Allison Janney gave fans a first look at the Mom set without Anna Faris, who surprisingly announced she is leaving the show last week. Production on Mom Season 8 began Monday, with everyone taking steps to stay safe during the coronavirus pandemic. Janney's video featured herself with co-stars Mimi Kennedy, Beth Hall, and Jamie Pressly, all wearing face masks between scenes.
"Hi everyone, we are all back at Mom on our first day with the new COVID protocol," Janney said in the video she shared on Twitter. "Everyone’s here and it’s a whole new territory but we’re excited for season 8 to begin." It is the first time the cast is on the set since Season 7 production shut down before they could film the season finale due to lockdown measures, notes Deadline.
While it is not clear how or if the coronavirus measures will play a part in the show's story, the writers did have to scramble to come up with something new at the last minute to explain why Faris' Christy Plunkett is no longer on the show. Faris announced she was leaving the show on Sept. 4, calling her time on the show "some of the most fulfilling and rewarding of my career," but she is looking forward to new projects. "I'm so thankful to [co-creator Chuck Lorre], the writers, and my amazing castmates for creating a truly wonderful work experience," Faris said. "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."
"From the inception of Mom, Anna was the first and only choice for the role of Christy," Warner Bros. TV, CBS, and Chuck Lorre Productions said in a joint statement. "We are so proud of the stories we have been able to tell during Anna's seven years with us. We wish Anna all the best, and we thank her for her beautiful portrayal."
Faris and Janney reportedly signed two-season contracts before Season 7, as part of the show's two-season renewal. Janney won back-to-back Emmys for her role as Christy's mother Bonnie in 2014 and 2015 and a Golden Globe nomination. Janney also has an Oscar and Golden Globe for playing Tonya Harding's mother in I, Tonya. The actress also has four Emmys for playing C.J. Cregg on The West Wing and another Emmy for her guest role on Masters of Sex. CBS has not scheduled the Mom Season 8 premiere yet.