Whenever a TV show loses one of its stars, it becomes one of the most delicate situations that anyone can get into when it comes to this business. Of course, the top priority is that you show deep sympathy over the loss of someone that you certainly care about and take the time to properly grieve, but one of the other concerns that surely comes up in here from a business standpoint is trying to figure out quickly just where your show is going to go moving forward without that person.
This is the second time in the past year that a TNT program has been forced to go through such a change. Last year, “Dallas” was forced to make changes following the death of Larry Hagman after a battle with cancer, and now “Rizzoli & Isles” is forced to do the same exact thing after the death of Lee Thompson Young. The situation is a very difficult one as Young’s suicide was so sudden and unexpected, and like with “Dallas,” it happened in the middle of production.
Understandably, the show has stopped production at the moment, so that they can try to figure out what they want to do moving forward. There needs to be proper time to grieve, and there also needs to be time to figure out some sort of solution to write his character off the show moving forward. (Young had appeared in 50 episodes of the drama over the past several years.) Typically when an actor dies, the show makes the move to do the same thing with the character, but it could take some time before it is really known what the show plans to do.
Tonight’s episode of the series is still set to air as planned, though it would not be too much of a surprise if a title card airs after the show dedicating it to Young’s memory.