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'NYPD' blue, again: Rick Schroder leaving show

Rick Schroder  

(CNN) -- Rick Schroder has turned in his badge.

According to Daily Variety, the actor has announced that he will leave the ABC drama "NYPD Blue" after spending two and a half seasons playing the emotionally troubled Detective Danny Sorenson.

In a statement, Schroder said he wanted to spend more time with his family. Schroder and wife are expecting their fourth child this August.

"The long hours required to shoot 'NYPD Blue' would prevent me from being where I really want to be at this time - which is with my family," Schroder, 31, said.

Series creator Steven Bochco said he was sorry to see Schroder go.

"Rick Schroder is a gifted actor who has had a tremendous two and a half years with NYPD Blue," said Bochco. "Rick is also a strong family man, and to honor his desire to spend more time with his wife and children, we are regretfully releasing him from his obligations to the show."

Schroder's departure follows the recent exits from the show by actors Kim Delaney, James Daniels and Andrea Thompson. Original star Dennis Franz remains from the series' debut in 1993.

Schroder's departure was foreshadowed in this season's finale. His character didn't appear in the show. He's been missing since his stripper girlfriend was killed.

Schroder, the former child star of "Silver Spoons," surprised fans of the gritty New York drama when he was named to replace Jimmy Smits, whose character was written out in 1998.

Variety says the show's writers haven't yet planned how they'll write Schroder's character out of the show. His absence will be partly filled through new cast members such as Mark-Paul Gosselaar, another former child star, who joins the series this fall.

• ABC: 'NYPD Blue'

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