Rizzoli & Isles has officially stopped production following today’s announcement that co-star Lee Thompson Young had died in an apparent suicide.
Deadline reports that the hit TNT cop drama has halted production for the day, and that producers are currently deciding whether or not to go on a hiatus or resume tomorrow.
“Everyone at Rizzoli & Isles is devastated by the news of the passing of Lee Thompson Young,” said executive producer Janet Tamaro in a statement.
“We are beyond heartbroken at the loss of this sweet, gentle, good-hearted, intelligent man. He was truly a member of our family. Lee will be cherished and remembered by all who knew and loved him, both on- and offscreen, for his positive energy, infectious smile and soulful grace. We send our deepest condolences and thoughts to his family, to his friends and, most especially, to his beloved mother.”
Network bosses may grant a short hiatus so that the cast and crew can mourn Young’s death, and logistically, the writers will need to figure out how to tastefully write his character out of the show.
Young is perhaps best known for appearing on the Disney program The Famous Jett Jackson between 1998 and 2001, and has played homicide detective Barry Frost on Rizzoli & Isles since the show’s first season. Young failed to show up on set for work this morning, and his body was later found in his apartment.
Young’s long-time manager Jonathan Baruch said that the 29-year-old committed suicide in a statement today.
“Lee was more than just a brilliant young actor, he was a wonderful and gentle soul who will be truly missed. We ask that you please respect the privacy of his family and friends as this very difficult time,” he said.
Rizzoli & Isles isn’t the only popular program dealing with the loss of a beloved cast member. The Fox musical comedy series Glee is also trying to pick up the pieces following the tragic death of star Cory Monteith in July. Showrunners for the popular program will dedicate the third episode of Season 5 to the late actor and then go on a hiatus to plan the future of the show.