Question: What's the story behind the abrupt departure of Rick Schroder from NYPD Blue? All I heard was he quit. I thought he did a good job transitioning from child star to adult actor. Did he prove it to himself and felt he had nothing more to gain from remaining in the role?
Answer: As is the case with any of these casting changes in TV Land, there are the public reasons and the private ones, Jill, and usually the only people who can tell you the difference are those directly involved.
In the case of NYPD Blue, the official reason Schroder, who came on board in Season 6, gave for leaving was the heavy shooting schedule and how much time he spent away from his family. The tabloids cited unnamed sources who claimed the real reason was that Schroder thought the show's producers were angling to replace him when they brought in another former child star, ex-Saved by the Bell lead Mark-Paul Gosselaar.
Schroder denied that was the case and, to be fair, his given reason is certainly understandable. Starring on a TV series involves a lot of hours on the set and he wouldn't be the first to walk away because of it. And when you consider that the series saw a good many other leads head for the exit, Schroder's in good company.