Joshua Jackson will not return as a series regular for the fifth and final season of “The Affair,” an individual with knowledge of the situation told TheWrap.
However, this may not be the last you see of Cole Lockhart, as Jackson could return in some form for the Showtime series’ farewell year in which, obviously, fans will be saying goodbye to all characters.
News of Jackson’s exit follows that of Ruth Wilson, whose character Alison (Jackson’s main love interest) was killed off the Sarah Treem-created drama toward the end of the recently-wrapped Season 4.
Wilson said last month that she was “not allowed” to talk about why her character was written out, but the actress later told the New York Times that her exit did not have to do with pay inequality (though she recently said co-star Dominic West had a higher salary than her) or a new role she wanted to pursue.
An excerpt of the interview suggests there is more to the story:
“It isn’t about pay parity, and it wasn’t about other jobs,” Ms. Wilson said. She added coolly, “But I’m not really allowed to talk about it.”
There was a meaningful silence. “There is a much bigger story,” she eventually volunteered, urging me, more than once, to contact Sarah Treem, a writer and producer of the show.
In a statement provided by Showtime following Wilson’s initial comments, the premium cable network said the decision was a creative one, which came at the natural conclusion of Wilson’s character’s arc.
“We can’t speak for Ruth, but heading into season four everyone agreed the character’s story had run its course,” the network said. “Ultimately, it felt like the most powerful creative decision would be to end Alison’s arc at the moment when she had finally achieved self-empowerment. The impact of her loss will be felt as the series concludes next season. We thank the many fans who embraced the character of Alison and especially thank Ruth for her indelible work over the past four seasons.”
Showrunner Treem gave a similar statement in response to Wilson’s interview with the New York Times: “The character of Allison had run its course. By completing her arc this season, the consequences of her death will lead to compelling storylines for our final season.”
Showtime declined TheWrap‘s request for comment on Jackson’s exit.
ETOnline first reported the news.