Ex-‘Chesapeake Shores’ Star Jesse Metcalfe Reveals If He’d Ever Return to Hallmark Series

Trace Riley has left the building. Chesapeake Shores fans were shocked when Jesse Metcalfe announced in April 2021 that he was leaving the Hallmark Channel series. Though the John Tucker Must Die star appeared in the first few episodes of season 5, his character ended up leaving town – and ending his long-running on-again, off-again relationship with Abby (Meghan Ory) – for good. 

So, is Trace gone from Chesapeake Shore for good? Metcalfe weighed in on that question in a recent interview. 

Jesse Metcalfe opens up about ‘Chesapeake Shores’ 

Jesse Metcalfe leaning against a pickup truck in 'Chesapeake Shores'
Jesse Metcalfe in ‘Chesapeake Shores’ Season 5 | ©2021 Crown Media United States LLC/Photographer: Ricardo Hubbs

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Metcalfe – who recently starred in the GAC Family movie Harmony From the Heart – chatted with The List about whether he’d ever return to the Hallmark Channel series. He said there was one situation where he might consider combing back to Chesapeake Shores – if Trace and Abby end up getting back together. 

“I think that’s the scenario that makes the most sense,” he said.

However, he also noted that the show – which has yet to be renewed for a sixth season – was moving on the from Trace-Abby relationship that had been a major focus since it premiered in 2016.  

“So, now, [Ory] has a new love interest on the show, and she’s gotten the opportunity to take her storyline and her character in a completely different direction,” Metcalfe said. “And I certainly hope that she’s enjoyed that.”

Chesapeake Shores also got a new showrunner, Phoef Sutton, in season 5. The actor noted that Sutton “and maybe the producers behind that show were starting to find it challenging, figuring out really where they wanted to take these characters,” he said, even though there was “a strong desire by the audience to see them ultimately end up together.”

Why Metcalfe left the Hallmark series 

Jesse Metcalfe’s last appearance on Chesapeake Shores was in August 2021. In an interview with ET after the episode aired, he spoke about his decision to leave the show. 

“[I]t was an amazing journey doing Chesapeake Shores. I’m so thankful to Hallmark for the opportunity,” he said, adding that he was “very creatively fulfilled for four seasons.” However, he felt that he’d reached the limits of what he could do when it came to portraying Trace. There were also some behind-the-scene challenges. 

“I just felt that there wasn’t really anything else I could do with the character, and we did go through three showrunners in five seasons on the show,” he said. “Getting to know a new showrunner and create a working relationship with a new person was not necessarily something I wanted to do. I just felt like it was time to turn the page and start the next chapter of my career.”

The door is open for Trace to return to ‘Chesapeake Shores’  

Sutton also chatted with ET about Metcalfe’s exit. The actor’s decision to leave “came fairly late in the day,” he said. However, the show’s team “just nodded, rolled up our sleeves and got to work on that.” The result was introducing a new love interest for Abby, an eccentric billionaire named Evan Kincaid (Robert Buckley). But there’s always a chance that Trace could roll back into town

“Absolutely, he could come back,” Sutton said. “There’s no reason he couldn’t.”

Metcalfe also told ET that he’d consider coming back to the show. 

“Trace didn’t die,” he said. “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.”

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