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In Season 1 of Sanctuary, one of the main characters was Helen Magnus' daughter Ashley Magnus. But early in Season 2, she was written out and Kate Freelander was introduced, seemingly as a replacement.

I'm guessing that there were some behind the scenes reasons for this change. So why was Ashley Magnus written out of Sanctuary?

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As with most incidents like this, there are conflicting narratives. About the only thing everybody seems to agree on is that the decision was motivated, at least partially, by the networks; they principally disagree about the specifics.

In a 2009 interview, Damien Kindler (the show's creator) claims it was a creative decision:

To be very honest about it, it was a decision we arrived at with our two major networks in the U.S. and Canada creatively, and we really felt it would have the deepest, most dramatic impact on the series and the characters

However Emilie Ullerup, who played Ashley, speculated in a 2009/2010 interview that it may have been because her character was not well-liked (though she confirms that the networks were involved):

When I ask Emilie what was behind the decision to kill off her character, she says she's still not sure. "It was a network decision. And, to be honest with you, I don't quite know why. I get a sense that the network felt that Ashley was not very liked and not one of the favorite characters." The network had determined from audience research that Emilie's character was not popular — but we may never know if this was at the heart of the decision to kill Ashley Magnus just two episodes into the show' sophomore season.

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    Since the quotes have ruled out any sort of contract dispute, a likely alternative reason could have been either creative direction/problems (how to write for the characters) or concerns about how the audience would respond to the characters and their dynamics. She was at her most interesting as a strong, heroic risk-taker with a complicated origin (John being her father). But, what makes her interesting also distracts from Helen's role as THE central character. Also, Kate seemed to create a lot of story opportunities (maybe more than Ashley) because of her somewhat mysterious past. – Anthony X Mar 29 '16 at 1:47

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