Anna Faris quits ‘Mom’ after 7 seasons for ‘other opportunities’

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***Spoilers for the show Mom***

Friday night it broke that Anna Faris was leaving her popular CBS show, Mom. The reason, according to Anna’s statement, is she will be pursuing other opportunities. Anna has been on the show for seven seasons, which is a good run for any actor. But the show’s premise revolved around Anna’s Christy character’s sober journey alongside her mother, Bonnie, played by Allison Janney, who is also working on her sobriety. Granted, the cast has flushed out into a very solid ensemble that includes Mimi Kennedy, Jaime Pressly, Kirsten Johnston and Beth Hall, but Anna’s Christy is still one of the “Moms” from the title.

CBS’ comedy Mom will go into its eighth season without one of its two leads.

In a surprise move, Anna Faris is exiting the series she has starred in for seven years. Sources tell The Hollywood Reporter her departure is not due to COVID-19 concerns; instead she wanted to pursue other opportunities.

Her role as Christy won’t be recast, sources say, and her absence will be addressed in the show. It’s not clear when Faris informed producers of her decision, but the writers weren’t delayed as a result. Production on the Warner Bros. TV show, executive produced by Chuck Lorre, is slated to begin Sept. 14. CBS hasn’t set a premiere date.

“The past seven years on Mom have been some of the most fulfilling and rewarding of my career,” said Faris. “I’m so thankful to Chuck, the writers, and my amazing castmates for creating a truly wonderful work experience. While my journey as Christy has come to an end, allowing me to pursue new opportunities, I’ll be watching next season and rooting for my TV family.”

[From The Hollywood Reporter]

When I first heard the news, I was shocked, but it passed quickly. Anna strikes me as a more nomadic personality, staying in one place for too long frustrates her. I’m not faulting her for that, I’ve known plenty of people who just need change to be happy. If her departure doesn’t hurt the show, then it’s not a bad thing. So that begs the question: does Anna’s departure hurt the show? In my opinion – no. As far as Christy’s arc, I feel like the main part of her story with Bonnie – her terrible childhood and how her mother’s addiction fed her own – has played out. They’ve really explored that, found resolution and healed. Christy’s stories about Bonnie are still kind of funny, but they are also sad now that we see Bonnie has grown enough to understand the damage she’s done. So the whole dynamic between Christy and Bonnie has shifted, making it the perfect time to remove that as the center of the show.

In an update posted by Seriously OMG, Kirsten Johnston said, “I can’t say much, but I can promise her character is moving on to an awesome (sober) life. That’s what I was told, anyway.” If you think about it, Christy is the most primed to move on. She can get hired out of town, she can transfer to a larger law school – there are plenty of options for her to move off the show in a logical way. Plus, the cast is so strong, they can afford to lose one of the players. With Bonnie and Adam married, story wise, it makes sense for Christy to move out anyway. Now that Bonnie has her new sponsee, Patty, we will still have a mom/daughter dynamic. And since it sounds like Christy will move on to something better, it continues to back up the extremely positive message Mom makes about putting in the work on sobriety. As much as I like Anna in that role, I think this could be a necessary shakeup the show needed. I kind of hope they bring Christy’s daughter Violet back into the story. There is so much to work with there.

Whatever happens, I honestly think this one of the few shows that can lose one of its leads and still be equally as viable. Centering the show around the women, the program and their sobriety rather than relying solely on the relationship between Christy and Bonnie has made it tenable. This little ripple actually makes me more excited for the new season than I was originally. I’m excited to see where this takes the characters.

BTW – personal note, I started watching this based on your comments about Mom promoting the power of women supporting each other through thick and thin. So thank you.

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36 Responses to “Anna Faris quits ‘Mom’ after 7 seasons for ‘other opportunities’”

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  1. Laalaa says:

    I mean – 7 years is a long time for being on a show, to me this doesn’t seem “nomadic” at all.

    • kimberlu says:

      didn’t even know the show was still on…def will check out if they have it on Netflix

    • North of Boston says:

      Exactly!

      Staying in the same location, in the same profession, at the same job for 7 years seems like kind of the opposite of nomadic, no?

