Netflix is again padding one of its shows with beloved new stars in the wake of sexual assault allegations against disgraced old ones. First, the streaming platform announced they’d be bringing in Diane Lane and Greg Kinnear to appear alongside the now-in-charge Robin Wright on House of Cards following Kevin Spacey’s ouster. Now, Dax Shepard has signed on to appear as a recurring guest in the second half of The Ranch‘s third season, a few months after the ongoing rape investigation against Danny Masterson prompted his firing from the show.
Sources told Deadline that Dax Shepard isn’t exactly a replacement for Masterson.
But we think having Shepard (and his signature charm) on set will be a nice beam of brightness after the situation with Masterson created such a dark cloud. Five women have accused Masterson of violently raping them in the early 2000s. The actor has denied all claims, but the LAPD opened an investigation into four of the accusations in 2016. Bobette Riales, Masterson’s ex, came forward as the fifth accuser in late 2017.
While Masterson played Ashton Kutcher’s character’s older brother Rooster on The Ranch (and also starred with him back on That ’70s Show), Shepard will play a former soldier named Luke Matthews who shows up at the ranch having some history with the place and what sounds like a mysterious past.
Luke apparently forms a quick bond with Colt (Kutcher) and his dad (Sam Elliott), and we can’t say we’re all that shocked.
That’s because Shepard and Kutcher are actually good buds in real life. Kutcher recently appeared as one of the first guests on Shepard’s new podcast, Armchair Expert. Between those recording sessions, this new gig on The Ranch, AND the Fox comedy pilot Shepard will be starring in with Lake Bell, Mr. Kristen Bell will have his hands full for sure.
Season 3 of The Ranch doesn’t have a premiere date at this point, but filming is set to pick back up again this year.