Shepard joins the multi-camera comedy following the departure of star Danny Masterson, who left production in December amid multiple rape allegations. Masterson starred alongside Ashton Kutcher, Debra Winger, and Sam Elliott, who all remain with the show.
Shepard will play Luke Matthews, described a former soldier who has come to Garrison with some history concerning the Iron River Ranch. He meets the Bennetts and forms an immediate bond with Colt (Kutcher) and Beau (Elliott), but Luke’s past has a way of catching up with him.
The Shepard story arc will take place over the second half of season three’s 20 episodes. Netflix has traditionally divided the series into 10-episode batches, each of which is part of a longer season. part two of season two premiered in December. Part one of season three is slated to premiere later this year. Masterson had filmed material for season three and it remains possible that he could appear in the season as part of writers’ efforts to write his character out of the show.
Shepard recently booked the lead role in Fox comedy pilot “Bless This Mess,” and his future with “The Ranch” beyond season three will likely be contingent on whether the Fox pilot moves forward to series.