Sandra Oh, the Golden Globe-winning actress, has announced that this season will be her last on "Grey's Anatomy," where she played the brilliant but prickly doctor Cristina Yang since the series inception in 2005.
Oh will "pursue other opportunities beyond the series," The Hollywood Reporter reported.
Oh informed her co-stars about her exit during Tuesday's table read for the show's 200th episode.
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"I seriously think I need that much support over processing it over this next year for me to be able to leave fully and leave in a way that I feel like Cristina deserves," Oh told The Hollywood Reporter. "For the first time, at least for my character, you actually have an endpoint, which in series television you never or very rarely have."
But the loss is still significant to the show's storyline; the relationship between Oh's character and Ellen Pompeo's character, Meredith Grey, is at the core of the series.
Oh said she has had the support of series producer Shonda Rhimes "every step of the way."
While no other cast member has announced they were leaving the show, two-year contracts for series regulars Pompeo, Patrick Dempsey, Justin Chambers, James Pickens Jr., and Chandra Wilson will all be up at the end of the season.
"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 said in a statement.
Rhimes said in a statement obtained by USA Today
said that Oh's departure will change the show because her character was such an influential force on the series.
"Over the past 10 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," Rhimes said. "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."
"Grey's Anatomy" has lost main characters before, like Katherine Heigl and T.R. Knight.
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