Any series is never safe from the shock departure of a star actor or actress. Of Grey’s Anatomy at Criminal minds Passing by The Vampire Diariesback on 14 of them.
Update of the article “Teen Wolf, Charmed… The 14 most shocking star departures from TV shows” published in January 2020 and updated in September 2022.
Justin Chambers in the series Grey’s Anatomy
After Katherine Heigl, Sandra Oh and Patrick Dempsey, Grey’s Anatomy is experiencing a shocking new start at the start of 2020. Justin Chambers, who has lent his features to Alex Karev since the very first episode, said goodbye to the series which revealed him, specifying that he wanted “diversify your roles and career choices as much as possible”. Except that, unlike the actors mentioned above, Justin Chambers will not have a real end in Grey’s Anatomy since its last episode has already been broadcast!
Shannen Doherty- Beverly Hills 90210, Charmed
Shannen Doherty was the star of two cult 90s series, the first being Beverly Hills 90210 and the second Charmed. Either way, she left before the end for backstage tensions. If her character of Brenda Walsh is content to sail towards new adventures at the end of the fourth season of Beverly Hills 90210Prue Halliwell is killed at the end of season 3 of Charmed.
Jussie Smollett- Empire
Series Empire saw the departure of one of its leading actors: Jussie Smollett. The one who played Jamal Lyon was cut from the plot at the end of season 5 after accusations that he staged his own racist and homophobic attack. And if rumors of his return for the series’ grand finale have circulated, Lee Daniels, creator ofEmpiredenied.
Victoria Abril in the series Clem
French series are no strangers to this phenomenon either. One of the most striking examples concerns Clem and Victoria Abril. The Spanish actress, yet the headliner of TF1’s family drama, left before the start of season 9. It then starts with a jump of six years into the future, where we learn that Caro died following a car accident that plunged Clem into a deep coma. “The production wanted to reformat the series and the writers no longer had too much inspiration for Caro” explained Victoria Abril in the columns of Télé 7 Jours.
Kal Penn – Dr House
Kal Penn is one of those stars to have left their series for WTF reasons. Indeed, the interpreter of Dr. Lawrence Kutner left to become a consultant for the White House, and more precisely for Barack Obama. A position he held until his resignation in 2017! On screen, his departure resulted in the suicide of his character.
Nina Dobrev – The Vampire Diaries
The end of season 6 The Vampire Diaries was marked by the shock departure of Nina Dobrev aka the heroine Elena Gilbert. Obviously, this announcement marked a turning point in the history of the series. But it was “the plan from the start” according to the main interested party, during an interview for Harper’s Bazaar in 2017. Which did not prevent Nina Dobrev from regretting (or almost) her choice afterwards…
Columbus Shorts in the series Scandal
The one who was part of Olivia Pope’s “Gladiators” was forced to give up his apron at the end of season 3. Accused of domestic violence, actor Columbus Short disappeared from the series at the start of season 4 , where we learn that his character Harrison Wright is dead.
Mischa Barton – Newport Beach
If several rumors circulated around the departure of Mischa Barton and the death of Marissa Cooper at the end of season 3 of Newport BeachJosh Schwartz revealed in 2013 that it was a “creative decision”. “That was the direction the show needed to move in and also, to be honest, the need to hit hard to shake the show up at the end of season three and come back for a season four.” said the creator of Newport Beach at the Huffington Post. But what made more noise is that Mischa Barton spoils the fate of his character a few hours before the broadcast of the episode.
Michael Pitt- Boardwalk Empire
The end of the second season Boardwalk Empire shocked the fans, since we are witnessing the death of Jimmy Darmody. And despite rumors suggesting that the behavior of his interpreter Michael Pitt was at the origin of such a twist, the producers insisted that it was a creative decision. “I always knew he would die at the hands of Nucky” confided the creator Terence Winter to the Hollywood Reporter in 2012.
Connie Britton- Nashville
Again, a creative decision would be behind the death of a major character. At the end of episode 9 of season 5 of Nashville, Rayna, played by Connie Britton, is killed. It is in particular the change of channel for the musical series which played in the decision of the actress. “When CMT took over the show, Connie went to co-showrunner Ed Zwick and myself to tell us that she was feeling an internal conflict. She felt that creatively she wanted to move forward, and she was torn because she loved the show.” revealed showrunner Marshall Herskovitz to Variety.
Tyler Hoechlin- Teen Wolf
After Crystal Reed, it was another departure that shook the cast of Teen Wolf. Tyler Hoechlin, present since the very first episode in the role of Derek Hale, made the decision to leave after season 4. “He said he felt he was at a point in his career where he wanted to try new things, things that scared him, but wasn’t ready to walk away from the Teen family. Wolf. So I talked to the channel about it, and we decided it was a good time to refocus Season 5 on Teen Wolf’s teens.” remembers the creator Jeff Davis, in an interview for Buzzfeed. That didn’t stop the actor from returning for the series finale.
Veronica Castro- The House of Las Flores
Headliner of the first season, Veronica Castro did not return for the second burst of episodes of The House of Las Flores. Even before the renewal of the Netflix series, the actress announced in the press that she did not see herself reprising her role because the plot of her character was over. Indeed, when we see how season 1 ends for the matriarch of the De La Mora family, it is rather clear that she will not return. Thereby, Casa De Las Flores continues without its early star.
Shemar Moore in the series Criminal minds
After playing Derek Morgan for 11 seasons ofCriminal minds, Shemar Moore left the show in hopes of moving forward career-wise. “I had the same feeling when I was in The Fires of Love. I often repeat that I consider my career as school. The Young and the Restless was high school. I knew I needed to evolve and graduate. And then Criminal Minds was college. And I feel that I need to evolve and graduate” the actor told E! News when he left.
To review our Season 1 article, go HERE.