Janet Tamaro will step down as showrunner of "Rizzoli & Isles" at the end of season four, Variety has learned.
Tamaro, who decided to not renew her contract for season five, will remain on board the TNT crime procedural as a consulting producer for its fifth run. The final episodes of "Rizzoli & Isles'" fourth season are set to roll out on TNT early next year.
Tamaro, who developed "Rizzoli & Isles" from a series of novels by Tess Gerritsen, has spearheaded the series since its debut on TNT in 2010, serving as scribe, exec producer and showrunner. Her segue out of the day-to-day showrunning duties arrives after rumors in recent months of discord on the "Rizzoli & Isles" set.
A new showrunner has yet to be tapped for the series.
Presently, Tamaro is in talks with Warner Horizon TV, the studio behind "Rizzoli & Isles," for the potential development of TV projects. Tamaro has two new TV projects on her plate, and the scribe hopes to move beyond procedurals and into the serialized TV drama market with her new creative pursuits. Warner Horizon and Tamaro mutually hope to continue their relationship, and produce new content for TNT.
As she releases the reigns as showrunner, Tamaro is confident the Angie Harmon and Sasha Alexander-starrer is on solid grounding for season five.
"I did four seasons that I'm incredibly proud of, and the show is in great shape," Tamaro told Variety, noting the increase of roughly 1 million viewers for "Rizzoli" in its fourth run compared to its third. "It's been phenomenal, but I'm at the top of my game creatively and really want to use the juice I have to produce other projects...I do so love writing female characters, and I want to do more!"
Tamaro also cited the recent suicide death of "Rizzoli" cast member Lee Thompson Young as a factor in her new professional journey, stating that while Young's passing "was not the reason" for Tamaro stepping down as showrunner, "it was a catalyst for me to examine what I want to be doing next."
In addition to potential development with Warner Horizon, Tamaro has a deal in place with New Regency for a female-driven suspense thriller.
"It's very, very hard to leave. change is hard," Tamaro remarked. "I will miss the daily interaction with the cast and crew...It's time to let go of the safety bar, and do something challenging."
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