Maggie Lawson Watch: Does 'Back in the Game' Affect New 'Psych' Episodes?

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This TV publicity image released by ABC shows Maggie lawson, left, and James Caan, right, in a scene from the new series "Back in the Game," premiering this fall.  (AP Photo/ABC, Randy Holmes)
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This TV publicity image released by ABC shows Maggie lawson, left, and James Caan, right, in a scene from the new series "Back in the Game," premiering this fall. (AP Photo/ABC, Randy Holmes)

"Psych" fans, we have good news and bad news. The good news is that USA recently ordered five additional scripts for "Psych" Season 8. This brings the total number of episodes in the season from eight to 13.

The bad news? Maggie Lawson's new deal at ABC might ensure that those extra episodes never actually get produced.

Lawson's pilot "Back in the Game" has been picked up for the 2013-2014 TV season on ABC. But Season 8 of "Psych" is set to premiere some time in 2014, making Lawson's schedule seem a bit overcrowded. With an unexpected order for new scripts, will Lawson be able to find the time to play Juliet in these new "Psych" episodes?

There are a couple of ways that "Psych" could produce new episodes and get around the suspected "Juliet problem." One possibility is that the Juliet character could get a reduced role. If the character got pregnant and was restricted to bed rest, the show could get away with featuring one short scene with Juliet per episode. That could actually be interesting from a narrative standpoint. A pregnant, bed-ridden Juliet would struggle with being forced to take time off from her job, while the pregnancy would encourage Shawn to mature.

Another possibility for these new "Psych" scripts is that one of them may be the "remake" episode. It was recently announced that Season 8 will feature a remade, re-shot version of an older episode. Details are scarce, but it is possible that this "remake" episode could even be shot with a different cast. If Lawson can't make the filming dates due to scheduling conflicts, the show could cast someone else in the role for that episode as a tongue-in-cheek joke about the situation.

There's another way "Psych" could get its Juliet back. "Back in the Game" could get canceled due to low ratings, freeing up Lawson's schedule. It would be sad news for Lawson, but good news for "Psych" fans.

Then again, scheduling could be a non-issue. The "Psych" premiere date is after the "Back in the Game" premiere, after all. In addition, "Back in the Game" might film more quickly than an average "Psych" episode. "Back in the Game" is a half-hour sitcom, while "Psych" is an hour-long dramedy that changes locations from week to week.

The good news is that with both "Psych" and "Back in the Game" set to air on Wednesday nights, some nights in 2014 might feature a double dose of Lawson. "Psych" fans are just hoping that Lawson's new gig won't keep the newly ordered Season 8 scripts from being produced.

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