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AmyWho-berman; STAR GETS AXE FROM SITCOM BECAUSE SHE'S NOT FAMOUS ENOUGH FOR U.S. VIEWERS.

Byline: SAM HAMILTON

AMY Huberman missed out on a EUR1.3million wage from her US sitcom because she wasn't famous enough for American audiences, we can reveal.

The actress, 33, played the female lead in a pilot episode for NBC's new comedy Animal Practice earlier in the year.

But Irish rugby star It's Brian O'Driscoll's wife was left reeling when her US dream came crashing down when it emerged the series was going ahead without her in it.

Now American TV insiders have revealed the beauty would have taken home $125,000 for each episode, just under EUR100,000.

And after all 13-episodes are filmed, US sources believe this would have left Amy with a sevenfigure pay cheque of $1,625,000 - or EUR1.3million.

A source said: "In Animal Practice, Amy was supposed to play the female lead in the show, and would mean she'd instantly get a contract with a huge figure on it.

"It's generally accepted in Hollywood lead performers in new major network series are paid $125,000 for each episode if you're an unestablished actor like Amy. This is an established rule.

"Obviously, bigger names like Ashton Kutcher and Kiefer Sutherland are always going to get bigger pay cheques for Two And A Half Men and 24.

"But if a second series of Animal Practice had been commissioned by NBC, Amy would have seen the amount she was taking home rise. That'd be the point you can ask for a lot more."

The NBC series follows the life of an eccentric and wacky vet who loves the pets coming into his surgery but hates their owners.

Before being cut from the show, Amy had been lined up to star alongside Golden Globe nominee Justin Kirk who previously had roles in Modern Family and comedy drama Weeds.

But now TV producers are beginning to work on recasting the role - after deciding they weren't happy with Amy's performance on the pilot.

And telly insiders also revealed the network is likely to have wanted to bag someone who was more well known in America, believing Amy was too much of a gamble.

A source added: "These things happen on a number of programmes in the US each season.

"Before a show is picked up, network executives would look over the way all the characters are played and the bigger the role the more they would pay attention.

"It seems as if they just weren't happy with Amy and didn't think her performance was good enough.

"Doing an American series isn't easy, it isn't a walk in the park like she might have been used to over in Ireland.

"It's also likely telly bosses made the decision in a bid to bring in someone else more known to US audiences, as they seem to be highly pushing the show in their upcoming schedule."

Bosses will be in the process of sending out a notice to casting agencies and are also likely to be inviting a number of famous faces to audition for the role now.

Casting director Lisa Miller Katz is believed to be working on finding the new actress, and has previously worked on series including Everybody Loves Raymond and The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.

However, it is unlikely a replacement for the former Clinic star will be announced for a number of weeks as studio executives ponder their decision.

They are hoping Animal Practice will be one of their big new comedy shows later in the year, and have also given the thumbs up for four other comedy series that will run alongside the series.

Devastated Amy discovered the shocking news on Tuesday night after initially being informed she was in the show - before being called and told she wasn't in it.

At the time, she said: "Thanks so o much for all the lovely well wishes about the pilot guys. But I was only contracted for the pilot and I won't be doing the series."

But friends have insisted Amy won't let the news get her down - and will refuse to give up on her American dream.

A pal said: "At the moment she's working away on Threesome, and will keep beavering away on that.

"However, after the Comedy Central show is finished, Amy will definitely head back to the US and give it another shot.

"Now it is all about Threesome, and then all about heading to Twickenham to support husband Brian O'Driscoll in the Leinster final. Life is going on for Amy."

Last night a spokesman for Amy told the Irish Daily Mirror the star wouldn't be speaking publicly and was concentrating fully on her work.

BOD'S HEARTACHE

HEARTBROKEN Brian O'Driscoll has insisted actress wife Amy Huberman will bounce back after being axed from her US sitcom.

The Irish rugby star admitted he was disappointed Amy was dumped from new NBC show Animal Kingdom after playing the female lead in the pilot episode earlier this year.

But the 33-year-old told the Irish Daily Mirror that his talented wife has great things ahead of her and will bounce back to break the States in the future. He said: "I am of course disappointed about Amy's news.

"But I know that my wife is involved in a highly popular second series, which will hopefully be as good as the first one in Threesome at the moment.

"So fingers crossed that will soften the disappointment of Los Angeles. And in the future I feel she could break the US.

"She's massively talented and I think she's got huge drive and desire, so they're some good combinations to have if you are going to crack it."

Actress Amy took to Twitter last night to say the setback was something she was prepared for.

She wrote: "Peeps this is a reality of 'pilot season'; this was always a possibility; the chopping and changing, one that happens a lot over there which I was completely aware of from day one so I am totally fine and you are all lovely, onwardspeople!!"

Top actors who failed to land role

HUGE numbers of actors have been through Amy's disappointment and failed to get a top TV role.

For every part, hundreds are normally considered. Many famous names in the States have missed out on roles, including:

LISA Kudrow who tried out for a part in Cheers, but was turned down by bosses before landing her slot on Friends.

JOHN Slattery was initially disappointed after trying out for the role of Don Draper on Mad Men - before being called back months later and asked to play Roger Sterling.

ADAM Baldwin who was raging after being struck off the list of actors producers were considering to play Agent John Doggett in the X Files.

JOHN Malkovich who didn't get past the pilot stage of CSI when he went for an audition to play William Peterson on the hit crime drama.

AARON Paul who tried out to play Francis on Malcolm In The Middle but later went on to hit the big time with Breaking Bad.

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HIT COMEDY Amy in Threesome OVERLOOKED Lisa Kudrow FLOPPED John Malkovich STORY Irish Daily Mirror TELLY SETBACK Actress Amy Huberman UPBEAT Brian O'Driscoll last night
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:May 10, 2012
Words:1198
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