Janet Tamaro has announced she will step down as showrunner for crime procedural series Rizzoli and Isles. She will continue on in a consulting role for Season Five.
Tamaro developed the one-hour TNT drama based on a series of novels by Tess Gerritsen. She said she is "incredibly proud" of the work she's done in the first four seasons of the show and is leaving it in great shape. She told Variety that she is at the top of her game creatively and wants to keep that momentum going as she branches into other projects.
News of Tamaro's departure comes just on the heels of the production wrap of Season Four. The final four episodes of that season will air in January, 2014.
Rumors of changes have circulated in recent weeks. Production was halted following the August 19, 2013 suicide of 29 year-old cast member Lee Thompson Young.
Tamaro reveals that while Young's death was not the reason for her departure from Rizzoli and Isles, it played a role in the decision to move on: "It was a catalyst for me to examine what I want to be doing next."
Tamaro said she hopes to continue collaborating with Warner Horizon Television and TNT for future projects. She says they have "been a dream to work with."
No showrunner has been chosen to replace Tamaro.
Rizzoli and Isles was recently renewed for a 15-episode fifth season. The summer finale aired September 10, and the show's Twitter account is already talking up its January return.
— Rizzoli and Isles (@RizzoliIslesTNT) September 11, 2013
The series' titular roles are filled by Angie Harmon as homicide detective Jane Rizzoli and Sasha Alexander as forensic expert and Massachusetts state Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Maura Miles. Other cast members include Jordan Bridges, Bruce McGill, and Lorraine Bracco.