Chesapeake Shores is saying goodbye to its leading man.
Jesse Metcalfe will bow out of the beloved Hallmark drama during its forthcoming fifth season.
Deadline first reported the news.
“A new season of Hallmark Channel’s highly popular scripted series, Chesapeake Shores, is returning this summer. Jesse Metcalfe, who plays Trace Riley, has decided to leave the show. His character’s storyline will wrap up early in Season Five,” Hallmark Channel said in a statement to the outlet.
“Jesse is a valued member of the Crown Media family; we look forward to continuing to work with him on projects, including original movies on Hallmark Channel, as well as his Hallmark Movies & Mysteries’ movie series, Martha’s Vineyard Mysteries, the next installment of which premieres on May 16."
"In addition, we are currently in development on another movie in the series.”
The good news for longtime fans is that Trace, played by Metcalfe, will be getting an on-screen goodbye.
The actor is in Canada preparing to shoot his final scenes. It's unclear at this stage what led to the exit, but it's possible it was story-related.
The series is a Multi-generational family drama based on the novels of the same name by New York Times bestselling author Sherryl Woods (Trinity Harbor).
The series stars also stars Meghan Ory (Once Upon a Time), Golden Globe(R) nominee Treat Williams (Everwood, Hair), Academy Award(R) nominee Diane Ladd (Wild at Heart), Barbara Niven (Debbie Macomber's Cedar Cove), Laci J. Mailey (Falling Skies), Emilie Ullerup (Sanctuary), Brendan Penny (Motive), and Andrew Francis (Final Destination 3).
News of Metcalfe's exit is surprising, but the more surprising part is that it's been revealed ahead of transmission.
Wouldn't it have been better to keep it all under wraps and allow fans to experience the shocker as the episode airs?
Chesapeake Shores wrapped its truncated fourth season in September 2019, and with a premiere date for Season 5 yet to be set, there's a good chance the series will have been off the air for as much as two years before it returns.
Granted, the series should have returned last year, but COVID-19 scuppered the plans of most shows.
What are your thoughts on this shocking news?
Would you prefer if the news was kept under wraps?
Hit the comments below.
Remember, you can watch Chesapeake Shores online right here via TV Fanatic.
Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.