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October 13, 2015

Audra McDonald Leaving 'Private Practice'

by Catherine Lawson, posted Feb 9th 2011 7:15AM
Audra McDonaldIt's been announced that Audra McDonald is leaving 'Private Practice' in what's said to be an "amicable" split.

McDonald is quitting the 'Grey's Anatomy' spin-off in order to spend more time with her family in New York, and she'll leave at the end of the current season. However, from what she and series creator Shonda Rhimes have said about her departure, it seems likely that she'll be back for guest spots in Season 5.

In an interview with TVLine.com, McDonald said "I have spent four amazing years working with the best cast and crew on television at 'Private Practice'. ... Though I am stepping away from the series as a regular in order to spend more time in New York with my family, I am not closing the door on 'Private Practice' or the character ... I am beyond grateful to Shonda Rhimes, ABC and the team behind the show."

Rhimes in turn said, "We are so appreciative of Audra and her talents and look forward to having her return to 'Private Practice' as often as possible. Audra has been a bicoastal commuter throughout our four seasons on the air, and, ultimately, we respect and appreciate her desire to spend more time with family in New York."

McDonald plays fertility specialist Naomi Bennett, Addison's best friend and the ex-wife of Taye Diggs's character, Sam. She joined the drama series after the pilot episode, replacing Merrin Dungey in the role of Naomi. Her presence on the show has been cut back recently as producers tried to work around her arduous commute.

Don't expect McDonald to give up work altogether, though: Last month it was announced that she'll be returning to her musical roots this fall with a solo performance at Carnegie Hall. She has previously won four Tony Awards, for her stage work in 'Carousel,' 'Master Class,' 'Ragtime' and 'A Raisin in the Sun.'

'Private Practice' airs Thursdays, 10PM ET on ABC.

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Excellent move. Boring character with flat acting. I wish they'd stayed with the original actress playing Naomi.

February 09 2011 at 3:36 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

McDonald's character has been absent for most of this season and they've turned Naomi into a completely unlikable and judgmental character.

February 09 2011 at 12:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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