June 08, 2012 3:07pm PT by Lesley Goldberg
'Scandal's' Henry Ian Cusick Not Returning for Season 2 (Exclusive)
Former Lost star Henry Ian Cusick will not be returning for the second season of ABC's Scandal.
The actor and showrunner Shonda Rhimes came to the mutual decision for him not to come back for the second year of the D.C.-set political fixer drama, The Hollywood Reporter has learned exclusively. Rhimes and Cusick's parting was described as an amicable split.
Cusick played Stephen Finch on Scandal, a charming ladies man who used his (handsome) skill set as a member of Pope & Associates to obtain information for Kerry Washington's Olivia Pope.
While the character's backstory was featured here and there, he was not a large part of the first season's central storyline, which in addition to cases of the week featured the team working on a scandal connected to President Fitzgerald Grant (Tony Goldwyn).
The seven-episode freshman drama, one of three series Rhimes has at the network, was renewed in May for a second season.
Cusick's departure comes after Rhimes' Private Practice parted ways with original castmember Tim Daly, whose contract was not picked up for the medical drama's upcoming sixth season. ABC's Body of Proof also will return for its third season sans some of its regular cast.
UPDATED: Recurring Scandal player Joshua Malina, who plays U.S. Attorney David Rosen, has been promoted to series regular, THR has confirmed. "Olivia and David have amazing chemistry, and I love watching them together," Rhimes told THR last month. "That's going to be something that's very enduring." TVGuide.com first reported the Malina news.