      The 2 main characters have had a good long arc, it’s a solid ensemble. If the writing stays good, having one of the main characters move on shouldn’t be an issue. Based on standard TV contracts I’ve heard about, Faris probably has completed her initial commitment, probably extended her contract at least once, stayed on the show long enough that they’ve long past the minimum of episodes needed for syndication, or whatever is the equivalent of syndication these days.

      Plus there’s the whole pandemic thing going on, so who knows what the workplace, work schedule would and be and the considerations involved with that.

      Seems like a perfectly fine time for a performer to say “I’m ready to do something new, explore other opportunities.

  2. Caitlin Bruce says:

    My smutty senses tingled a lot when I heard this, I don’t watch the show so I don’t know the logistics but seems odd. Other than the show Anna isn’t a in demand actor and wasn’t before the show either. I listen to her podcast sometimes if there’s someone on it that I like, maybe she’s gonna concentrate on that? I hope it’s nothing else, I’ve heard rumours about her being drunk and a mess on set but not sure how true they are. There was also pics on her insta where she was terribly thin. I hope she’s doing okay. She seems like a genuinely nice person

    • SM says:

      Yep. I don’t watch this show either but I did pause at the fact that an actor not really in demand would turn down the steady job. Having said that I understand that 7 years in a person’s life and maybe she just needed a change. Not some kind of Katherine Heigl delusion that she will become a movie star by shitting on Grey’s Anatomy. I have so much respect for Ellen Pompeo for sticking to it.

  3. JemimaLeopard says:

    I love her and always feel she should have had a bigger career – I kinda always get the vibe that Chris Pratt held her back a lot. I hope this works out for her!

    • smcollins says:

      Oooorrrr…she pigeonholed herself by consistently playing ditzy and goofy characters (the Scary Movie franchise, The Hot Chick, The House Bunny…). Granted, she was very good and very funny in those roles (she’s definitely a talented comedic actress) but she became so associated with those types of roles that it’s a little hard to see her doing anything else. Plus the huge bomb that the Overboard remake was did her no favors in giving her box office cred. I’m not saying CP’s rising star wasn’t a factor, maybe it was, after all she was the better-known one when they got together, but I also think some of the blame is her not-always-so-great choice of roles (which, yes, women get less opportunities to make).

      • Genessee says:

        Was her remake of Overboard a huge bomb? It made $91 million on a $12 million budget. And that was during the Avengers: Infinity War run.

        I personally love it and watch it all the time with fam and friends. :-)

  4. Esmom says:

    It never occurred to me to watch this show but this post makes me want to give it a try. Hopefully everything is okay with Anna.

    • Lightpurple says:

      It really is a nice, funny show about female friendship among mature women, which is really rare on television, both the focus on female friendship but especially the mature women part. The group helps one another out as they confront setbacks and life”s problems.

  5. Lucy2 says:

    Seven years is a typical show contract, right? Maybe she tried to get a big raise and they wouldn’t play ball? or maybe she really was just ready to move on.

    • tealily says:

      That makes a lot of sense. Yeah, I’m hoping it’s nothing more than this. 7 years is a good run for any job these days.

  6. Lala11_7 says:

    I don’t know…WHAT I would have done during this PANDEMIC hell without this show and Schitt’s Creek❣❣❣ I look forward to what’s next!

  7. Sarah says:

    I enjoy this show for the most part – although I can not STAND Patty, and it was weird how Violet had forgiven Christy but then a few seasons later was doing the podcast and refusing to speak to her again. Anyway, I am sure the show will be fine without Anna.

    Agree about the concerns regarding her health. She has looked frightfully thin lately, not that I am shaming her at all, but if she has an eating disorder I hope she is getting treatment.

  8. Liz version 700 says:

    I will miss her character, I love this show. The cast is so strong.

  9. Ariel says:

    I used to watch the show- so damn funny. But at some point I noticed as they kept adding wonderful, funny women- no women of color.
    There was one black woman on the show briefly but that’s it. Six women, plus Adam (who is also great in his role), and no room for any non-white women.
    It bothered me enough that I stopped watching.

    • OriginalLeigh says:

      @Ariel – I noticed that as well. Mom was entertaining but I’ve now stopped watching all shows that do not feature any people of color in significant roles.

    • Eve says:

      100%
      The lady that played Christy’s sponsor for a few episodes was excellent. I was bummed when she left for a show on ABC. I wish they would bring her back.
      Octavia Spence was hilarious but shes a film actress.

