PBS: Fred Willard was fired to avoid 'distraction'

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Image Credit: David Livingston/Getty Images

At the Television Critics Association’s summer season press tour in Los Angeles, Paula Kerger, president and CEO of PBS, blamed a tight production schedule for the removal of Fred Willard, 78, as the narrator of the network’s Antiques Roadshow spin-off, Market Warriors. Since the show is currently taping, execs had to make a quick decision.

“We actually needed to move fast because we’re taping now,” said Kerger. “It’s a new series, and our concern really is that [Willard's] circumstance would become a distraction to the series, which we’re hoping will have an ongoing presence on public television.”

Antiques Roadshow host Mark Wahlberg will re-voice the Warriors episodes Willard had already taped, and the show will air Monday as scheduled.

As reported earlier today, Willard — who was arrested Wednesday night on suspicion of a lewd public act in an adult theater — will not face jail time.

Read more:
Ken Tucker: Shame on you, PBS, for firing Fred Willard #FreeFred
Fred Willard dropped from ‘Market Warriors’ following arrest

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