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Good news and bad news for Sara Ramirez fans -- including hope for a Grey's Anatomy Season 16 return for our beloved Callie Torres. Let's get the bad news out of the way: Ramirez is not returning as a series regular for CBS' Madam Secretary Season 6. There's going to be a two-year time jump for that show's final 10 episodes, and it's possible Ramirez's Kat Sandoval will return for a guest appearance, but she's not a regular for the final season.
So that leads to the good news, or at least the hopeful news: The door seems to be open for a Grey's Anatomy return for Callie Torres. That would've made even more sense when Arizona Robbins was still a character on the show, at least for Arizona's final episode in the Season 14 finale. But maybe now that Sara Ramirez will have more time, ABC can bring back BOTH her Callie and Jessica Capshaw's Arizona for a Seattle visit?
At the moment, we don't know if Grey's Anatomy Season 16 has any plans to include Callie. It was probably a surprise to the Grey's team to hear Sara Ramirez wouldn't be back as a regular on Madam Secretary. And Callie is no longer even in Seattle. However, Shonda Rhimes had said Grey's tried to get Sara Ramirez back for Arizona's final episode, but CBS wouldn't let her go. Ramirez seemed to dispute that, tweeting that CBS had been nothing but gracious and generous and were "open to Callie coming back." She added that the ball was in ABC's court.
Shonda did say she would love for Callie to "come home," but now that Shonda is also balancing her new Netflix projects, the day-to-day showrunner seems to be Krista Vernoff. Not sure where Vernoff stands on adding Callie to the story, and if it would even make sense after the show's (bad, in my opinion) decision to write off Arizona. Still, I'd love to see Callie back at least for a cameo.
Arizona talked to Callie on the phone in Grey's Anatomy Season 14 as part of Arizona's wrap-up storyline showing her move with daughter Sofia to New York to be closer to Callie. Things ended on a hopeful note that the trio might be a family again, but it would've been even better to hear from or see Callie herself.
Sara Ramirez joined Grey's Anatomy in 2006 in Season 2 and left in the Season 12 finale in 2016. But unlike some past stars (cough Patrick Dempsey Katherine Heigl Isaiah Washington cough) there was no bad blood on the way out. Ramirez said she loves being part of the Shondaland family, and planned to stay in contact with Shonda Rhimes, repeatedly talking about "keeping those conversations going."
I do hope The Powers That Be keep Sara Ramirez's potential availability and continued love for Grey's Anatomy in mind. As much as fans have taken to new characters like Levi "Glasses" Schmidt (Jake Borelli), Link (Chris Carmack), and Tom Koracick (Greg Germann) -- all three are new series regulars, by the way -- we still love the old school crew. It still stings to have lost Arizona and April Kepner (Sarah Drew) in the Season 14 finale, so bringing back Callie in some way would help keep that connection alive.
ABC has already renewed Grey's Anatomy for Season 17, so if there's no place for Callie (and Arizona) in Season 16, maybe the writers can keep that idea in their back pockets for the next year. The 2019-2020 Season 16 is filming right now, and has a LOT to cover from the Season 15 finale when it returns on Thursday, September 26 on ABC.