New Amsterdam Star Announces Departure Ahead Of Fifth And Final Season, Suggests 'Fanfic' To Continue The Story

freema agyeman as helen sharpe new amsterdam nbc
(Image credit: NBC)

New Amsterdam is still a couple of months away from returning with new episodes after the game-changing Season 4 finale back in May, but one star has revealed a huge change coming to the fifth and final season. Freema Agyeman, who has played Dr. Helen Sharpe from the very beginning, announced that she will not be back for Season 5. She dropped the news with a touching message, and a suggestion for fans about how to continue the Helen (and Sharpwin) story.

Freema Agyeman’s Helen had a rough ride throughout the fourth season despite finally starting a romance with Max and returning to London. After some difficulties with her mother, a near-death experience and health crisis upon returning to New York for a visit in a karaoke night gone wrong, and Max planning a wedding for them without her input, it’s understandable that the character needed a break by the end of the finale. 

Still, it’ll be sad to lose the character ahead of the premiere, so it’s nice to see that the actress has a message for the “Dam Fam.” On Instagram, she wrote:

First off I would like to say a huge heartfelt THANK YOU for your unending, dedicated and deliciously ferocious support! I feel very fortunate to have connected with so many of you, while rolling around in the skin of Ms. Helen Sharpe, and witness every ebb and flow of your emotional investment in her. What a ride! Thank you for being on it with me. She has meant so much to me, but the time has come for me to hang up her white coat, as I officially share the news that I will not be returning for the final season of New Amsterdam.

Although fans might not be feeling too upbeat about losing Helen (especially after some cast comments during Season 4) from the final batch of episodes, the actress had nothing but good things to say about her time at New Amsterdam, her experiences playing her character, and the support of the fans. Viewers have been invested in her from the beginning, both for her work as a doctor and her dynamic with Max. The hospital had to deal with her absence after she returned to London in Season 4, but this will be the first time that she’ll be missing as a series regular. Agyeman continued:

While I am saddened, I am also incredibly excited to see how the story concludes as a fan of the series. It has been such a joy to play Dr. Helen Sharpe for 4 seasons - those magnificent writers built a badass! Beyond grateful for the opportunity to tell some of her stories! Fanfic - it’s over to you to tell the rest!! Lots of love Fam!

Freema Agyeman clearly isn’t leaving with any bitterness about the series, as she considers herself a fan, and it sounds like she’ll be joining viewers in tuning in when the fifth season debuts. It doesn’t sound like she’s planning on appearing at all, based on this post and her advice to fanfic writers to pic up the story and tell what happens next. Still, a lot can happen between now and the end of the 13-episode final season. 

It should be interesting to see how the show handles Helen’s sudden absence. She told Max that she couldn’t come to New York to marry him, and was still in London by the end of the Season 4 finale, so her exit was set up in a way that it won’t be too jarring for the show to return without her. A lot may depend on if New Amsterdam goes for a time jump over hiatus, to give Max some time after Helen missed what he’d intended to be their wedding. For now, check out Freema Agyeman’s post for yourself:

New Amsterdam will return to NBC with the premiere of the fifth and final season on Tuesday, September 20 at 10 p.m. ET. It comes back in a very big week of TV premieres across network television, with all nine of the Dick Wolf shows debuting their new seasons, and even sharing the night of September 20 with The Resident as another hit medical drama. To plan ahead for the fall season, check out our 2022 TV premiere schedule!

Laura Hurley
Senior Content Producer

Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. Resident of One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and Northeast Ohio. Will not time travel and can cite multiple TV shows to explain why. She does, however, want to believe that she can sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation (and author bios).