Sandra Oh is checking out of Grey's Anatomy.
The actress, who has portrayed doctor Cristina Yang since the ABC series premiered in 2005, will exit after the upcoming 10th season, E! News has confirmed.
"It's been a great privilege to play the character of Cristina Yang on GA and I am both sad and excited to see where this, her final season will take her," Oh says in a statement. "It was an emotional and deeply creative decision for me and I feel fully supported by Shonda [Rhimes] and the writers. It's so rare in an actor's life to be able to explore and grow a character so fully, so completely. I am profoundly grateful to everyone at GA for the opportunity. I'm excited to celebrate and cherish every moment of my final season on GA with the fans who have made it all possible."
While there are no details about how her character will exit the series, Rhimes says that she will get an goodbye worthy of her years on the drama.
"One of the best days of my life as a writer happened the day Sandra Oh walked in my door to audition and forever changed the course of Grey's Anatomy with her brilliant, nuanced portrayal of Cristina Yang," Rhimes says. "Over the past ten seasons, I have been made better by Sandra's trust, faith and friendship and I can't quantify how grateful I am for her collaboration on a character we both love so deeply. This year is going to be bittersweet for us—we're both going to savor every moment of Cristina Yang and then we're going to give her the exit she deserves. And when Sandra walks out of my door, Grey's Anatomy will be once again be forever changed."
While most of the core cast of Grey's Anatomy have contracts that expire at the end of season 10, the network insists that they hope to keep Patrick Dempsey (who admitted recently he was a bit exhausted with his work on Grey's), Ellen Pompeo and the rest for as long as they can.
"It's our intention to have Grey's on the air for many years to come, with as many of the original cast as possible," ABC says in a statement regarding Oh's exit.
Network President Paul Lee said during the Summer TCA Press Tour that he hopes to see the show continue, even if it loses some original characters.
"I think, and it should, go on for many years to come," Lee said. "Shonda is an extremely creative force, and if I commented on who was coming in and out, I think Shonda would yell at me! It is the No. 1 drama on television, and that's an extraordinary accomplishment after so many years. We'd like to see it on the network for many years to come. We've very, very proud of it."
The Hollywood Rerporter first reported the news of Oh's exit.
What do you think of losing Sandra, Grey's fans? Will you still watch after she (and possibly other original characters) leave the show?
(Originally published Tuesday, Aug. 13 at 2:45 p.m. PT)