Kristen Schaal to replace Mandy Moore in ABC pilot

The singer-actress voluntarily exited the role on Friday

Published March 12, 2013 10:02PM (EDT)

Kristen Schaal
Kristen Schaal

The "Daily Show" correspondent who first gained fame as stalker/fan-girl Mel in "Flight of the Conchords" will replace '90s teen idol Mandy Moore in ABC's pilot for "Pulling," reports Deadline.

Moore was originally cast to play Louise, one of three dysfunctional women in their 30s, alongside comedians Jenny Slate and June Diane Raphael. But Moore exited the pilot on Friday, with the producers saying, "As we moved closer to production, it was clear we needed to go in a different direction for the character, and Mandy agreed to do what was best for the show. She’s an immensely gifted actress and we hope to have the pleasure of working with her again.”

It's refreshing that producers opted to cast a female lead known for her humor and not her pop star appeal in a comedy (the A.V. Club describes the decision as "a bold new initiative in TV development called 'thinking about stuff first') -- which reminds us of something Schaal told Salon in 2010 about always being cast as "the dorky girl":

"It’s still exciting for me, though. I like that I stick out. I was watching 'Valentine’s Day' on the plane recently. I have a tiny part in that movie. I was watching all the women — Jessica Biel, and Emma Roberts, and Jennifer Garner and Julia Roberts. They are gorgeous women, and I don’t want to take anything away from them, but they all do have a very classical look, with a very thin nose. I’m watching this parade of these faces and then, boom, it was my face, and I was taken aback. I was like, “Oh, my nose is so big!” I have never in my life thought I had a big nose, but, well, there it was.

The first time I was on TV, on 'Flight of the Conchords,' someone put up a YouTube clip and said, 'You’re too ugly to be on TV.” And I was like, “That is exactly why it’s a good thing that I’m on TV.' "

By Prachi Gupta

Prachi Gupta is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on pop culture. Follow her on Twitter at @prachigu or email her at

MORE FROM Prachi Gupta

Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Abc Casting Kristen Schaal Mandy Moore Television