CBS’s long running sitcom Mom is returning to television tonight and there will be a glaring absence. This summer, one of the show’s leading lady’s, Anna Faris (The House Bunny), announced she wouldn’t be coming back for season eight. The showrunner of Mom, Gemma Baker (Two and a Half Men), gave an interview to Entertainment Weekly to discuss what’s changed and what to expect ahead of tonight’s season eight premiere.
Mom tells the story of an extremely dysfunctional mother-daughter relationship. Allison Janney (I,Tonya) portrays Bonnie and Faris portrayed her daughter Christy for seven seasons. They are both recovering addicts, seeking treatment at alcoholics anonymous while dealing with personal struggles.
Faris announced this past September she would not be returning to play single mother Christy in the upcoming season. She instead stated she planned to continue on to further endeavors within the entertainment industry and that there was no bad blood between her and the Mom family.
Showrunner of Mom, Baker, told Entertainment Weekly how they dealt with Faris’ Christy leaving. On deciding how to write Faris off of the show, Baker said: “Although our show has killed characters off in the past, we never considered this as an option for Christy. Our audience has been rooting for her for seven seasons and that loss felt like it would be too devastating for them and for our other characters. It was important to us that Christy moved on to bigger things. Quite often when people are in recovery their lives get bigger in ways they couldn’t before have imagined. And so that will be the case for Christy. She has been working toward her dreams for a while now and we feel like the audience will be happy for her. The character of Christy will live on and we will continue to get updates on what she is up to and how her moving on will affect Bonnie.”
As the series has grown, it has become more of an ensemble show rather than just focusing on Bonnie and Christy’s relationship. In regards to where other storylines are headed, Baker told Entertainment Weekly: “We‘re going to meet an interesting man from Bonnie’s past. And there will be a visit from a beloved character. We will see Bonnie and Adam (Adam Fichtner), who are riding high on being happily married, give relationship advice to Jill (Jaime Pressly) and Andy (Will Sasso) with mixed results. Tammy (Kristen Johnston) will start to have some success which will cause some tension. Marjorie (Mimi Kennedy) will fall for a man that the other women are not so excited about. Wendy (Beth Hall) will surprise the group with a choice she makes.”
Baker also confirmed to Entertainment Weekly that they would not be including the current pandemic into season eight. Mom will be premiering tonight on CBS at 9 p.m. ET.