Amanda Righetti and her onscreen love interest, Owen Yeoman, are reportedly leaving the show toward the end of season 6, which premieres in September.
Though the show’s producers haven’t confirmed the rumor, series creator Bruno Heller did talk a bit about a new female character who will be introduced in 2014.
“Up until now, they’ve been tied by this professional dynamic and this mission they’re on,” Heller said of the popular characters. “And that held their personal relationship in suspense. Once the Red John saga is done, how do they find a new way to relate to each other? The chemistry has always been there bubbling up. But he now has other priorities and other agendas and other pressures. When you’re as good a detective as Jane is, it’s very hard to walk away even when you want to walk away. Some people wont let Jane walk away from what he’s so good at. And our new female lead has something to do with that.”
Heller also spoke about the Red John situation, saying that it will force the characters to evaluate themselves a little more.
“They’ve always been in love with each other,” he said of Grace Van Pelt and Wayne Rigsby. “As we get closer to Red John, all of the team members will start thinking about their major life decisions. That applies to both Lisbon [Robin Tunney’s character] and Grace. They haven’t been able to look to their own feelings. As the show rolls on, those feelings will come to the fore.”
Righetti hasn’t commented on the rumor; the new season starts on September 29 at 10 p.m.