David E. Kelley’s New “Brotherhood” Drama Loses a Lead Actor

While David E. Kelley’s “The Practice”and “Boston Public” have jettisoned 11 regular cast members in the past month combined, sources have revealed that Kelley’s new drama “The Brotherhood of Poland, N.H.” is looking to replace one of its primary cast members before its first episode has even aired. Brian Haley, best known perhaps for his work on NBC’s “Wings” (as Lowell the mechanic’s replacement) and the Coen Bros. film “The Man Who Wasn’t There,” is out. No reason has been given for Haley’s departure.

Haley was to play Waylon Shaw, one of three bothers on the series. Set to debut this fall on CBS, the show focuses on the people of a New Hampshire town through the eyes of the Shaws. The series follows the emotional crises of three brothers, each of whom are married with children, and everything that goes with it. The show stars Randy Quaid, John Carrol Lynch, Elizabeth McGovern and Mare Winningham.

What this means for the series is unknown, while it seems likely they will have to reshoot the pilot shown during May’s presentation for advertisers. Calls and e-mails for comment on this story were not returned by CBS. Interestingly, the series first glimpses’ drew positive buzz from advertisers and journalists during the upfronts.

With Healey no longer attached, casting directors now move on to search for his replacement. The casting agents describe the character as being in his 35 to early 40s, the “youngest of the three brothers, the baby,” and “a lovable goof of a guy.” This Shaw brother is struggling with a weight problem and isn’t taking very good care of himself. Currently unemployed after losing his store three years ago, he’s worried about losing everything, including his wife, who he fears is having an affair. The casting notes also detail that he “tends to speak without thinking, especially in his current state.”

Casting agents are trying to find someone with a small town New England feel: accessible, familiar and passionate. Waylon and his brothers are close, all having grown up in this town and are all a big part of its life. They were good athletes in high school and Waylon “should still be vital though a little soft.”

If you feel you are suitable for the role, please feel free to have your agent contact either the production company or the casting directors.

The Scorecard
Executive Producers: David E. Kelley and Michael Pressman
Co-Executive Producer: Alice West
Director: Michael Pressman
Writer: David E. Kelley
Casting Directors: Nikki Valko and Ken Miller
Casting Associate: Kara Lipson
Start Date: On or about July 8
Location: Manhattan Beach, CA
Production Company: 20th Century Fox
Network: CBS