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There are long running TV shows, and then there's ABC's Grey's Anatomy. The medical drama has been running on the network for a whopping 14 seasons, and is showing no signs of slowing down anytime soon. But because there doesn't seem to be an end in sight for Grey's, we've seen a ton of major characters come and go throughout its long tenure. There are only a handful of original cast members still attached, and now the series is about to lose two of its long running stars: Jessica Capshaw and Sarah Drew, who play Arizona Robbins and April Kepner respectively.
This announcement is no doubt going to feel like a gut punch to the hardcore Grey's Anatomy fans out there, as both Arizona and April have been major characters for roughly ten seasons. Fans have seen the both comes into their own as groundbreaking surgeons, and also watched as each of their epic love stories unfolded, and eventually crumbled (hey, we can't all be Meredith and Derek). Nonetheless, Grey's is about to lose two beloved characters, which certainly has the potential to turn some viewers away from the show on Thursday nights.
Grey's Anatomy creator and TV guru Shonda Rhimes wrote a statement (via THR) about the two stars' upcoming exists, specifically referencing how Arizona and April were able to show stories that aren't very often explored on network dramas. She said,
It's always hard for me to say goodbye to any of my characters. Both Arizona Robbins and April Kepner are not only beloved but iconic --- both the LBGTQ and devout Christian communities are underrepresented on TV. I will be forever grateful to both Jessica and Sarah for bringing these characters to life with such vibrant performances and for inspiring women around the globe. They will always be a part of our Shondaland family.
Indeed, both of the surgeons showed portrayed very different aspects of the American experience, and also had the potential to educate viewers about people unlike themselves. In the past few season, April and Arizona have actually grown quite close, which makes their mutual exit all the more shocking.
But with Arizona and April leaving Grey's Anatomy at the same time, perhaps the two buddies will leave Seattle and end up living together. While Cristina and Meredith's friendship is the show's best, it's been nice to see the two ladies connecting more in recent seasons. One also has to wonder how they'll be working out custody of their kids, as Jackson is in Seattle and Callie is in New York. We'll leave that exposition for the Season 14 finale.
Grey's Anatomy seems to be losing a series regular just about every season, as we've seen characters like Stephanie Edwards, Callie, Riggs, and Murphy depart recently. But with Ellen Pompeo recently having signed on for another two seasons as the highest paid woman on TV, this shouldn't stop Grey's from continuing on, including the spinoff.