Lowe is leaving because, according to sources, he felt that his part was not really developed and he was being underutilized on the show. Word is that he has asked ABC to release him from his contract and they have agreed for him to leave when the current season ends.
(Rob Lowe - US Premiere of 'The Invention of Lying' - 09/21/09 - DailyCeleb.com - All Rights Reserved)
Senator McCallister has been having escalating marriage problems with his wife Kitty McCallister and it is likely the couple will divorce, which will give Lowe his desired out. ABC has indicated they will continue talks with Lowe about him having his own season.
Of course with B&S anything can happen so don't count out other exits including another heart attack, since he already has had one.
I have to agree that Rob Lowe's role has diminished significantly but the cast is quite large and that's to be expected.
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