Bad news for fans of the cozy romance series Chesapeake Shores. Lead star Jesse Metcalfe is exiting the Hallmark Channel series in the upcoming fifth season. Deadline broke the news that Metcalfe was leaving while assuring Hallmark viewers that he wasn't completely breaking his partnership with the media creator.
"A new season of Hallmark Channel's highly popular scripted series Chesapeake Shores is returning this summer. Jesse Metcalfe, who plays Trace Riley, has decided to leave the show," a rep told Deadline. "His character's storyline will wrap up early in Season 5. Jesse is a valued member of the Crown Media family; we look forward to continuing to work with him on projects, including original movies on Hallmark Channel, as well as his Hallmark Movies & Mysteries movie series, Martha's Vineyard Mysteries, the next installment of which premieres on May 16. In addition, we are currently in development on another movie in the series."
Metcalfe starred opposite Meghan Ory in the smalltown series that focuses on Ory's Abby O'Brien as she returns to her hometown to live closer to family and her old flame Trace (Metcalfe). Metcalfe is currently in Canada filming his character's exit for the early episodes of the 10-episode season. It is not confirmed how he will be written off the show or how much of the season he will be a part of.
Metcalfe told Variety in 2020 that he was hoping to have a second act for his career, which reached its peak with 2006's John Tucker Must Die. "In hindsight, I realized I should have been more strategic," he explained. "I was so hungry coming off Desperate Housewives and getting John Tucker Must Die; I think I jumped too quickly at a lot of roles after that. It's really about patience. At the end of the day, it's a marathon, not a sprint."
"I'm definitely hopeful for my second act, much like, maybe, John Travolta in Pulp Fiction — for the right role in the right project that is going to reinvigorate my career and bring more quality roles to me," he continued. "I'm interested in so many different things. I want to produce. I want to direct. I want to play music. I want to do it all. But I think my directorial debut is imminent."
Metcalfe competed on Dancing with the Stars in Season 29 and was eliminated fourth. He spoke to PopCulture this past month, revealing how he's "not afraid to admit" he's a sucker for a romantic comedy. "I'm a huge romantic comedy fan. I mean, I love playing in romantic comedies," he said. "I love acting in romantic comedies, but I also love watching them. You know, my favorite romantic comedy is definitely The Notebook."
Considering the actor's partnership with Hallmark, it's good to know that he's a fan of the genre. "I'm not afraid to sit down and enjoy a romantic movie or romantic comedy with my significant other and maybe even have a good cry. What's wrong with that? It's okay; it's okay."