04/22/2013 08:36 pm ET Updated Apr 24, 2013

'Revenge' Showrunner Mike Kelley To Exit After Season 2

Kelley explained his exit in a statement: "In a difficult mutual decision between myself and ABC studios, the end of my current contract will mark my final season as showrunner for 'Revenge.' Helming this series has been the ride of a lifetime, and my producing partner, Melissa Loy, and I will look back on our 'Revenge' time with deep gratitude and respect for Emily [VanCamp] and Madeleine [Stowe] and the rest of the incredible cast, our heroic crew, the dedicated and imaginative producing and writing team, and the tireless post production department. I would also like to thank Paul Lee, his marketing team, and the creative executives at ABC and ABC studios for their profound support throughout this journey. I’m excited about finishing post production on the season two finale, which I hope will stand among the best episodes of the series thus far. Continued success to all.”

ABC Studios executive vice president, Barry Jossen, added, "Mike Kelley created a distinctive series for our studio and network with tremendous passion and dedication," said ABC Studios executive vp of creative and production Barry Jossen. "We wish him all the best as he moves on to his next television achievement.”

According to Deadline, no decisions have yet been made about Kelley's replacement, but executive producer Sunil Nayar is said to be the frontrunner.

Deadline also speculates that creative dissatisfaction could be the reason behind Kelley's exit, as the showrunner was always a proponent of shorter, cable-esque seasons for the densely-plotted drama, while "the pressure to churn out 22 episodes a season while maintaining the quality has taken a toll, sometime [sic] causing tension on the set and ultimately leading to Kelley’s decision to move on."

Although the Sunday night soap has yet to be renewed for Season 3, it's seen as a safe bet to return, having performed solidly in its sophomore season despite ratings dips and lukewarm critical reaction. What this means for the show's creative direction is yet to be seen.

For more, head over to THR and Deadline.

"Revenge" airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on ABC.

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