Actress Sharon Lawrence, who plays the roly-poly NYPD Blue detective's crusading spouse, says she's made her final appearance on the Emmy-winning ABC cop show--thanks to a "boring" storyline.
"It's hard to continue to put my time there," Lawrence tells today's Philadelphia Inquirer. "I've got other offers I need to investigate. I want to use my time wisely. I don't want to just tread water."
Lawrence says her last air date was Tuesday.
She rejoined Blue this fall after giving up her full-time status in 1997 to star in the NBC sitcom Fired Up. When the Peacock pink-slipped that show last spring, Lawrence signed a new, 10-episode contract to reprise her gig as Assistant District Attorney Sylvia Costas.
She was asked back to "help with the transition" from outgoing stud Jimmy Smits to incoming stud Rick Schroder, Lawrence says.
"I said I would come back if they gave me something juicy to do," she tells the Inquirer. "I wanted a story line that really changes Sylvia's behavior. Something that rocks her world."
The case she got played out Tuesday--Costas tries to root out justice for a framed convict who's killed in prison. Lawrence's judgment? A "boring case."
No comment from NYPD Blue honcho Steven Bochco. Lawrence still has the option to return, but she hasn't made that sound likely. Her sudden disappearance reportedly will not be explained. (Hey, weird things happen in New York every day.)
In other TV news, reports of Home Improvement non-demise look to be greatly exaggerated. Tool guy Tim Allen's sticking to his staple guns--he's not bringing back the formerly top-rated sitcom for a ninth season.
"We gave our word this year that it would be the last season," Allen told reporters Wednesday. "I'm not going to do this anymore. It's time to move on."
ABC reportedly was tempting Allen with as much as $44 million ($2 million per episode) to do one more year.
"When it's just about money and just about ratings, it's just about over," Allen said.
The would-be last ever, ever episode is due to be shot April 9, for broadcast during the May sweeps.