is going through a big change — again.
Longtime cast members Jessica Capshaw and Sarah Drew will exit the show after the ABC drama’s current 14th season. Capshaw has played Dr. Arizona Robbins for 10 seasons, while Drew’s Dr. April Kepner has been around for nine.
reports the decision was made by “Grey’s Anatomy” producers, who can choose at the beginning of the season whether or not to pick up each series regular’s option. No other major cast members are set to depart.
While “Grey’s Anatomy” hasn’t been picked up by ABC for Season 15, the show is nearly a lock, especially after star Ellen Pompeo signed a blockbuster two-year deal that pays her as much as $20 million per year.
However, it seems the decision to write out Capshaw and Drew were not financial, but creative.
As showrunner Krista Vernoff said in a 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. 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.”
Creator and executive producer Shonda Rhimes added, “It’s always hard for me to say goodbye to any of my characters. Both Arizona Robbins and April Kepner are not only beloved but iconic — both the LBGTQ and devout Christian communities are underrepresented on TV. I will be forever grateful to both Jessica and Sarah for bringing these characters to life with such vibrant performance and for inspiring women around the globe. They will always be a part of our Shondaland family.”
Both Capshaw and Drew responded to the news on Twitter, thanking the producers and fans:
— Jessica Capshaw (@JessicaCapshaw)
— Sarah Drew (@sarahdrew)