Audra McDonald

According to TV Guide’s Ausiello Report , the role of Dr. Naomi Bennet (Addison’s best friend) has been recast on Private Practice. To replace Merrin Dungey, ABC has chosen Audra McDonald.

Execs decided to recast the part because they felt the chemistry between the characters (Addison and Bennet) wasn’t perfect:

Earlier this month, there were rumblings that execs had concerns that the Private lineup wasn’t perfect, especially after some of the actors didn’t “pop” with audiences. “Grey’s Anatomy was cast off whoever seemed to fit the parts best and have good chemistry,” says a well-placed source. “The spin-off was cast with actors the network and studio already had under contract.”

No matter the reason, I think it was a good call. To be honest, I have never been a big fan of Merrin Dungey (even on Alias), so this comes as a good news to me. Now we’ll have to see whether Audra McDonald does a better job… Tune in this fall.