EXCLUSIVE: Wizards of Waverly Place showrunner Peter Murrieta was brought in for the pilot, which he rewrote. Then he served as executive producer/showrunner on the Selena Gomez-starring comedy’s first 3 seasons. That led to ratings success as well as the first best series Emmy Award for the Disney Channel last year in the children’s program category. So why is Murrieta leaving?

Well, Wizards, created by Todd J. Greenwald, has wrapped production on Season 3. There’s no decision yet on a Season 4 pickup — but a Disney Channel spokeswoman confirmed to me that, if the show is renewed, Murrieta won’t be part of it. “Peter’s creativity won an Emmy award (for the show),” the spokeswoman said. “We are in open discussions with him on other Disney Channel projects.”