Rizzoli & Isles Showrunner Steps Down, Says Decision Was Difficult

Rizzoli & Isles has suffered yet another major blow this year.

Showrunner Janet Tamaro, who has overseen the TNT police procedural since its debut in 2010, has decided to step down at the end of the current fourth season, according to The Wrap.

The remaining four episodes of Season 4 will air in 2014, and Season 5 will premiere later that year. Rizzoli & Isles bosses have not yet named a new showrunner, but Tamaro will stay on as a consultant.

Tamaro’s seemingly sudden decision doesn’t seem to have anything to do with the death of actor Lee Thompson Young earlier this year. Young, a series regular, was scheduled to return for Season 5 when he tragically committed suicide last month.

According to Tamaro herself, the decision to leave is just a matter of pursuing other opportunities.

“This is what we all dream of getting to do,” she told The Hollywood Reporter. “And I got to do it for four phenomenal seasons.”

Tamaro continued:

“I’m at the top of my game, thanks in large part, to this unbelievable experience and show. It’s time to challenge myself and develop new projects. TNT and Warner Horizon have been a dream to work with, and I look forward to doing it again. The heartache for me will be leaving the day-to-day working relationship with an incredible cast and crew.”

Despite recent shake-ups and the tragedy of Young’s suicide, Rizzoli & Isles still sits comfortably at the top of TNT’s ratings ladder. The show has averaged 8.4 million viewers in Live+7 ratings this season, which is up 6 percent from last year, with 2.9 million among adults 25-54 and 2.3 million among adults 18-49.