Audra McDonald Leaving PRIVATE PRACTICE

Audra McDonald

Considering how little we’ve been seeing of Naomi around PRIVATE PRACTICE recently, I can’t say that this news comes as a huge surprise. TVLine.com reports that Audra McDonald is leaving the Thursday-night ABC drama at the end of this season.

The split appears to be amicable on both sides and the actress is reportedly leaving the series to be closer to her family (including 10-year-old daughter Zoe) in New York. But even though McDonald is leaving, it doesn’t necessarily mean we’ve seen the last of Naomi on the show. Though the four-time Tony-winning actress will be lose her series-regular status, there’s a very good chance she’ll be back in a guest-star capacity next season.

Here’s McDonald had to say about the news:

“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, Naomi. I am beyond grateful to [series creator] Shonda Rhimes, ABC, and the team behind the show.”

Rhimes in turn says:

“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.”

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