The producers of Las Vegas are gambling on a future without two of its top stars.
Just a day after NBC announced that the Sin City drama would be returning for a fifth season this fall, both James Caan and Nikki Cox confirmed that their luck—and screen time—had officially run out.
While Caan has dropped increasingly frequent hints in recent years that his departure from the series wouldn't be the worst thing in the world, Cox's ousting seemed to come as more of an unwelcome surprise, particularly as the network made no mention of a downsized cast, and in fact made specific mention of both Caan and Cox in the renewal announcement this week.
"I've had a wonderful four years, worked with great people and made friends for life working on Las Vegas, but I'm eager to return to where my heart is, which is film, and due to the show's schedule, I missed some great opportunities to do that," Caan told the Hollywood Reporter.
"I wish the show and everyone involved with it continued success."
Not that he'll be keeping tabs on the show. In a 2005 interview with Playboy, Caan held forth on the implausibility of several major story lines and admitted that he had never actually watched his own show—which puts him in the majority with TV viewers.
The series was relegated this year to Friday nights and has averaged fewer than 9 million viewers an episode.
As for Cox, who tied the knot with Jay Mohr in December, her farewell is slightly more bittersweet, as her dismissal from the show was reportedly due to budget cuts.
She told the trade mag that she was "very sad and shocked" at her character's departure, but still wanted the best for her soon-to-be former coworkers.
"I wish them all the best of luck and had a great time working on the shows," she said.
Josh Duhamel, Molly Sims, James Lesure and Vanessa Marcil are set to return.
NBC has yet to comment on the departures, but in announcing the show's renewal, the network's entertainment president Kevin Reilly had nothing but glowing words for the cast, who he said "have consistently given us what we want from Las Vegas—and we're looking forward to another fun ride next season with the show."