By Stephen M. Silverman
Updated November 08, 2002 10:00 AM

David Caruso is losing his partner.

Actress Kim Delaney is leaving CBS’s hit new drama “CSI: Miami,” reports Variety, which describes her exit as “an unexpected twist worthy of one of the show’s episodes.”

The final episode featuring her in the role of Megan Donner has already been filmed and is set to air Nov. 25.

Despite the new show’s high ratings — it consistently lands in the Nielsen Top 10 week to week — Delaney’s character apparently was not meshing with the rest of the cast, and critics even went so far as to point out that she didn’t seem to have much to do on most episodes.

The actress, 41 — who, like Caruso, is an alum of “NYPD Blue” — shot a total of 10 “CSI: Miami” episodes. She was added to the series after the pilot aired as a special episode of “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation” last May.

Delaney’s arrival was widely ballyhooed following the cancellation of her ABC drama “Philly.” The hope was that she and Caruso would click in much the same manner as Marg Helgenberger and William Petersen on “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.”

A statement issued by CBS on Thursday said: “The network, the production companies and the producers jointly arrived at this decision upon recognizing that the character of Megan Donner was becoming less integral to the series as the season progressed.”

Her character’s departure will be explained in a future episode, and no additional shifts are anticipated for “CSI: Miami,” the statement added.

The Hollywood Reporter says Delaney’s character will not be replaced.

A severance package is reportedly being negotiated.