Chesapeake Shores star Jesse Metcalfe teases possible return after emotional exit

The actor played Trace Riley in the Hallmark series

Sunday night's episode of Chesapeake Shores certainly was an emotional one. Season five may have only just kicked off, but fans were left devastated as they bid farewell to Jesse Metcalfe's character Trace following his decision to leave the small Maryland town for "a fresh start".

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The 42-year-old actor, who is also known for his roles on Desperate Housewives and Dallas, has portrayed singer-songwriter Trace in the Hallmark series since its debut in 2016. 

And although his time on the show has come to an end, he has teased that it may not be the last viewers have seen of him.

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WATCH: Are you a fan of Chesapeake Shores?

Asked by Entertainment Tonight, whether this is last audiences have seen of Trace, Jesse said: "Trace didn't die. It's not the end of the road for Trace. He could always come back to Chesapeake Shores. It's possible. I certainly don't have a crystal ball, so I don't know what the future will bring but I think in the near term, I hope that [the fans] enjoy season five."

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Elsewhere in the interview, Jesse opened up about his decision to depart the series, revealing that he was keen to "start the next chapter of my career." He said: "I definitely wanted to pursue my film career with greater focus and also find the next challenge."

The actor also cited the creative changes behind the scenes as another factor that contributed to his decision. "Getting to know a new showrunner and create a working relationship with a new person was not necessarily something I wanted to do," he said, noting that the show "did go through three showrunners in five seasons."

Jesse's character Trace said his goodbyes in Sunday night's episode

Meanwhile, Jesse has also penned a heartfelt message on Instagram to fans, thanking them for all their support. "Tonight, #Chessies, Trace Riley bids you farewell…and I say thank you!" he began in a post he shared on Sunday ahead of the episode premiere. "To everyone who's supported, and continues to support, #ChesapeakeShores, this character and myself, I thank you, from the bottom of my heart!

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"Engaging with this audience has been one of the great joys of the past five seasons, and telling these stories, and recording this music, along side [sic] some incredibly talented people will always hold a special place in my heart! @hallmarkchannel."

His followers wasted no time in telling him how much they would miss him on the show. "This show will never be the same!! So sad," one devastated fan wrote in the comments. "Going to miss you on the show but I know you are destined to continue to do great things," another said while a third added: "Not ready to say goodbye. Thank you for bringing Trace to life."

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