Neal McDonough's Ban on Sex Scenes Costs Him a Network Role
Three days into filming the dramedy series Scoundrels, ABC replaced its lead actor Neal McDonough with David James Elliott. The casting change seemed strange since ABC had a history working with McDonough, who had co-starred on over 20 episodes of Desperate Housewives as Edie's deranged husband, but no other insight was offered into the network's decision. Until a production insider revealed that the actor had duped ABC into hiring him only to refuse filming intimate scenes with the project's beautiful, Oscar-nominated lead.
Late this morning, Nikki Finke broke the story that ABC pink-slipped McDonough after he resisted filming love scenes for the show, based on a New Zealand series about a family of small-town criminals who attempt to go straight after the patriarch is sent to prison:
McDonough was sacked because of his refusal to do some heated love scenes with babelicious star (and Botox pitchwoman) Virginia Madsen. The reason? He's a family man and a Catholic, and he's always made it clear that he won't do sex scenes. And ABC knew that. Because he also didn't get into action with Nicolette Sheridan on the network's Desperate Housewives when he played her psycho husband during Season 5. And he also didn't do love scenes with his on-air girlfriend in his previous series, NBC's Boomtown, or that network's Medical Investigation. "It has cost him jobs, but the man is sticking to his principles," a source explained to me.
A respectable and refreshing decision to stick to his morals, or a strangely hypocritical stance considering McDonough played a murderer on Desperate Housewives? You be the judge.
· No Sex Please, I'm Neal McDonough... [Deadline]