Two popular, long-time Grey’s Anatomy cast members, Jessica Capshaw and Sarah Drew, will be departing the hit ABC medical drama at the end of the current fourteenth season. Capshaw has been on the show for 10 seasons, nine of them as a series regular, playing Dr. Arizona Robbins; Drew has been on Grey’s for nine seasons, eight of them as a series regular, playing Dr. April Kepner.
The decision was made by the producers who at the start of each season have to formally pick up the option of each regular cast member. Sources say Capshaw and Drew will be the only series regular members of Grey’s large ensemble cast to depart this year.
While Grey’s, created/executive produced by Shonda Rhimes and executive produced by co-showrunner Krista Vernoff, has not been officially renewed for Season 15, that is considered a foregone conclusion with its ratings remaining strong and its star, Ellen Pompeo, signing a new two-year deal. The decision not to bring back Capshaw and Drew comes on the heels of the blockbuster new Pompeo pact that gave her a significant salary increase, paying her as much as $20 million a year.
Sources close to the matter stress that the decision for Capshaw and Drew’s exits was based strictly on the show’s creative direction, something Vernoff alluded to in her statement.
“The characters of Arizona and April are permanently woven into the fabric of Grey’s Anatomy thanks to the extraordinary work of Jessica Capshaw and Sarah Drew,” Vernoff said. “As writers, our job is to follow the stories where they want to go and sometimes that means saying goodbye to characters we love. It has been a joy and a privilege to work with these phenomenally talented actresses.”
(Excerpt) Read More in: Deadline