Ashlee Simpson‘s return to TV acting was short-lived, as it’s been announced today that Jessica‘s kid sis won’t be living at Melrose Place after a few more episodes.
In an interview on EW.com, Melrose executive producers Todd Slavkin and Darren Swimmer confirm that both Ashlee and co-star Colin Egglesfield will be packing up and leaving the struggling CW reboot of the ’90s hit.
Slavkin explains that the “Who Killed Sydney?” storyline is — as planned — drawing to a close and, “we always knew that [Ashlee’s] character of Violet would be instrumental in that as a suspect, and [Colin’s character of] Augie as well. And once that murder mystery was solved, she would go on her way. That was the original plan going into the development of the show.”
He also says that once the mystery is resolved, the tone of Melrose Place is “going to shift into a much more fun, romantic, sexy upbeat kind of show.”
PHOTOS OF ASHLEE ON THE MELROSE SET:
Both producers artfully dodge the question of whether or not Ashlee’s character would have been kept if audiences had connected with her more. “You never know when you go along,” says Slavkin. “But in the end, we felt like it was right [decision].” While Swimmer gets philosophical: “The nature of soaps is that as things progress along, the story takes on a life of its own and the characters come and go in relation to that.”
Both Ashlee and Colin apparently took the news of their ouster like adults, says Slavkin. “They’re total professionals and they took it like professionals,” he explains. Because they knew ahead of time [that leaving was a possibility], it wasn’t a complete shock.”