Ashlee Simpson-Wentz & Colin Egglesfield Moving Out of Melrose Place

10/22/2009 at 12:00 AM EDT

Ashlee Simpson-Wentz & Colin Egglesfield Moving Out of Melrose Place
Patrick Wymore/The CW

Ashlee Simpson-Wentz is moving out of Melrose Place … the actress and her costar Colin Egglesfield have been cut from the CW drama, Entertainment Weekly reports.

The decision to cut the two actors has been "the original plan going into the development of the show," executive producer Todd Slavkin tells EW. "We felt that once the murder mystery involving their characters was resolved, the tone of the show was going to shift … and Simpson-Wentz's character would move on."

In a statement released after the announcement, Simpson-Wentz said, "Having the chance to play Violet on Melrose Place has been a thrill. Although I always knew her story would come to a final, insanely unpredictable end, playing a creepy, unstable character was something I always wanted to do, so I jumped at the chance. Thanks to the CW and the entire cast and crew of Melrose Place for allowing me this opportunity."

The actors' departure comes just a few weeks after original Melrose alum Heather Locklear began filming scenes for upcoming episodes.

Simpson-Wentz and Egglesfield took the news "like professionals," says Slavkin. "Because they knew ahead of time that leaving was a possibility, it wasn't a complete shock."

But fans shouldn't worry about Locklear's fate. Executive producer Darren Swimmer reveals her character will have a new love interest for at least three episodes. Adds Slavkin, "Locklear is in every episode moving forward. She's a major focus of the show.

A rep for CW was not immediately available for comment. --Eunice Oh

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Patrick Wymore/The CW

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