By Lynette Rice
Updated February 06, 2010 at 05:28 AM EST

More bad news for the ratings-challenged FlashForward: Variety reports that showrunner/co-creator David Goyer is leaving the ABC series to focus on his film career. Goyer, who often boasted of having outlined the high-concept drama for the next several seasons, will remain as an executive producer. It’s unclear who will replace Goyer, who was the second showrunner to serve on the series (after Mark Guggenheim) that stars Joseph Fiennes and John Cho.

The freshman show will likely have a tough time attracting new viewers when it returns with originals on March 18. Despite lots of early fanfare, FlashForward’s audience dropped from 12.5 million to 7.07 million in just three months. Not coincidentally, ABC has had an equally tough time launching its other high-concept show, V — which lost 35% of its audience (14.3 million to 9.3 million) over just four airings last fall. It will return March 30.

The difficulty of programming such sci-fi dramas surely played a role in NBC’s decision to downgrade Day One — an apocalyptic drama from Heroes scribe Jesse Alexander — to a two-hour backdoor pilot that may (or may not) air sometime this season.