Jennifer Schuur, who created “The Catch,” and Josh Reims, who was to serve as exec producer and co-showrunner alongside Schuur, have exited the ABC Studios midseason drama. Sources said producers are eyeing “Scandal” alum Allan Heinberg to take the reins as showrunner and exec producer.
ABC declined comment. Sources said the change of showrunner was a collective decision of the network and the Shondaland team after there was significant disagreement with Schuur and Reims about the direction of the show. “The Catch” stars Mireille Enos as a fraud investigator who gets taken in by a conman, and then has to hunt him down before he ruins her career.
“Catch” already underwent another big change post-pilot when “Parenthood” star Peter Krause was tapped to replace Damon Dayoub in the key role of conman Kieran Booth. And Sonya Walger was tapped to replace Bethany Joy Lenz in the supporting role as Booth’s wife and partner in crime.
ABC also made a showrunner change earlier this month on another freshman drama, “Blood and Oil.” Cynthia Cidre exited after a brief tenure as co-showrunner with exec producer Josh Pate. She was replaced by Jon Harmon Feldman.
Showrunner changes in the pre-launch period are par for the course in the high-stakes business of launching a primetime dries. Execs figure that making a change before launch is easier than when a show is already up and running. “Catch” has yet to begin filming as it is slated to alternate with Shondaland’s “How to Get Away With Murder” and “Scandal” in the plum Thursday 10 p.m. slot.
Sources said there was such divergence of opinion between Schuur and Reims and the ABC-Shondaland camp on the story arc and tone of scripts for the show’s subsequent episodes that the decision was made to recruit Heinberg to give him as much time as possible to settle in before filming begins.