'Mom' Star Allison Janey Breaks Her Silence About Anna Faris' Exit: 'It's a Huge Loss'

Allison Janney will lead CBS' Mom without Anna Faris when the show returns Thursday night. Before production began on Season 8, Faris made the surprising decision to leave the series, sending producers scrambling to develop a new story. Faris starred as Christy Plunkett, with Janney playing her self-centered mother, Bonnie.

Janney called Faris' decision to leave a "huge loss" for the show in her first interview Faris left in September. Faris "was part of creating a character, Christy, that everyone fell in love with, who was so lovable and warm and gullible and funny and we will miss her so much," Janney told Entertainment Tonight. "I think I'll miss the most, for me, the relationship between Bonnie and Christy, even though that will still continue. But she won't be present. That's what I'll miss."

Without Faris, Mom still has a stacked ensemble cast. Kristen Johnson, Jaime Pressly, Mimi Kennedy, Beth Hall, and William Fitchner will all be returning in the new episodes. Kennedy and Pressly also recalled the importance of Faris' character to the show. Pressly even noted Christy might still be mentioned from time to time, just without Faris being seen onscreen.

"We all, in general, didn't really know how it was going to be, also dealing with all the COVID precautions and everything," Pressly told ET. "It's a whole different set right now. But I do want to say that it feels like she's still here because we do talk about the character all the time. And [Janney's] character is always calling her or vice versa." Fans will still hear Christy's name, and she will still be a major topic of discussion among the show's characters," Pressly noted. "She's not gone as far as we're concerned, and we all spent so much time together over the years and love each other and support each other, and we all want each other to be happy, so we're happy for her, and we miss her no matter what," she added.

Kennedy enjoyed having the dressing room right next to Faris and getting to know her. "She was also very funny and very witty, and I'm going to miss that because as we walk to the end of the hall, there would be one quip at the end of the night and I generally entered my dressing room laughing," Kennedy said. Hall adds how Faris was "always so encouraging" as well.

In early September, Faris said she was planning to pursue other opportunities and planned to leave. The news reportedly caught CBS and the producers off-guard, especially since Faris was signed for Season 8. "The past seven years on Mom have been some of the most fulfilling and rewarding of my career," Faris said in a statement at the time. "I'm so thankful to Chuck, the writers, and my amazing castmates for creating a truly wonderful work experience. While my journey as Christy has come to an end, allowing me to pursue new opportunities, I'll be watching next season and rooting for my TV family.

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The first Mom episode without Faris airs Thursday night at 9 p.m. ET on CBS. Co-creator Gemma Baker told TVLine Christy will still have a happy ending. "We are pretty sure that our audience, many of whom have been rooting for Christy since the pilot, will be happy for her and satisfied by her new path," Baker, who created the series with chuck Lorre and Eddie Gorodetsky, said

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