From the 2005 pilot, through its current 16th season, Shonda Rhimes‘ ABC medical soap Grey’s Anatomy has entertained, infuriated, and caused all kinds of audience swooning with its sexy doctors getting into all kinds of sexy doctor shenanigans. Alongside the ride since the very beginning is Justin Chambers, who’s played fan favorite Dr. Alex Karev, introduced in the pilot as a surgical intern before rising the ranks to resident and then pediatric surgical fellow (while dating and marrying, like, everyone on staff at Seattle Grace Hospital). But now, according to Deadline, Chambers is leaving the show, saying goodbye after 15 years of television service.
Chambers did not appear in the show’s fall finale in November 2019, and no details have been given about how many more episodes he’s shot and when his final episode will air (or whether it already has). However, Chambers himself had this to say:
There’s no good time to say goodbye to a show and character that’s defined so much of my life for the past 15 years. For some time now, however, I have hoped to diversify my acting roles and career choices. And, as I turn 50 and am blessed with my remarkable, supportive wife and five wonderful children, now is that time. As I move on from Grey’s Anatomy, I want to thank the ABC family, Shonda Rhimes, original cast members Ellen Pompeo, Chandra Wilson and James Pickens, and the rest of the amazing cast and crew, both past and present, and, of course, the fans for an extraordinary ride.
Unlike other actors on the show who left under dramatic circumstances (i.e. Isaiah Washington and Katherine Heigl), it certainly seems like Chambers is leaving amicably, with all parties involved feeling nothing but positive vibes. Other actors who’ve left the show and successfully diversified their acting roles include Sandra Oh, who’s currently crushing on Killing Eve, and Patrick Dempsey, who’s got the forthcoming TV drama Devils coming up. Grey’s Anatomy, now the longest-running medical drama on television, continues to pull in massive ratings for ABC.