Why did Swamp People replace the cast? Fans, former cast deal with ongoing fallout

Swamp People cast 3

RELATED: Fired Swamp People cast vent at History Channel, then they’re asked to remove their comments

Swamp People Season Seven: Is History renewing the show after all?


Why was most of the Swamp People cast replaced without warning before Swamp People Season 7 began airing last week? That’s the question many of the show’s fans are asking, in light of Swamp People cast replacements brought about by a new production company that took charge of the show last year. Thanks to recent comments by former and current members of the Swamp People cast, though, we know that at least one of the old guard will be making something of a comeback this season–and that there’s a chance that the whole Swamp People cast could reunite for a Season 8.

Eight members of the Swamp People cast–including Gator Queen Liz Cavalier, Jessica Cavalier, and Willie and Junior Edwards–were released from Swamp People following a mysterious announcement from Original Media, the show’s new production company, which gave no warning to the fired cast save a terse e-mail. The cast vented its frustrations on social media, but the decision was not reversed. Last week, though, shortly before the Season 7 premiere, Jacob Landry took to Facebook and suggested that strong ratings might be enough to get the show renewed for another season, potentially featuring members of the old Swamp People cast.

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Original Media remains silent on the matter, so there’s still no official word on why the Swamp People cast was replaced at all. In addition, the show remains very popular ratings-wise; fans are mystified as to why the show is being canceled after Season 7 at all. At least one major petition to keep the Swamp People cast intact for the remainder of the season appears to be gathering slow steam–as of this writing, it’s got just short of 2,000 signatures, which is more than double the total it asked for. (You can sign the “Keep Swamp People cast petition here.)

It’s probably worth pointing out, though, that Original Media was involved in a labor dispute with the Swamp People writers just under a year ago, shortly before the Swamp People cast changes were decided upon. A New Orleans Times-Picayune article from April of 2015 details the charges the writers levvied against Original Media, among them that the company “failed to write checks for tens of thousands of dollars worth of overtime pay” and refused “to the bargaining table on various union issues.” That lawsuit, combined with long-standing rumors about the Swamp People cast demanding higher salaries, has lent credence to the theory that Original Media simply decided that the show had become more trouble than it was worth, and decided to wring one more season out of the participants before folding up the proverbial tent.

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While no one can say for sure if Swamp People cast demands played a part in the reorganization, a defensive Facebook post from Junior and Willie Edwards suggests that money was involved at some level:

I see a bunch of posts saying that a certain family was saying that we asked for more money and thats why we are not on…

Posted by Junior and Willie Edwards on Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Junior and Willie are perhaps the most active former Swamp People cast members on social media. They recently revealed a surprising spoiler about their own involvement in Swamp People Season 7:

Now that the first episode of the final season has aired we can tell you Willie will be in at least 1 episode. He only filmed a few days so dont expect much.

Posted by Junior and Willie Edwards on Monday, February 8, 2016

They’ve also been profuse with their thanks for the fans who’ve stuck by:

Thank you all for all of your comments.Yes we read all of them and try to reply to some of yall. I wish we could reply…

Posted by Junior and Willie Edwards on Monday, February 8, 2016



For now, you can still check out new episodes of Swamp People Monday nights at 9 PM EST on History.


(Photo credits: Swamp People cast via Facebook)

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  • Redheaded stranger

    I don’t like the “New” crew.. they’re playing Every drama card they can.. and it seems like the Landrys are the puppets! Smh.. I won’t be watching

  • LadyDivine71

    I want Liz back and Junior want to see the Texas boys back.

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      • LadyDivine71

        If your not commenting on the show then don’t comment

  • Kristine Tarrow

    We don’t need new people and we don’t need a new intro…miss the alligator paw…if it ain’t broke…don’t fix it

  • Lisa Cox Staker

    The old crew felt like family and we miss them and want them so we can see how they are doing. Please bring Liz and her daughter.

    • Robert Bolt

      Amen to Liz and Jessica!! They r my favorites

  • Patricia Vanderhoof

    That’s a bunch of BS. I always looked forward to Willie and his dad. Even his mom periodically. What a shame. Bet ratings go to heck

  • George Vuckovich

    I stopped watching along with a lot of other friends and family right after the firings were made public. The way the cast was let go was less than disgraceful. Also, this is the way the production company says thank you to all of you and me for being loyal fans. Not to mention making them millions of dollars. Pathetic!!!

  • Charles

    Still waiting to hear why the History Channel screwed up the cast. They keep a couple of criminals that attacked a man and put him in the hospital, and dump good hardworking people.