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May 15 2010

Fran Kranz departs Friends With Benefits. Fran's great. Not all networks are.

This makes me sad :(

I'm not too clear on what happened though - why wasn't Fran picked up?
Offtopic, I just noticed Fran as the daughter's boyfriend at the end of Matchstick Men. Looks just the same. Ha.
Fortunately, the fans know better. Hang in there, Fran.
cardea, they picked up the show but not all the actors who were in the pilot, I guess. It happens. In this case, it stinks. Unless it really wasn't a good role, or a good role for him. Then I feel sorry for Fran but confident that something better will come along.
cardea, Fran's tweet says he was told he was "too big," which I assume means the network thought he was too over-the-top with his performance.
It's a shame, I was looking forward to this. More Fran on my telebox, please.
krindy it might mean he's too big a name. Maybe the network was looking for an unknown for the role.
Thanks for the clarification. I wasn't particularly sure about the "too big" part - stupidly thought he was referring to his physicality initially and then perhaps his status in which case it wouldn't make sense to drop him - but that makes sense. Here's hoping he finds a better role soon.
More Fran on my telebox, please.

Well, here's hoping this increases the aforementioned chance of him appearing on Point Dume. (Which isn't exactly the telebox, but I'm trying to look at the glass as half full.) And at the rate NBC has been dropping shows for years now, maybe it really will turn out for the best.
Well, from his tweet, the 'too big' does suggest a performance issue ("people told me it was great") rather than his 'name' which is probably not that well known outside of the whedonverse. Too bad and I hope something else comes up for him soon.
This is so sad, I was really looking forward to watching Fran again. I shan't be watching Benefits now I think.

Last I remember, the show didn't have a showrunner so I guess it finally found one, NBC liked him/her and then (s)he proceeded to change the show. Does this mean they are re-filming the pilot, or can they get away with Fran just not appearing pilot onwards?
That really sucks. If Ryan Hansen wasn't in this show I'd have absolutely no interest in it now.
Heh. NBC just made me lose interest. Here's hoping Fran can find work, get crazy famous, and then make NBC wish they made a different decision.
Yeah, my only interest in this was seeing Fran again on my TV... But I'm sure he'll get better offers, he is so talented.
Well I won't be watching now.
Hmm...is it the same issue that made me not like Kranz at the start of Dollhouse. I guess he is 'big' performance wise. It's probably an ensemble thing- if Friends with Benefits is a sitcom type thing, everything has to work together
I had heard a lot of rough things about the writing, but was happy to stick it out for Fran. Ah well, another NBC show I now have no interest in.
Too bad for Fran. But yea, that's pilot life for 'ya. Context wise, it definitely sounds like the performance. But those pilots go through so many people that it could be anything.
There are a couple other pilots this year that have already fired folks, and of course the renaming of two.

Given some of the reportage of the show over at Deadline Hollywood, and various comments there, he may be well out of it.
Can't they just, you know, tell him to go "smaller"? We've seen him do a whole range of...sizes.
I have to admit, I found Fran's acting to be hard to swallow all throughout the first season of Dollhouse. He was excellent in Season Two when he grew into the character, but I... don't *not* get the whole "too big" thing. My first impression was that his acting was pretty broad. Again, he got better in season two to the point where he was excellent. But yeah...
Just the title of the show makes me not want to watch, but I would have tuned in to see Topher.
Although Dollhouse never worked for me, I never had a problem with Kranz's acting. I don't think he was too broad, I think his character as written was too broad. (And also more annoying than a case of the hives.) In season one Topher struck me as basically Joss Whedon indulging in the kind of constant snarky asides writers write but human beings don't ever actually say outside of movies and television. Season one Topher was such a typical self-consciously over-clever Whedon character he should've had a copyright stamp on his forehead, and five minutes in to episode one he had me wondering if Joss was going to keep on writing the same exact characters over and over again forever. But Kranz inhabited the character fully and when the scripts in season two finally gave him a chance to step it up, he did. The thing about pilots though is that actors can be cut for any reason and it doesn't have to do with talent necessarily. Felicia Day linked to an excellent article about the pitfalls of pilot auditions in one of her tweets a few months back and after reading it I really feel for actors (and sort of want to strangle all producers.) Kranz isn't Enver Gjokaj, but I'm sure he'll land on his feet somewhere at some point.
He may be well out of it -- the concept of the show sounded kinda lame. And even though I think there are a plethora of good network sitcoms right now, most of them developed by the big networks are pretty terrible and get thankfully canceled.

So Kranz might be well out of it! Remember, it's not just getting a job, it's getting the right job on tv that's important.
Felicia Day linked to an excellent article about the pitfalls of pilot auditions in one of her tweets a few months back and after reading it I really feel for actors (and sort of want to strangle all producers.)


You don't have the link for that article handy by any chance? It sounds interesting.
I had so much trouble parsing that tweet since so much content needs to be dropped... I thought at first he meant that the project was too big and they wanted starring names so he started to argue that his profile was rising.

