18:47 04 March 2010
'Desperate Housewives' actress Drea De Matteo will not be returning to the series.
Producers of hit TV drama have confirmed she will not return. However, they denied reports she was fired due to falling ratings.
The former Emmy-winning 'Sopranos' star joined housewives Eva Longoria, Teri Hatcher, Marcia Cross and Felicity Huffman as fugitive Angie.
Rumours surfaced of the dismissal after De Matteo left the cast of Wisteria Lane, following only five episodes.
But show bosses have insisted it was merely due to her request to quit the show, to spend more time with her fianc, singer Shooter Jennings, and their two-year-old baby girl, Alabama.
Executive producer Marc Cherry said the reports were completely untrue, saying: "When I heard that stuff, I was stunned. We adore her. She is the sweetest gal in the world.
"Part of the deal when [we]) hired Drea was she was only interested in doing one season. She has a baby and is eager to get back to her life in New York," Cherry explained.
Speaking of how many fans had failed to warm to the Italian matriarch's icy character, Cherry said that had more to do with the storyline than the actress: "We shielded parts of her character because of the mystery.
"As we build toward the end and we start undoing the many layers of her, everyone will get how brilliant she is."
Producers declined to reveal how Angie will exit Wisteria Lane, but teased that the arrival in April of 'Torchwoods' John Barrowman as the man she has been on the run from will result in an "explosive finale" where "all the mysterious parts of her past will be revealed."
De Matteo's last episode is scheduled to air in May.
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