"Ulterior Vows" fans around the world were shocked to learn Tuesday that Catherine Zeta-Jones will be leaving the show after two and a half hit seasons.
A leaked ABS memo revealed that Zeta-Jone's Golden Globe-winning portrayal of Selma Lee (the Southern Belle who married a Japanese internet tycoon so she could murder him for the insurance money to pay for her lesbian lover's ransom and in turn sell her captors' own daughters as child-brides over the web) would come to an abrupt halt later this season when the character meets a "horrific, untimely death."
"It makes no sense," said DNN's Selena B. Kim during her "Entertainment Minute" Tuesday night. "She's the lead in an ensemble cast on TV's biggest comedy/drama. They stand to make billions on the DVDs alone. Why mess with perfection?"
Catherine Zeta-Jones' publicist, Cece Yorkee, explained:
"You've got to strike while the iron's hot," said Yorkee. "she's had too many offers to play great roles for eight figures each, so she and ABS have decided to part ways."
"Variety" had a different explanation.
"She's pregnant" said reporter Waldo Dover, "and with a baby that's not Michael's."
Dover cited confidential sources at a Beverly Hills clinic.
"So you've got to ask yourself- who was she hanging out with six to eight weeks ago? And where are these movie offers suddenly coming from."
The answers to these questions have only fueled the fires of scandal.
After shooting her final episodes of "Vows," Zeta-Jones will begin eight months in Europe filming two movies for Gemstone Pictures and new morning studios, both of which are subsidiaries of Jones Media Group- just like ABS.
"Why is our parent company spending tens of millions of dollars to shoot itself in the foot?" Selena B. Kim rightfully asked.
Maybe someone should ask P.F. Jones.
"Yeah, Mr. Jones showed up the week we came back from the writers' strike," said "Vows" co-star Elisha Dushku. "He said he wanted to help us celebrate our return. After shooting all day he took us to a couple of clubs he owned. It was a blast, but we didn't really get to talk to P.F- Mr. Jones. He spent all his time with Catherine."
Talk of the new morning film, Fall from Grace, has on added to public speculation.
It will be shot in one of Europe's oldest Catholic convents, renowned for its midwivery, and Zeta-Jones is set to portray a pregnant nun.
As usual, P.F. Jones could not be reached for comment, but that hasn't stopped others from defending him.
"These allegations are madness," said DNN talk show host Chip Foxx. "Do people really think someone could really hide Catherine Zeta-Jones' baby? It would be impossible, no matter how many billions you had."
Back at ABS, Zeta-Jones' co-stars are adjusting to the idea of her leaving.
"I can't believe she'll be gone," said Dushku. "I wonder if I can have her trailer."