August 13, 2008 at 12:00 PM EDT

Army Wives‘ top lieutenant has been discharged. Sources confirm to me exclusively that the creator of Lifetime’s top-rated drama ever, Katherine Fugate, has been shown the door.

Army Wives is a fantastic tribute to the real life heroes serving in our armed forces and I’m so happy to have been a part of it,” Fugate said in a statement. “With the show such an established hit, now seems like a logical time for me to step away and focus on developing new projects.”

Rumors of behind-the-scenes tension between Fugate and the show’s corporate spouses, Lifetime and ABC Studios, have persisted pretty much since day one. As evidence, Wives has weathered three show-runner changes in its two years on the air. The most recent switch came this spring, when Dee Johnson was relieved of duty and replaced by Nick Thiel.

In its own statement, ABC Studios said, “Katherine is incredibly talented and we’re grateful for her work in creating Army Wives. We are very happy to have had the opportunity to work with her.”

What exactly does this mean for Army Wives? Probably not much. Thiel has pretty much been running the show these past few months, and I’m told he’s not going anywhere. Whispers an Army source: “Everyone is very happy with Nick.”

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