There are unconfirmed rumors around the Web that actress Stacey Dash, a key lead on VH1’s first fully scripted drama “Single Ladies,” is being replaced for season two. “Single Ladies,” which just concluded its first season Monday night, is shot in Atlanta and set here as well.
I’ve been trying to figure out how true this is. There’s a certain level of skepticism in blog land. It’s rare for a character of such major import on a show to be dumped after just one season and “replaced” to boot. That would be like Darrin Stephens on “Bewitched” played first by Dick York, then replaced by Dick Sargent.
Jawn Murray, an entertainment writer, Tweeted about this yesterday, citing InTouch Weekly. He also said there was tension between her and LisaRaye McCoy, who plays Keisha. He heard there was “emergency casting” for a Dash replacement. And there’s always that one stickler that causes actors to lose their jobs: they demand a big raise. (Remember “Three’s Company” and Suzanne Somers? Wow. I’ve really dated myself with references to “Bewitched” and “Three’s Company”!)
Here’s the response I got from a VH1 publicist: “No casting decisions have been made for season 2 of single ladies yet..”
That is not a denial. And if something is patently false, network publicists usually work quickly to stanch the rumor. (Remember when TNT a few weeks ago was supposedly in talks with Charlie Sheen for a new sitcom? They shut that rumor down fast.) If you take what Washington said at face value, that means the other actresses aren’t tied down either. I’m kind of surprised. Usually, when actors sign on to shows, they are typically committed in contractual blood for multiple seasons. So this all sounds odd.
Or this actually means Dash is out and the VH1 publicist just didn’t want to say that because it’s not finalized or official. I will update if I get anything more concrete either way.
On the show, Dash plays glamorous single lady Val, who owns a Boutique at the Terminus building in Buckhead and has been dating a seemingly perfect guy named Jerry. Jerry says he doesn’t want to get married or have more children. Val breaks it off. Then she deals with her ex showing up again to try to get her back just as Jerry decides maybe he should give Val the ring. Yes, standard soap opera move there.
The show season one averaged about 1.9 million viewers each Monday, which is very strong for VH1 in this day and age. [UPDATE 8/10: The finale drew 2.18 million, a series high.]
[UPDATE 8/11: An insider source told me that yes, Stacey became incredibly diva-like on the set and the producers wanted her out. Then again, VH1 has not closed the door on bringing her back (thus the amorphous answer above) in hopes they can come to some sort of amicable agreement that would bring Stacey back. The polling here proves that while people here don't particularly think she's a great actress, they do think she fits the role well and like to watch her. Replacing her would be a major risk.]
[UPDATE 8/11: Did Lisa Raye have anything to do with the Stacy situation? In Facebook messages, both Lisa Raye and executive producer Stacy LittleJohn denied this. StraightFromtheA captured the Facebook messages. But also note that neither of them deny that Stacey is out. ]
By Rodney Ho, firstname.lastname@example.org, AJCRadioTV blog