EXCLUSIVE: Putting a touching bookend on their professional relationship, Giancarlo Esposito will succeed Andre Braugher in the cast of Shondaland‘s comedic murder-mystery Netflix drama series The Residence following Braugher’s untimely death.
Production on The Residence, which had been paused due to the writers strike, has resumed, with former U.S. Sen. Al Franken set to play one on TV: Aaron Filkins, the senior senator from Washington state. Also joining the cast of the series, headlined by Uzo Aduba, are Andrew Friedman (Better Call Saul) as Irv Samuelson, director of the National Park Police, and Julian McMahon (FBI: Most Wanted) as Stephen Roos, the prime minister of Australia.
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Breaking Bad/Better Call Saul alum Esposito is taking over the role of White House Chief Usher A.B. Wynter, a lead opposite Adubo that previously was played by Braugher. Two and a half decades ago, Esposito succeeded Braugher on Homicide: Life on the Street, joining the NBC drama as a series regular for its final season, following Braugher’s exit. The duo then starred together in the 2000 follow-up TV movie.
“I couldn’t be prouder and more honored to be stepping into Shondaland’s The Residence for someone that I loved and respected and cherished in Andre Braugher,” Esposito said. “To be afforded the opportunity to create in his honor with this incredible team extends the depth and breadth of his legacy through all of us who loved him so dearly.”
The casting will not interfere with Esposito’s starring role on AMC’s new series Parish, should the drama get a second season.
The Residence, from executive producer/showrunner Paul William Davies and executive producers Shonda Rhimes and Betsy Beers, shot four episodes of its eight-episode order before suspending filming during the early days of the writers strike in May.
The series had been slated to return to production January 2. In light of Braugher’s December 12 death, the restart of filming was postponed to give the cast and crew more time to mourn while Netflix and the producers charted a course to continue without the actor. Braugher’s scenes will be reshot with Esposito.
Using Kate Andersen Brower’s book The Residence: Inside the Private World of the White House as a jumping-off point, the Netflix series is described as a screwball whodunnit set in the upstairs, downstairs and backstairs of the White House, among the eclectic staff of the world’s most famous mansion.
After a dead body is found, one wildly eccentric detective (Aduba) comes in to investigate 157 suspects attending a state dinner.
The cast also includes Edwina Findley, Molly Griggs, Jason Lee, Ken Marino, Al Mitchell, Dan Perrault, Bronson Pinchot, Susan Kelechi Watson, Isiah Whitlock Jr., Mary Wiseman, Randall Park, Kylie Minogue, Jane Curtin, James Babson, Eliza Coupe, Izzy Diaz, Paul Fitzgerald, Ros Gentle, Chris Grace, Juliette Jeffers, Sumalee Montano, Nathan Lovejoy, E. L. Losada, Julieth Restrepo, Mel Rodriguez, Brett Tucker and Rebecca Field.
Esposito has earned five Emmy nominations, three for his signature role as Gus Fring on Breaking Bad and prequel Better Call Saul and two for playing Moff Gideon on The Mandalorian. He is repped by Josh Kesselman of Sugar23, CAA, Jackoway Austen Tyerman and imPRint.
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