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Giancarlo Esposito Takes Over for Late Andre Braugher in Shondaland’s ‘The Residence’

Giancarlo Esposito is taking over the male lead in Netflix’s Shondaland drama The Residence following the passing of Andre Braugher.

Braugher, who died Dec. 11 following a battle with lung cancer, was tapped last February to be the male lead on Netflix’s Shonda Rhimes drama The Residence, starring opposite Uzo Aduba. The White House murder-mystery started production before shutting down amid Hollywood’s dual strikes. Braugher had already completed filming a lot of his scenes on the series, which was scheduled to resume filming last month January. Esposito’s casting means the scenes Braugher had filmed will be reshot on the drama from showrunner Paul William Davies (Scandal), which has continued production amid the recasting.

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Here’s the official logline for The Residence, per Netflix: “132 rooms. 157 suspects. One dead body. One wildly eccentric detective. One disastrous State Dinner. The Residence is a screwball whodunnit set in the upstairs, downstairs and backstairs of the White House, among the eclectic staff of the world’s most famous mansion.” The drama uses Kate Andersen Brower’s book, The Residence: Inside the Private World of the White House, as a jumping-off point to tell a new murder-mystery story.

Esposito steps into the role of White House chief usher A.B. Wynter and joins a cast that includes Aduba, Susan Kelechi Watson, Jason Lee, Ken Marino, Edwina Findley, Molly Griggs, Al Mitchell, Dan Perrault, Bronson Pinchot Isiah Whitlock Jr. and Mary Wiseman. Also joining the cast are Al Franken as a senator, Andrew Friedman as director of the national park police and Julian McMahon as the prime minister of Australia.

Davies, who previously teamed with Shondaland on ABC’s Scandal and For the People, serves as showrunner and exec produces alongside Rhimes and Shondaland’s Betsy Beers. The eight-episode series stems from Shondaland’s overall deal with Netflix as well as Davies’ pact with the streamer.

Esposito’s credits include Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul for AMC, where he next stars in Parish. Esposito previously followed Braugher on Homicide: Life on the Street in its final season after the latter departed.

“I couldn’t be prouder and more honored to be stepping into Shondaland’s The Residence for someone that I loved and respected and cherished in Andre Braugher,” Esposito said in a statement announcing the casting. “To be afforded the opportunity to create in his honor with this incredible team extends the depth and breadth of his legacy through all of us who loved him so dearly.”

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