Grey's Anatomy is losing two fan-favorite doctors. E! News has confirmed Jessica Capshaw and Sarah Drew will depart the long-running ABC medical drama following season 14.
Capshaw has been on the show as Dr. Arizona Robbins for 10 seasons. Drew has played Dr. April Kepner for nine seasons. The decision appears to be based on a creative direction for season 15 (which has yet to formally be announced).
"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," Krista Vernoff, co-showrunner and executive producer on Grey's Anatomy, said in a statement. "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."
Grey's creator Shonda Rhimes praised the duo's performances.
"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," Rhimes said in a statement. "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."
Rhimes is known to use actors in different roles across her TV empire, so viewers probably haven't seen the last of Capshaw and Drew in Shondaland.
In a note posted to Twitter, Drew said she only found out recently and thanked fans for their support.
"I know you're sad. I'm sad too. I haven't really had the time to process this information…For now, I'd like to say: I love you, and I love April, and her story isn't over yet. And the really good news (for me, at least) is that I'm here on set shadowing one of my favorite people, Kevin McKidd, with my beloved Grey's family all week and next, so i get to process all of my feelings surrounded by the community that has nourished and nurtured me for almost a decade. For that, I am so grateful," she wrote.
According to Deadline, the duo will be the only cast members leaving after season 14.
Grey's Anatomy airs Thursdays, 8 p.m. on ABC.