Ashlee Simpson Moves Out Of 'Melrose Place'
EW‘s Michael Ausiello has an interview with exec producer Todd Slavkin explaining the reasons why.
On the decision to let Ashlee and Colin go: Well, we always knew that this murder mystery would end in episode 12. And we always knew that [Ashlee's] character of Violet would be instrumental in that as a suspect, and [Colin's character of] Augie as well. And once that murder mystery was solved, she would go on her way. That was the original plan going into the development of the show.
On how Ashlee and Colin took the news: They’re total professionals and they took it like professionals. When you go into a show you never know what’s going to evolve and what the possibilities are. But because they knew ahead of time [that leaving was a possibility], it wasn’t a complete shock.
New characters to be (re)introduced include Heather Locklear and Brooke Burns.