America Ferrera leaving 'Superstore' after season five

Los Angeles, Mar 1 (PTI) In a surprise move, actor America Ferrera is exiting NBC comedy 'Superstore' after the culmination of its ongoing fifth season.

According to Variety, the news of her departure comes barely over two weeks after the network renewed the show for a sixth run.

The actor also served as an executive producer on series along with directing multiple episodes.

'The last five years on 'Superstore' have been some of the most rewarding, enriching and enjoyable years of my career.

'Producing, directing and acting with this wonderful cast and crew has given me opportunities to grow as a person and storyteller. I'm so grateful to my partners at NBC and Universal Television for the support and belief they have always placed in the show, and I'm most thankful to the brilliant Justin Spitzer for creating the funny, smart and relevant world of 'Superstore' and inviting me to be a part of it. As I start the next chapter for my family and career, I wish only the best, and much continued success, to my beloved 'Superstore' family,' Ferrera wrote on Instagram.

Lisa Katz and Tracey Pakosta, co-presidents of scripted programming at NBC Entertainment, said they were fortunate to have the actor as 'both a colleague and friend'.

'America's immeasurable contributions to 'Superstore', both in front of and behind the camera as well as an ambassador for the show, can't possibly be quantified,' the duo said in a joint statement.

Ferrera, who is one of the original cast members of the show, played Amy in the comedy set in a fictitious big-box utility store 'Cloud 9'.

Her co-stars Lauren Ash, who plays Dina, and Colton Dunn, who essays the role of Garrett on the series, reacted to the news on Instagram.

Calling Ferrera's exit as 'heartbreaking', Ash said the show will not be the same without her.

'The idea that one of our family members isn't going to be around anymore after 5 years, well, that's tough for me to accept. Cause the thing is, as Dina and Amy's friendship grew, so did Lauren and America's...

'@americaferrera, I love you. I value every laugh and dance and song break we've shared. You're my family for life. I know you are going to continue to be a force of nature in all you do, both professionally and personally. I can't wait to see what's next for you. Like I always tell people, I want to be you when I grow up. Rizzoli and Isles forever, my love,' Ash wrote alongside their still from the show.

Dunn said working with Ferrera was a 'pleasure'.

'This is my favorite on set picture of me and @americaferrera. It’s been a pleasure working with her. I wonder if I scared her off? Maybe I should of stopped lurking behind her between takes. Excelsior @americaferrera!' he captioned the photo.

'Superstore' also features Ben Feldman, Mark McKinney, Nico Santos and Nichole Bloom, among others. PTI RDS RDS