The CW has brought on former Smallville star Erica Durance to portray the integral character Alura Zor-El in Supergirl Season 3. Laura Benanti has portrayed Kara Zor-El's birth mother Alura since the first season, but the actress is also a popular Broadway performer, and now commitments to her stage work in New York have forced her to bow out of the role. Here's what executive producer Andrew Kreisberg had to say about Laura Benanti's sudden departure from Supergirl.

"Unfortunately Laura, who Greg and I have worked with for years going back to Eli Stone, was unable to continue in the role due to work commitments in New York. But we are so blessed that Erica has come aboard to offer her own interpretation of Kara's mother. We had tremendous success with a former Lois Lane last season with Teri Hatcher. We know Erica will continue the proud tradition of legacy actors joining our shows and creating new and exciting takes on classic DC characters."
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Many DC fans will remember Erica Durance from her six seasons playing Lois Lane on The CW's long-running Superman series Smallville. Ironically, Teri Hatcher, who played the villainous Rhea in Smallville Season 2, actually portrayed the mother of Erica Durance's Lois Lane character on Smallville, years after portraying Lois Lane herself on the hit series Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman. After Smallville went off the air in 2011, Erica Durance moved on to star in the hit Canadian TV drama series Saving Hope, which wrapped up its five-season run earlier this year. Variety reported the news on the casting switch earlier today.

This casting move also comes a few months after Odette Annable signed on to play the primary villain in Season 3, Reign. The CW renewed Supergirl for Season 3 back in January, during the TCA Winter Tour, along with the rest of the network's superhero lineup, Arrow, The Flash and DC's Legends of Tomorrow. The series is also undergoing quite a significant change behind-the-scenes as well, with Jessica Queller and Robert Rovner being named co-showrunners, serving alongside series co-creator Andrew Kreisberg. They came aboard to fill in for departing executive producer Ali Adler, who will remain on board as an executive consultant but will not be involved with the show beyond that. Ali Adler signed an overall deal with CBS Television Studios, under which, she will work on The CW's Dynasty.

Supergirl Season 3 will pick up after Kara Zor-El rid National City of Queen Rhea and her Daxamite army. While this was certainly a major win for Supergirl, it was also one that came at a significant cost, as Kara was forced to sacrifice her budding relationship with Mon-El. When season three returns with all-new supercharged adventures this fall on The CW, Kara and team will come up against a new threat in the form of DC Worldkiller, Reign. Supergirl will host a Comic-Con 2017 panel on Saturday, July 22 from 3:30 to 4:10 in Ballroom 20, where the cast and crew will answer fans' burning questions about this new season.