      • Lightpurple says:

        Octavia Spencer’s character is hilarious. It was a recurring character, not a regular, so I do hope they bring her back periodically.

  10. shanaynay says:

    Sorry I wasn’t a huge fan of hers. I didn’t think she was such a great actress. Hopefully, the show will still stand strong and continue on.

    • Eve says:

      Agree.
      She turned into a cartoon character. The story line was great in the beginning but the mom is the real star of the show.
      The whole cast is wonderful.
      I do hope it works out.

  11. Eve says:

    It does make me scratch my head when someone leaves a popular show during the time of Corona.
    Any kind of film set is risky right now.
    Leaving a steady paycheck is kind of weird.
    I hope everything is okay w her.

    • tealily says:

      I’m not saying this is what’s happening here, but it seems like a lot of employers are trying to exploit the current employment instability to pressure employees into various things. I know more that one person considering leaving a stable job right now, as crazy as it seems.

  12. Case says:

    I get that actors, as artists, want new challenges and opportunities. But it always strikes me as odd when actors (particularly ones that are B-list) walk away from steady work. I hope she has something else that excites her lined up.

  13. Grant says:

    I’m just excited that the sublime, Emmy Award-winning Jaime Pressley is getting regular work. She is such a great comedic actress. I was watching Not Another Teen Movie the other day (underrated classic IMO) and she steals every scene she’s in.

  14. Charfromdarock says:

    I watch this on and off.

    I do agree that the show can go on without Christy. It’s about so much more than her and so many of the other characters are more interesting.

  15. Detnow says:

    I’ve watched a few episodes and it’s a great show. What I don’t understand is Anna was in the middle of her contract. Usually a move like this is not the choice of the actor so what’s really going on here.

    • ravynrobyn says:

      @ DETNOW-I wondered that too! I heard that the show was probably going to end after next season, why didn’t she stick it out one more season with her “wonderful” castmates? What the heck REALLY went on’, lol.

    • (TheOG) Jan90067 says:

      Wasn’t there a LOT of talk about her actually having a problem with alcohol, being drunk on set? I remember reading about it here…?

  16. Murphy says:

    I just hope they don’t have Christy’a character relapse in order to write her off the show.

  17. Clueless9x9 says:

    I skipped watching Mom’s because it did not have a diverse cast and you would think with the success of Grey’s Anatomy that it would be a given in Hollywood.

  18. Yonati says:

    The departure is in the middle of her two-year contract, so that raises some red flags. Makes me wonder if she was fired but Chuck Lorre said she could say that it was her idea to leave. From the little I know about Chuck Lorre, since the whole Charlie Sheen debacle, he may be more cautious about keeping actors that are abusing substances or are demonstrating addictive behaviors. Chuck Lorre hangs around a lot of sober people and tends to hire sober people as well.

    Anna Faris looks unwell to me. Her legs are super skinny as are her arms. Her hands and wrists are so bony that her hands look like claws.

    I hope she’s leaving to take care of any health issues she might have.

  19. SJR says:

    I enjoy the show Mom.
    Very strong cast, this show should truly be fine without her character.
    Allison Janey, William Fitchner, Kristin and French Stewart both solid on 3rd Rock, Jamie from My Name is Earl, Will Sasson from MadTV, Rainn Wilson from The Office, etc.
    Could easily run another 2 years without her.
    Chuck Lorre is famously rehabbed himself and supports others sobriety.
    And after that sh*t that Charlie Sheen pulled for years, I bet anyone showing up noticeably high would be shown the door pretty quickly these days.

    Anna should have agreed to ride out her contract but she will be fine for money, the show is in reruns for a few years already.

  20. Ames says:

    I like Faris as Christy, but Allison Janney acts circles around her, sometimes to an almost painful degree.

    The show is called Mom, after all.

    Janney is a national treasure and I’ll fight anybody who says different (put ‘em up!). Her whacked out menopause breakdown/makeover in “Estrogen and a Hearty Breakfast” – when she squares off against Luke’s “Preacher Man” dad – is a thing of utter beauty and one of the funniest g**damn things I’ve ever seen.

  21. JanaTHING says:

    I’ve watched the show for years, and I’ve never understood why she was the central character, Allison Janney clearly carries it, but the addition of Kristen Johnston made it even better.