Spoiler alert: This article contains plot details about this week’s This Is Us episode.
At the conclusion of Tuesday night’s This Is Us, we learned many things, one of them being that Kevin (Justin Hartley) and Zoe (Melanie Liburd) broke up after their different feelings on having children. In the future, Kevin has a child, but right now we don’t know who the mother is.
In light of those events, Liburd will not be a series regular when the show returns for Season 4 in the fall. She could, however, still remain in a recurring or guest star capacity.
Executive producer Issac Aptaker says the reasoning was that they didn’t want to contractually lock Liburd into the show for another season, considering she may not have much play story-wise. “We don’t want to hold on to her and then not have the real estate for her. She’s an amazing actress and she has a ton of opportunities… We don’t want to stop her from [getting another full-time gig],” he told TV Line.
Aptaker says that it is likely for Zoe to return. “Whenever there are opportunities for Zoe to come back — which [would be] pretty organic because she touches on Kevin’s life as well as, of course, Beth and Randall’s life — we’re eager to have her back… We love Melanie so much. She’s a friend of the show and she did an amazing job for us; we love her both as an actor and as a person,” he added.
Liburd guest starred during the back-end of season 2 before being upped to series regular for season 3.