Schroder Leaves Blue Squad

NYPD Blue's detective squad continues to shrink. Following weeks of speculation, young gun Rick Schroder, who portrayed punk detective Danny Sorenson, has officially announced his departure from the series.

In a statement, Schroder said he was leaving to spend more time with his family — which is set to expand when wife Andrea gives birth to their fourth child in August. The former child star, who found fame playing a preppie kid on the '80s sitcom Silver Spoons, was on NYPD Blue for two and a half seasons.

"The long hours required to shoot NYPD Blue would prevent me from being where I really want to be at this time — which is with my family," the 31-year-old Schroder noted.

It's not clear how Schroder, whose character was nowhere to be found after the mysterious death of his girlfriend on the season finale, will be written off the show.

Kim Delaney just ended her six-year run on Blue, while another alum, Andrea Thompson, has quit acting altogether and is now on board with CNN as a news anchor.

With the departure of James McDaniel (Capt. Arthur Fancy) last month, star Dennis Franz is now the last remaining original cast member of the police drama.

"Rick Schroder is a gifted actor who has had a tremendous two and a half years with NYPD Blue," said series creator Steven Bochco. "Rick is also a strong family man, and to honor his desire to spend more time with his wife and children, we are regretfully releasing him from his obligations to the show."

Reuters contributed to this story.