Arman's Future In The Cleaning Lady Explained by Producer Following Adan Canto's Death

By Klein Felt Posted:
Arman in Adan Canto in The Cleaning Lady

The showrunners behind Fox's The Cleaning Lady addressed longtime character Arman's absence from the series following the tragic passing of his actor, Adan Canto. 

The Cleaning Lady is currently in its third season on Fox, telling the story of an immigrant mother who - to save her terminally ill son - gets tied up with a criminal organization, secretly working as a cleaner for the nefarious organization. 

Within this crime syndicate's ranks, the titular cleaning lady crosses paths with Arman Morales (played by Adan Canto). 

Arman - and in turn, Canto - was a major part of the series. He does not appear in Season 3 as the actor was deep in a private battle with appendix cancer during production before succumbing to the disease in early 2024. 

[ Full Cast of The Cleaning Lady Season 3 - Every Main Character & Actor (Photos) ]

Arman's Cleaning Lady Future Explained

Arman in The Cleaning Lady

Speaking in the lead-up to the debut of Season 3, The Cleaning Lady showrunners Jeannine Renshaw and Miranda Kwok addressed the future of series regular Arman Morales following the death of Adan Canto - the actor who brought the character to life. 

In a conversation with EW, the pair called the circumstances "heartbreaking" while pointing to the "challenge" Canto's sudden passing poses them creatively. 

Kwok added, that while crafting Season 3, it was a point to "[honor] Adan as a human being and Arman as a character in the best way possible:"

"It was a real challenge for us, but more so it was so heartbreaking to lose Adan. We had to figure out how to craft a season based on the circumstances that honors Adan as a human being and Arman as a character in the best way possible. We had to pivot a few times this season. We started crafting the season before we knew anything about what was happening and we were planning on digging into Arman’s backstory and his family."

The creatives admitted that even with plans to dive deeper into Arman's family in Season 3, they forged onward without the actor, with the cast now going on an "emotional journey searching for him:"

"When we were first told that we may not have him [for the full season], we decided we still wanted to tell those stories and we wanted to leave an opening so he could come right back into the story. Unfortunately, when we lost him, we had to adjust. The search for Arman will continue for a little bit. We want to honor him, so Thony and Nadia will go on this emotional journey searching for him and what happens next is important to those characters and to the show."

Renshaw recalled working without knowing if Canto was going to come back or not, eventually finding out he was not and then pivoting to tell a story where the characters within the world are "not going to find him," and they can "honor the man and the character:"

"As the actors are performing the scenes, they’re all about, 'will he come back? Will they find him?' and that was actually our truth. I’ve never been in this situation and I don’t think any of us have. Suddenly, we’re into it and we do lose him, so now we know we’re not going to find him. So it was juggling all of that in a way that would honor the man and the character."

As for why the pair thought it was still fine to tell a story in Season 3 so focused on Arman even without his physical presence, Kwok said. "A way to honor Arman is exploring his past and the challenges he faced:"

"A way to honor Arman is exploring his past and the challenges he faced. When his father refused to let him be in crime and he chose that path, there was a split between them. We’re further exploring that dynamic with Ramona and Jorge."

On the death of Canto directly, Kwok told The Wrap, "It’s been a very, very challenging year," calling the actor's passing, "very devastating [for the team]:"

"It’s been a very, very challenging year. It's been very devastating and heartbreaking losing Adan through this process. He was such an important member of the show and also the family that is 'The Cleaning Lady.' So, it was a struggle dealing with that."

Renshaw posited that despite the uncertainty when creating Season 3, "[they] think [they have] made a beautiful season" that "honor[s] him in such a powerful and emotional way:"

"When you look at the season and the choices that we made, I think we’ve made a beautiful season that ended up being able to really honor him in such a powerful and emotional way, both as a character and as a human being. It didn’t start out that way. It started out as, hopefully, being able to embrace him when he came back."

The Cleaning Lady teams have already shared that Episode 1 of Season 3 (appropriately titled "Arman") will end with a tribute to the actor who brought Arman to life across the show's first two seasons. 

The Cleaning Lady Season 3 continues on Fox on Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET/ 5 p.m. PT.

- In This Article: The Cleaning Lady (Season 3)
Release Date
March 05, 2024
Cable TV
Adan Canto
Élodie Yung
- About The Author: Klein Felt
Klein Felt is a Senior Editor at The Direct. Joining the website back in 2020, he helped jumpstart video game content on The Direct. Klein plays a vital role as a part of the site's content team, demonstrating expertise in all things PlayStation, Marvel, and the greater entertainment industry.