Michael C. Hall, Clyde Phillips

Coming off a record-setting Season 4 finale, Dexter executive producer and showrunner Clyde Phillips is departing the series, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Ratings: Dexter slays records

Phillips, who joined the series after the pilot, said he's leaving to spend more time with his family. 24 co-executive producer Chip Johannessen will fill Phillips' post.

Phillips told the trade paper it was a "hugely difficult decision," but he said he needed to spend more time on the East Coast with his family, from whom he's been separated nine months of the year when shooting in Los Angeles.

"I lived with the people on the show for four years that were the high point of my career," Phillips said. "But I was missing out on my family.

Will Dexter's Season 5 jump ahead in time?

Dexter
, which stars Michael C. Hall as a blood-spatter forensic expert/serial killer, has been Showtime's highest-rated original series since its debut. Its Season 4 finale was watched by 2.6 million viewers, the highest ever for the show, and the best single telecast for Showtime in more than a decade.

Dexter's John Lithgow talks about the shocking finale

Before his work on Dexter, Phillips created Fox's Get Real and Parker Lewis Can't Lose as well as the NBC comedy Suddenly Susan.

Do you think Phillips' exit will affect the show?