'FBI: Most Wanted' Star Julian McMahon's Dramatic Exit Explained by Showrunner

FBI: Most Wanted star Julian McMahon has officially exited the hit CBS drama, and now series showrunner David Hudgins has explained more about the big exodus. Speaking to Deadline, Hudgins discussed the big change and dished on what went into crafting McMahon's final episode. Note: Spoilers below for Tuesday's episode of FBI: Most Wanted.

During the heartbreaking episode, McMahon's character was killed in a shootout. Regarding why this was the direction Hudgins and the other writers and producers chose to take, the show boss explained, "As producers, we knew a while ago that Julian wanted to pursue other creative pursuits. So I got in the room with a writer early on, and we started talking about how Jess would leave the show. We spent a lot of time on it, honestly, exploring every option. Everything was on the table. Ultimately, in the writers room, we kept coming back to this notion that the premise of this show is Most Wanted – we're chasing the worst of the worst, the most dangerous of the dangerous."

He continued, "Inherently in that line of work, is the constant risk that you can either get injured or killed in the line of duty. And we just decided that true to the premise of the show, this was what was going to happen to Jess- he gets killed in the line of duty. But we also wanted to do it in a way where it was heroic, which is why he dies while trying to save [Lucy]. It's shocking, it's tragic. It's emotional. It's dramatic. And it was the best story we could do for the exit of this character."

Since the debut season of FBI: Most Wanted, McMahon has played Jesse "Jess" LaCroix, an FBI Supervisory Special Agent and Team Leader of the Fugitive Task Force. He recently announced that he'd be exiting the show by issuing a statement to Deadline. "Over the past few months, the producers of FBI: Most Wanted and I have had discussions about my departure from the show in favor of additional creative pursuits and the transition of my character Jess LaCroix," McMahon said. "These ongoing conversations have given us an opportunity to orchestrate a seamless and productive way for me to leave the show."

Notably, Dylan McDermott has been chosen as McMahon's replacement and will make his debut soon. Most recently, McDermott has been staring as the villainous Richard Wheatley on Law and Order: Organized Crime, alongside Christopher Meloni. Deadline notes that he is scheduled to make his series debut in April.