Diane Ruggiero departs 'The Ex List'

2:00 PM PST 09/12/2008 by Nellie Andreeva, AP

Decision caught executives by surprise

Diane Ruggiero, creator/executive producer of "The Ex List," has departed the new CBS drama series.

Ruggiero's decision to quit Friday morning caught by surprise CBS and producing studio 20th TV. In the wake of her departure, "Ex List" executive producer Rick Eid will take the reins of the show as showrunner.

Based on an Israeli format, "Ex List" stars Elizabeth Reaser as a woman who, after learning from a psychic that she already has dated the man she's supposed to marry revisits all her past relationships.

There will be no disruption in the production on the show, which on Friday started filming episode seven of its 13-episode order, 20th TV said.

"Ex List" is on track to premiere Oct. 3 as scheduled, in its Friday 9 p.m. time slot occupied last season by cult favorite "Moonlight."

"Diane is a gifted writer and developed a wonderful series," 20th TV and CBS said in a joint statement. "We are sorry that she has decided to leave the show but have tremendous confidence in Rick Eid and his strong team which includes Segahl Avin, the creator of the original Israeli format who will continue to be a consultant. We expect no disruption in production and remain excited about the upcoming premiere of 'The Ex-List' on CBS."

As of midday Friday, Ruggiero was still featured in a video clip on the CBS Web site talking about the show.

There have been a couple of shifts at the helm of new series this year, most recently Jason Smilovic, creator/exec producer of NBC's "My Own Worst Enemy" stepping down as day-to-day showrunner.
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