What Else Is 'Bad Judge's Ryan Hansen In? 'Veronica Mars' Isn't his Only Beloved Series
When Bad Judge premieres on NBC this Thursday night, most of the focus will be on whether or not star Kate Walsh can successfully and convincingly transition from playing a world-class surgeon in pink scrubs to a major partier in legal robes. But while NBC was busy advertising the heck out of Walsh's Rebecca Wright and her wild-child ways, they forgot to let us know about one key ingredient: comedy genius Ryan Hansen has a supporting role on Bad Judge as Gary Boyd, a psychiatric and expert witness who occasionally sleeps with the very bad judge.
Hansen's appearance in the legal comedy will probably come as a surprise to most viewers, since he was featured in precisely zero of the promos. There's actually a very good reason for that: he was actually the second actor to play Gary. Mather Zickel (Masters Of Sex) originally played Rebecca's hookup buddy, but departed after the pilot was filmed for "creative reasons."
Right about now, diehard Veronica Mars fans will likely be freaking out about Hansen's involvement with the show. Everyone else is probably thinking, "Who is this guy?" And that's OK. While Hansen has had huge success in the cult comedy world, he hasn't quite broken into the mainstream yet. So here's your crash course in why you should absolutely know who "this guy" is.
Hansen first garnered attention in 2004 in Season 1 of The CW's (then UPN) high school crime series as Dick Casablancas. Series creator Rob Thomas told Vulture that Hansen got the part because "we liked his look," and the rest is history. He was upped to a series regular for the second and third seasons (after which the show was cancelled), was brought back for the 2014 Kickstarter-funded feature film, and his character became so popular that he's now the star of his own Mars webseries called Play It Again, Dick . The spinoff focuses on Hansen, playing a version of himself, trying to capitalize on Mars' success in order to launch his own series. (Meta much?) You can watch the first three episodes online now.
After the CW prematurely cancelled Mars, Hansen used his popularity on that show to help land him his next major gig: another role on a short-lived cult-favorite comedy, Starz's Party Down . He starred as Kyle, a vain model and wannabe actor doing catering while waiting for his big break. That show placed him right alongside such past and future heavyweights as Adam Scott (Parks And Recreation), Lizzy Caplan (Masters Of Sex), Ken Marino (NBC's upcoming Marry Me), Jane Lynch (Glee), and Megan Mullally (Will & Grace). Party Down was also prematurely cancelled in 2010 after only two seasons, although rumblings of a movie version have persisted for the past several years.
Friends With Benefits
Next up, Hansen tried his hand at headlining his own sitcom, about a group of close friends living in Chicago. Unfortunately, things were bumpy right out of the gate: originally scheduled as an NBC midseason replacement for spring 2011, the show was pushed back and burnt off over the summer, and then yanked off the air unceremoniously with only one episode left (although all 13 episodes can be streamed on Netflix).
Hansen briefly reunited with several of his former costars (Marino and Scott from Party Down and Veronica Mars herself, Kristen Bell) for Yahoo's hilarious Bachelor parody webseries, where he played a "cowboy waiter" named Blaze.
Bad Teacher (2014)
His upcoming NBC sitcom isn't Hansen's first experience with a Bad show. Just last season he starred on CBS's adaptation of the Cameron Diaz movie Bad Teacher. Hansen played the Jason Segel role of the gym teacher who falls for Ari Graynor's titular terrible tutor. (Say that three times fast.) Alas, the show was cancelled after three episodes and the remainder of the first season was burned off over the summer. Will Bad Judge be Hansen's first show to truly stick?