I guess it does make more sense he thought he was playing the role a bit too broad (and thought it was even more over the top) but someone liked it anyway-- evidently not whoever it was that makes casting decisions.
That's a shame about Franz :( Hopefully he'll find something soon.

And slightly related; apparently Ryan Hansen is in it. Which pleased the Veronica Mars fanboy in me.
RaisedByMongrels: Can't they just, you know, tell him to go "smaller"? We've seen him do a whole range of...sizes.


Yeah, that was the first thing I thought, once I parsed the "too big" thingy. (Well, the first thing I really thought was X-rated, but that's me, and neither here nor there. ; >)

What, was the director broken or something? (I realize that this was prolly a network decision, and actual acting technique/possibilities & the director had little or nothing to do with it.) But still, wtf?

As (I think) Adam Baldwin said in a DVD commentary - if you go big they can scale you back, but if you don't bring enough to begin with, it can be lot harder, if not impossible - to bring it out.

I loved Fran's acting in Dollhouse - from the beginning, I thought his over-the-topness was his character's persona (mask/front) and was going to change drastically throughout his arc - and it was and it did. Once he let the mask slip - and most thoroughly and beautifully in "Epitaph One" - he was subtle and heartbreaking.

It sucks to get fired, but I have faith that Fran will get a better job - and pronto.

ETF: typo

[ edited by QuoterGal on 2010-05-15 22:09 ]
Isn't Kranz the second Whedonverse actor to get dumped from a show this year, with Alexis Denisof being the first (from Pretty Little Liars).
Or... has there been more?
Bad decision, NBC.
Yeah, I feel like an idiot. My original thought was, "Too big?! He's really fit, what are they talking about?!"
Or... has there been more?


Well maybe not fired but you could include Sarah Michelle Gellar and Alan Tudyk's pilots not going to series.
I <3 Fran. They're fools to let him go.
Shame, I thought his acting was great from the beginning. Oh well, one less show to keep track of. I hope he finds something good soon.
Maybe he was supposed to be a hobbit. You really never know why someone gets lets go especially when they are obviously talented. Maybe one of the execs has an actor they love that they think would be perfect for the role. It's all very arbitrary.
I am not a big fan of sitcoms, so I hope this means Fran Kranz gets hired on a well written drama so I'll actually want to watch his next show.
I loved Fran's acting in Dollhouse - from the beginning, I thought his over-the-topness was his character's persona (mask/front) and was going to change drastically throughout his arc - and it was and it did.
QuoterGal | May 15, 21:53 CET

Excellent, insightful comment about the character. As opposed to ........


In season one Topher struck me as basically Joss Whedon indulging in the kind of constant snarky asides writers write but human beings don't ever actually say outside of movies and television. Season one Topher was such a typical self-consciously over-clever Whedon character he should've had a copyright stamp on his forehead, and five minutes in to episode one he had me wondering if Joss was going to keep on writing the same exact characters over and over again forever.
Hellmouthguy | May 15, 20:53 CET


Which makes me wonder, and not for the first time .... Hellmouthyguy, is there anything you like about Joss's writing, or is your sole purpose in being here, to bitch?
And please don't confuse me with someone who isn't interested in critical discussion, I've engaged in plenty of it.
However .... a couple of sentences into most of your self consciously snarky comments, I'm wondering if you're going to keep writing the exact same criticisms over and over again, forever.

And, what Saturn Girl said. Would much rather see Fran in a good drama.

EF:typo

[ edited by Shey on 2010-05-16 10:54 ]
Fran's an excellent actor and Topher has one of the emotionally complex arcs of a Whedonverse character, if you ask me. Compare Topher at the beginning to Topher in, say, 2x04 (Belonging) or 1x13 (Epitaph One) or 2x13 (Epitaph Two). Then remember they only made 26 episodes.
Clearly he's capable of small and subtle, just watch the Topher/Saunders scene in 'Vows' among others (which presumably the people involved in this show have done) so i'd imagine that 'too big' was the reason given but not necessarily the actual reason (which could be a lot of things, many of which don't reflect on Fran at all).

Hope he finds something else.
Add me to the list of people that would rather see Fran in a GOOD drama. It has to be something like Arrested Development or Better Off Ted to keep me interested in comedy.
If they got everything right they wouldn't be NBC.
Hang in there Fran, something better will come.

[ edited by silent knight on 2010-05-16 20:45 ]
Okay, so having seen the trailer now (w/ Fran) I find it weird that he's being replaced but I suppose I can understand the "big" thing. I didn't notice it initially until I thought about it and the situations his character was meant to be in. He looks like he would be more of a scene-stealer than Ryan, so I suppose that is somewhat problematic. He's amazing, but I guess they were simply looking for someone else. Someone less ... "big". Ugh.

Hansen also needs to get his BFF Kristen Bell on there asap.
From really not liking Topher at the start of S1 Dollhouse, I warmed to him greatly and he became my favourite character - alongside Sierra - thanks to Fran's engaging portrayal. I'm really disappointed to hear we're not going to see Fran in FWB. I won't be watching the show now.

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