Demi Lovato Just Canceled Their Next Acting Gig, Opening the Door for Ariel Winter to Land Her Next TV Role on ‘Hungry’

The NBC pilot Hungry is still moving forward—only it will have to do it without star Demi Lovato. With Lovato dropping out due to scheduling conflicts, Ariel Winter of Modern Family fame is stepping up to replace the talented singer/actor as NBC reshoots the pilot. Although the future is still uncertain for the comedy, co-star Valerie Bertinelli is ecstatic that they’re getting another shot after NBC initially passed. Read on to see what’s happening behind the scenes with Hungry.

Demi Lovato in front of a white background
Demi Lovato | Emma McIntyre/Getty Images

Demi Lovato had to drop out after filming the first pilot

Although they’re not yet 30 years old, Lovato has already been around TV production sets for two full decades, dating back to their time on Barney & Friends. But after NBC initially passed on the first pilot of Hungry, Lovato didn’t have time to accommodate a reshoot, ultimately bowing out from starring in a retooled version of the pilot.

Though specific details about the scheduling conflicts are scarce, the 29-year-old singer/actor released their seventh studio album, Dancing with the Devil…the Art of Starting Over, in 2021 and is headed back on tour this summer. From Demi Lovato’s website, Lovato will play at the major music festival Rock in Rio in September, where they’ll headline alongside Post Malone, Justin Bieber, and Dua Lipa.

But Lovato will still have plenty of involvement in the prospective series. Despite no longer being the star, Lovato is still expected to serve as the executive producer of Hungry, according to Vulture. Now with Winter stepping into the role, the speed of recasting will also allow NBC to pivot and stay on track for a reshoot. After originally filming a one-camera pilot without a crowd, NBC is shifting gears to try Hungry with a multi-camera set up in front of a live audience.

Ariel Winter jumped in to play Valerie Bertinelli’s daughter

The show revolves around Teddy (Ariel Winter), a member of a food support group who is trying to balance friendships and love interests. After starring as Alex on the long-running hit series Modern Family, Winter has seen plenty of work in both TV and film. In addition to the upcoming Hungry pilot, Winter is currently filming the horror flick Don’t Log Off and recently wrapped on drama Pools.

Besides the switch from Lovato to Winter, the rest of the Hungry cast appears to be intact. Co-starring as Teddy’s mom will be Valerie Bertinelli, a veteran TV actor who starred in Hot in Cleveland alongside Betty White. After a long stretch hosting shows on the Food Network, Bertinelli was very excited about doing scripted TV for the first time since 2015. As detailed by TV Insider, Bertinelli is especially happy to be doing the reshoot in front of a live audience and is optimistic about its chances of being picked up and turned into a series.

Also set to star in the pilot are both Ryan McPartlin and writer/actor Anna Akana. While Ryan McPartlin is mostly known for starring next to Jessica Alba and Gabrielle Union in L.A.’s Finest, Akana was a staple of the animated hit show Big City Greens and will be in a series of upcoming films. Rounding out the cast are comedian Gabriel Iglesias, Ashley D. Kelley (Insatiable), and Rory O’Malley (Partners, Central Park).

Now what for the ‘Hungry’ pilot?

You never know what’s going to happen with a pilot, but Hungry is getting retooled by long-time TV veterans behind some of the biggest hits of all time. Hungry is mainly backed by Emmy-winning writer/producer Suzanne Martin, who is famous for writing episodes of Frasier, Ellen, and Will & Grace. She also created Hot in Cleveland, where she first teamed up with Bertinelli.

In the director’s chair, Dean Holland won an Emmy for directing an episode of The Office and was a producer of Parks and Recreation. The other director on board is James Burrows, the legendary co-creator of Cheers who directed every single episode of Will & Grace. Fittingly, Burrows also directed both the unaired pilot for The Big Bang Theory and the one that was ultimately picked up.

With major talent in front of and behind the camera, Hungry still has plenty of life left after Lovato’s departure.

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