Bad news in Shondaland: Private Practice, the Grey's Anatomy spin-off, will not continue after its star Kate Walsh exits the series, TVGuide.com has confirmed.
Does Kate Walsh's exit mean the end of Private Practice?
"I'm sad to say that Private Practice's run will end after episode 613 this season," Rhimes announced on Twitter Friday night. "There was a lot of discussion and debate but, in the end, the guys at the network and the studio and I all decided that Private Practice was reaching its finish line. Creatively, we are all extremely proud of the show and especially proud of this season -- which you will all soon discover is a creative renaissance. I can't wait for you to see it."
The ABC drama was initially renewed for a 13-episode sixth season, with a possibility for more episodes to be ordered. In June, Walsh confirmed she would say farewell to Addison Montgomery after the 13-episode run, though executive producer Shonda Rhimes insisted the series could go on without its leading lady.
"It's heartbreaking to end," Rhimes statement continued. "Truly. I feel so lucky to write for these characters and tell these stories and I truly feel this show has taught me so much as a writer. And there's a family here, of crew and cast, people who have bonded over these past five and a half seasons. It's rare for a show to go for more than 100 episodes and we are incredibly proud to have been such a show. And we're grateful to all of you for spending time with us for an hour every week for the last 6 years. It's meant the world."
Exclusive: Will GCB's Marisol Nichols come between a Private Practice couple?
With the possibility this would the show's final year, Rhimes called this their "no-holds-barred season," in which they would utilize fun and creative storytelling, like the Rashomon point-of-view style, which was featured in the season premiere. However, Private Practice returned to dismal numbers, drawing just 6.45 million viewers for its Season 6 premiere. Only 6 million viewers tuned in for its latest outing.
The series initially debuted as a backdoor pilot during Grey's Anatomy's third season, in which Derek's ex-wife Addison ventured to Los Angeles to visit old med school friends Sam (Taye Diggs) and Naomi (then played by Merrin Dungey, later replaced by Audra McDonald), and enlist Naomi's help in getting pregnant.
"It's been a really great ride," Walsh told TVGuide.com recently of saying goodbye to the character. "Between Grey's and this show, it's been eight and a half seasons, and as awesome as it is and as much as I love every single person I work with from tip to tail, it just feels like I've got to see what's next for me."
Exclusive Private Practice First Look: Alfre Woodard, Richard Roundtree come to town!
Had the series lasted beyond these 13 episodes, Walsh would not have been the only actor to leave Private Practice before the end. It was announced in May that Tim Daly would not be returning for Season 6. McDonald left at the end of Season 4, while Chris Lowell's character, Dell, died in the Season 3 finale.
Rhimes will still have two other Shondaland series on the air: Grey's Anatomy is still going strong on Thursday night, followed by Scandal, which replaced Private in the Thursday, 10/9c timeslot last season.
Are you sad this is the final season of Private Practice?
Private Practice airs Tuesdays at 10/9c on ABC.