According to TVLine's Vlada Gelman, Ashley Madekwe's series regular option wasn't picked up for Revenge's third season, and she won't be making any appearances on the show next season. Here's an excerpt from the article:
As first reported by our sister site Deadline, the actress’ option was not picked up due to “storyline reasons.”
Madekwe’s ouster is the latest in a string of Revenge shakeups, including the death of Connor Paolo’s polarizing Declan in the Season 2 finale and the shocking departure of creator Mike Kelley. As previously reported, executive producer Sunil Nayar will take over as showrunner next season.
Link to the full article:Ashley Madekwe Leaving ‘Revenge’ — Actress Won’t Appear in Season 3 - TVLine
My thoughts: I always kind of liked the character Ashley, so a part of me is sad to see her go. That being said, she always seemed like a rather extraneous character to me. I always felt like her main purpose on the show was to introduce Emily to Victoria at the beginning of the series. Once she did that, it felt like Ashley was just kind of "there" and it seemed like the writers never knew exactly what to do with the character. I can't help but wonder if one of the reasons the writers made Ashley Conrad's assistant for his political campaign was to give Ashley Madekwe something to do. Besides that, they never gave her that much of a storyline.
It's possible that not bringing Ashley Madekwe back is also partly because for budgetary reasons. After all, Revenge's ratings really declined quite a bit last season. Perhaps ABC renewed Revenge with one of the conditions of the show's renewal being that they would make budget cuts. I, along with a lot of other people that I've encountered online were never really a fan of Connor Paolo as an actor, or Declan as a character, so that could be why the producers felt like they should kill Declan off the show. Although, at least killing Declan off the show will definitely help move the story forward, so that might have been the only reason why the producers killed him off the show, but I digress.
All that being said, I really will miss Ashley Madekwe, and I hope that she will be able to find work on another show where she will be better utilized as an actress.