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'Scandal' Season 2 Loses Henry Ian Cusick; Promotes Joshua Malina To Series Regular

by Tambay A. Obenson
June 11, 2012 11:30 AM
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Since we've covered Scandal so closely here on S&A, given how popular that series was, fans should be aware that, as was announced on Friday, Henry Ian Cusick will not be returning to the hit ABC drama for Season 2.

No reason was given, but it was reported that the decision was mutually agreed on by the actor, who played Olivia Pope's womanizing right-hand man, and showrunner/creator/executive producer Shonda Rhimes.

They parting was said to be amicable.

I suppose it's not much of a loss, considering that he really didn't have a lot to do. Will you miss him? 

No word on whether he'll be replaced.

Although, maybe this other bit of news about the series might answer that question; Joshua Malina, who plays U.S. Attorney David Rosen on the series, has been promoted from recurring character in Season 1, to series regular next season. No reasons for that upgrade were given either, although it could be, as I suggested, that the loss of Cusick might be partly responsible.

It could also be that, as Shonda noted in a past interview, that there will indeed be the possibility of a new romance for Olivia Pope, and there was some suggestion that Rhimes might hook her up with David, since they *dance* well together, and it wouldn't be shocking to learn that they actually had a little something going on in their past lives.

So an upgrade might be a hint of what's to come for next season... or not.

We'll just have to wait to find out.

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  • Dr. Boogie | June 12, 2012 12:26 AMReply

    That all makes sense. Molina's role was growing as the show progressed. The whole white hat vs. black hat thing got to be a thing--they were like brother & sister crusaders in different parts of the Washington machine.....Cusick's character needs to stay in because he has some tid-bits to share...Everytime Olivia had a non-Olivia moment (aka paralysis, second guessing, less than lighting response to overlapping crisis due to personal conflicts/faltering gutt), Cusick's character more often than not gave her the nudge to keep it pushing beyond her personal issues. He knows something about her that pre-dates her involvement with the Prez during his campaign...

  • Janet | June 11, 2012 9:52 PMReply

    Love Cusick, but his talent was totally wasted in this show. He's the only reason I started watching in the first place, but his character was a total bore. So I am sad we won't see him anymore, but glad he's free to do other stuff where he will be better utilized.

  • Tamara | June 11, 2012 5:00 PMReply

    Agreed with AKIMBO in that basically all we knew of Cusick's character was that he was a good attorney but a man afraid of commitment. That's not an actual mystique that interests me much like the red-head and the tech-guy's character; and they better do a little more with Columbus Short's character (I think they will). Also, casting Malina as a regular makes sense. See the finale where he and his paralegal go through the when's, why's and how's of Amanda hooking up with some dude in the White House. Their little "team" could be foil or opposite of Olivia and her Gladiators...even though they are on the "same side". I see the President and his troupe playing more of a tertiary role in this new season. Or at least that is my hope. Give us the backstories on the Gladiators, throw in some back and front story of Olivia and maybe Malina's character, solve some awesome cases ("gladiate") and then harken back to the "greatest mistake that never was" (Olivia and Fitz/Cyrus/Mellie, et al).

  • Akimbo | June 11, 2012 3:51 PMReply

    Too bad about Henry Ian Cusick, but he really didn't have much to do in the first blip of a season, so I get it. Can't decide if this will make the redhead more or less nutty...maybe she'll kill herself? I can't really see them hooking Olivia up with David, unless it's 3 seasons from now. I'm not sure, but feel like he's married with kids. Either way, it's way too early to turn their fun adversarial relationship into anything else. I'm willing to bet that Kerry's next few love interests are going to be recurring guest stars who come and go.

  • bohemian_princess | June 11, 2012 11:43 AMReply

    I was disappointed that he left. I really did like his character. Then again I still think of him as Desmond from Lost. I read somewhere that he was not Cusick was unhappy. He was offered a role in The Hobbit and had to turn it down due to his commitment to Scandal. I think he was a little sour about that. Who knows. Could just be a rumor. As for Olivia & David Rosen. Talk about a downgrade. Yeah I said it.

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