There are many reasons why the American Housewife producers may have chosen to recast Taylor Otto after the pilot episode.
The Otto family, and their closest friends are what gives American Housewife its spark, but this cast of characters has changed a bit over the years.
The actress who played Taylor Otto was recast after the pilot episode aired, but the show never provided an official reason as to why.
All about the Otto family from American Housewife
Beloved sitcoms like American Housewife would be nothing without their witty and charismatic casts.
And although Katy Mixon, who plays the show’s lead Kate “Katie” Otto carries most of the show’s comedic weight, there is no doubt that American Housewife would simply not be the same without the presence of the other recurring cast members.
This includes Katie’s husband, Greg Otto (who is portrayed by Diedrich Bader), and their three children Taylor Otto (who is the teenage daughter), Oliver Otto (who is the teenage son) and Anna-Kat Otto (who is the youngest child and Katie’s admitted favorite).
It also includes Katie’s two best friends Doris and Angela, who are played by Ali Wong and Carly Hughes respectively.
The real reason why Taylor was replaced on American Housewife
The very first season of American Housewife started airing in October 2016. But as every television buff will tell you, before any show can be picked up for a full season – it needs to film a pilot episode.
This pilot episode is supposed to give the television executives at the network and audiences a taste of what this new series is about.
However, since the pilot episode is only meant to give some insight as to how a television concept could be brought to life, the details of this episode are never quite set in stone.
This is why, although it may seem jarring when you are watching the show for the first time, it is not actually all that strange that the character of Taylor Otto, who was played by Johnny Sequoyah in the pilot episode, was recast to be portrayed by Meg Donnelly for the second episode and the rest of the series.
The American Housewife producers never provided any official reason for why this recasting happened, so it is very likely that the decision came down to something as simple as Sequoyah not being right for the role, or Donnelly not being available to film the pilot.
Sequoyah was also involved in the “Albion: The Enchanted Stallion” film which premiered in 2016, so a scheduling conflict could also have spurred on this change.
American Housewife would not be the first show to recast a character from the pilot
In the old days, before streaming and binge-watching shows became an everyday occurrence most viewers would not even be able to notice the small changes between a show’s pilot episode and the rest of the series.
This is why so-called casting shifts, whereby actors are replaced after a pilot episode, are so common.
Other well-known shows that have done the same thing include 30 Rock (which swapped Rachel Dratch for Jane Krakowski in the role of Jenna Maroney), Gilmore Girls (where Sookie St. James’s role was handed from Alex Borstein to Melissa McCarthy) and even Star Trek (in which Christopher Pike was first played by Jeffrey Hunter and then by Majel Barrett).
Other places you may recognize Meg Donnelly from
There is no denying that Meg Donnelly took the role of Taylor Otto and ran with it all throughout American Housewife’s five seasons.
However, Donnelly had quite a successful acting career even before she signed on for American Housewife in 2016, with roles in “Celebrity Ghost Stories”, “Team Toon” and “What Would You Do?”.
But she is most well-known for her starring role in the Disney Channel Original Movie franchise, Zombies.
Johnny Sequoyah is not the only actor to leave American Housewife
Sequoyah was not the only actor who ended up leaving the series before its finale.
Julia Butters, who played Anna-Kat, the Otto family’s youngest daughter, also left the show at the end of its fourth season and was then replaced by Giselle Eisenberg for the final season.
Unlike with Sequoyah’s split from the show, Butters’s departure did not go unexplained.
The American Housewife producers actually granted Butters’s request to leave the show before its fifth season, so that she could take a role in the 2019 Quentin Tarantino’s film Once Upon a Time… In Hollywood.
Carly Hughes, who played Angela, left the show around the same time in order to protect herself from the alleged “discrimination” and “toxic environment” that she had experienced on the set.