Maggie Lawson to star in ABC comedy: Can ‘Psych’ go on without its Juliet?

Yahoo Contributor Network

There's some bittersweet news for fans of USA's "Psych." While the show is set to return for its seventh season on Feb. 27, future seasons of the show might be missing a major character.

Here's the deal: Maggie Lawson, who plays Juliet on "Psych," just signed on to appear in a comedy pilot opposite James Caan over at ABC. If the series gets picked up, it will be hard (if not downright impossible) for Lawson to appear on both "Psych" and the new ABC project.

The seventh season of "Psych" premieres later this month, and an eighth season has already been greenlit. According to the TV blog Warming Glow, Season 8 starts filming in April, but the eight episodes that comprise Season 8 will not air until 2014.

Between Seasons 7 and 8, there are 24 episodes of "Psych" planned between now and 2014. If Maggie Lawson's pilot doesn't get picked up at ABC, the show could keep on going long past 24 episodes -- as long as the ratings stay solid.

But what if Maggie Lawson gets stolen away by ABC? Does her departure mean the death of "Psych," or can the show carry on without Shawn Spencer's long-time love interest?

Fans seem quite sure that Lawson's character is a main draw for the show, but it wouldn't be unprecedented for a popular TV show to carry on successfully after the departure of a fan favorite character. After all, shows like "Cheers," "ER," and "CSI" all saw the departure of fan favorite characters late in the show's run, but continued to stay on the air and tell great stories long afterward.

If Lawson does have to leave "Psych," or at least reduce her role on the show, how will the writers cope? Will Juliet learn the truth about Shawn's lack of psychic abilities and leave Santa Barbara out of anger? Will Shawn try to win her back by becoming a "real" detective? There are some great dramatic possibilities should Lawson have to cut back on her "Psych" time.

Or there's the alternative: Lawson's pilot might amount to nothing; though with a big name like James Caan attached, that seems pretty unlikely. It's safe to say that most "Psych" fans are hoping that Lawson stays put at USA, so that the dramedy can carry on for a few more seasons. Who knows? As long as Lawson sticks around, the show could see 150 episodes in a few years.

View Comments