• Mon, May 12 - 3:01 pm ET

Jane Krakowski Is On A Roll — Got Yet Another Actor Fired Off A Tina Fey Show

Jenna from 30 Rock GIF Jane Krakowski go jump back up your motherWe should give Jane Krakowski some kind of a nickname or something, because she just got a second actor fired from a Tina Fey project. Maybe The Velvet Hammer? Or The Widowmaker? Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson? We’ll figure it out.

You’re probably aware that the role of Jenna on 30 Rocka part that eventually netted Jane four Emmy nominations — had originally gone to Tina’s old Saturday Night Live cast mate Rachel Dratch. In fact, she’d even filmed the pilot before higher-ups decided to de-emphasize sketch, she was replaced with Jane Krakowski and the episode re-shot.

And now she’s done it again on the upcoming Tina Fey comedy series Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidtwhich she’s producing with former 30 Rock executive producer Robert Carlock. Jane will play the wealthy Upper West Side mother who hires Kimmy, a naive girl (played by Ellie Kemper) who spent the last fifteen years living in a cult and is now attempting to reclaim her life in New York City.  According to Deadline, this all happened really quickly after Fox passed on Jane’s pilot for a show called Dead Boss last Wednesday, freeing up her schedule, so it’s a great silver lining for Jane.

But you know who it’s not a silver lining for? The woman who was originally supposed to play that part — Megan Dodds. She only had one scene in the pilot, and that’s been re-shot in order to be included in the show’s trailer at the up fronts today, BUT HOW MUCH DOES THAT SUCK.

Up until Jane’s schedule freed up, this girl Megan was cast in a Tina Fey series. She went to the auditions, beat out others for the part, got congratulated by her family and friends, maybe turned down other jobs, and even shot the pilot…for a show that suddenly she’s not on. That’s so incredibly rough. And I mean, I get it. I totally get the inclination to want to work with someone like Jane, because she’s very talented and wonderful and I really enjoy watching her, and we’re getting the gang back together and whatever. I just really feel for Megan Dodds, because that’s a harsh reality to get slammed with out of nowhere.

So that’s two-for-two as far as Jane Krakowski is concerned! I guess something about her just turns everybody else into sloppy seconds…even if they got there first.

(Image: Tumblr)

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  • Jenni

    I wish there was a website that had all the unaired re-cast pilots. I watched the Full House one with John Posey as Danny Tanner once and it’s such a mindfuck. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-qWZ9Hb6aKs

  • itpainsme2say

    I always feel sad about canceled first seasons for this very reason. Here are some people who don’t have job security and tried really hard to make people laugh but failed.

    • Alexis Rhiannon

      I know! I hate it!

  • Jen

    Megan Dodds was the evil stepsister from Ever After. Which I have clearly seen too many times…

    • Alexis Rhiannon

      Yes! You’re right!

    • TJ

      I LOVE that movie! I can’t hear anything negative about Drew Barrymore from anyone because of it. “A bird my love a fish, senore, but where would they live?”

    • Alexis Rhiannon

      So good. And that guy was hot! Where did he ever end up?

    • TJ

      I know, right?? I saw him in one episode of Doctor Who since then… and that’s it.

  • JustJenna

    Yeah, that sucks for Megan Dodds but it is a tough reality in Hollywood and everyone knows going in that their part is not guaranteed, even if the pilot gets picked up. I don’t know if you watched Buffy, but Alyson Hannigan was not originally cast as Willow. She was first portrayed by a woman named Riff Regan. But after the pilot was picked up, producers didn’t believe that Regan tested well, so they replaced her with Hannigan.

    This also occurred on The Big Bang Theory. The character of Penny was played by another actress and was written in a totally different way. Instead of a sweet, fairly naive and innocent MidWesterner, they wrote her as a tough, needy user who takes advantage of Leonard. When the pilot was picked up, producers chose to order major rewrites on the character, and then cast Kaley Cuoco. In both instances, this was really for the best. I saw both of those “unaired pilots” and the rewrites/recasting definitely saved the show. Signing Jane Krakowski to this show was in the best interest of the producers, and viewers too, because the show has a mich higher chance of success.

    I do feel pity for the actors who don’t get to keep the part, but I am certain that Jane did not intentionally get anyone fired. Your headline is a bit sensationalistic and kind of, well… mean. It implies that Krakowski is callous, cruel, and directly responsible for the producer’s decisions. In actuality, Megan Dodds couldn’t *be* fired because it was never her role yet anyway. And Krakowski is simply making the best decisions for her own career. I don’t think she’s done anything to deserve a harsh nickname, just because her career has been more fortunate and lucrative than others.

    Honestly, no one even knows exactly why Dodd was not given a contract. Yes the timing was great to sign Krakowski, but there could be more to it than that. Without knowing all the facts, we shouldn’t be quick to pick on anyone. It’s fine to speculate, but it’s cruel to cast judgment. What we do know is the obvious: the producers know that Jane would do well in the part and wanted to give the pilot the best chance possible.

    Yes, it’s painful to lose a part, but that’s the reality of Hollywood. I don’t know of any actors who don’t know that their part isn’t guaranteed until they’ve inked a deal. If they don’t know this then their agent isn’t doing his/her job properly. Signing on for the pilot is not a promise of anything. If they get their hopes up, then they’ll have to learn a tough lesson – but that’s Hollywood for you, and it’s not for the sensitive and faint of heart.