As hinted by TV Guide Online, Felicity babe Amy Jo Johnson made an abrupt exit from the show last week when her alter ego Julie dropped out of school. But for those fans already missing the painfully tortured character, executive producer J.J. Abrams has good news.

"She'll be back later in the season, so it's not like she's gone forever" he tells TV Guide Online. "And if we're lucky enough to get picked up for the back nine [episodes], then she'll be back then."

The decision to cut Johnson, a regular since the show's debut in 1998, was not an easy one, Abrams admits. "I felt like in a weird way we were wasting Amy Jo's time," he says. "She's an incredibly gifted actress, but she wasn't getting enough stuff to do. I wish we had enough money and time to focus on all of the characters. But the way the stories were going, I thought it was more fair to let Amy Jo [go].

"In the long run, it wasn't any one thing though," he continues. "It was a number of creative factors that sort of converged to make that decision."

And as Abrams explains, Johnson clearly agreed that it was time for her to move on. "It was a totally mutual thing," he says. "She was very much a part of the decision."