Kripke (the series creator) cited budgetary reasons for Cassidy s departure after the third season. According to Cassidy, however, Warner Bros. s uncertainty about what direction to take Ruby in prompted her to leave when the opportunity to star in the series Harper s Island arose. To "make the best out of a bad situation", Kripke and the writers planned for Ruby to take on a new host every few episodes for the fourth season. They believed this would "keep [viewers] guessing", and provide a "cool character that most shows don t have the ability to do". Auditions for an unnamed "love interest" were held to recast Ruby with a new actress, and Cortese was hired for the part. She was then informed that she would actually be playing Ruby. Before the first episode she was in aired, however, she was said to be playing "a small-town waitress" named Kristy who had become "romantically involved" with Sam after Dean s death. Cortese played the first of what was expected to be many incarnations of Ruby, but an impressed Kripke ultimately chose to keep her in the role because she "brought a lot of the different colors and vulnerabilities to Ruby that [he] was really looking for". Although Cortese viewed DVDs of Cassidy s portrayal, she tried to make the character her own at the producers request rather than emulate Cassidy. She was not as concerned with how Ruby was received by the audience—stating "if people don t like her, they don t like her"—as much as she was with using her performance to "answer questions" about Ruby and her relationship with the Winchester brothers, such as why Sam and Dean were continuing to work with Ruby in the fourth season.