series chronicling their issues with substance abuse and an eating disorder, Lovato reportedly completed a stint in a rehabilitation facility in January. In early December, the "Sorry Not Sorry" singer took to their Instagram Story to retract their earlier endorsement of a "California sober" lifestyle, which allows for alcohol and marijuana. 

"I no longer support my 'California sober' ways," the Grammy-nominated singer wrote at the time. "Sober sober is the only way to be." Previously, Lovato had said that their own form of sobriety had helped them make progress with their eating disorder, remarking that the "all-or-nothing world" of sobriety wouldn't work for them.

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"I called [my recovery case manager, Charles Cook] and was like, 'Something's not right. I'm living one side of my life completely legalizing and this other side following a program that's telling me if I slip up, I'm going to die,'" they told Glamour in March 2021. While Lovato's seeking "balance" in this way concerned their management team, including Braun, "They were like, '[They] deserves this opportunity to make that choice for [themself].' So I did."