Last week, pre-production for NBC's new single-camera format comedy series 'The Gates' continued with a Wednesday table reading. This is a standard step on the production docket, where the actors who have been brought in for each part get together for the day, meet each other, and read the script aloud to test out compatability with one another.
Apparently, something went very wrong at 'The Gates' table read on Wednesday, because NBC has already recast two key series roles. Greg Germann ('Ally McBeal,' 'Talladega Nights') and Echo Kellum ('Ben & Kate') are joining the pilot for 'The Gates,' replacing Aasif Mandvi and Justin Chon, respectively.
The role that Germann has won is slated to be a series regular, whereas the role Kellum will play is presently a guest star. The eponymous gates refer to the front gates of a posh elementary school where parents engage in the pick-up/drop-off daily ritual, which becomes a social minefield of gossip and one-upsmanship. The series is based on the British format comedy of same name.
Kathleen Rose Perkins and Ken Marino will play the lead couple, ferrying their eight-year-old daughter to and from school every day. Germann will play another dad at the school, a super-driven, competitive Yale-educated lawyer who pushes his children too succeed to an absurd and (hopefully) comedic degree. Kellum is being brought in to play what is being referred to as a "Manny," a male nanny, who is looking after other people's children when he approaches the gates. Kellum's character is slated to act as a friend/confidant for Marino's Mark, indicating that the role would likely recur if the series pilot is picked up.
Germann recently appeared on the TBS series 'Wedding Band' which was recently cancelled. Kellum had a starring role on the FOX series 'Ben & Kate' which recently met the same fate. Here's hoping 'The Gates' proves more successful for this pair of funny men.