Bob Hearts Abishola is reducing the majority of its cast to recurring status and its two leads will be the only ones to remain series regulars amid recent episodes fee cuts.
According to Deadline, lead actors Billy Gardell and Folake Olowofoyeku will remain series regulars on the popular CBS show, while the remaining 11 of the 13 cast members will get reduced to recurring roles. Deadline reports that the recurring actors could be seen in as few as five episodes in the upcoming fifth season. Cast members were notified of the changes this week.
The reduction in episodic fees is described by the outlet as “the most dramatic talent cost-reduction move yet and a possible indication of what’s to come as linear ratings continue to slide and the networks’ push to cut license fees continues to grow.” Thankfully, however, the recurring cast have had their exclusivity waived, meaning the recurring cast members can try out for new shows while being part of Bob Hearts Abishola, as long as they notify producers of their availability. Also, actors will be able to keep their Season 4 per-episode fees for Season 5 despite being in fewer episodes.
A few of the cast are apparently willing to come back out of respect to the series producers who have been put in a difficult position, but it still remains to be seen how many of the cast members will actually come back.
Co-created by comedian Gina Yashere, Bob Hearts Abishola follows a Nigerian nurse who falls in love with her patient, a white man. Their odd-couple relationship brings together two families who are very culturally different.