Exclusive: Audra McDonald to Exit Private Practice

It looks like Private Practice‘s Addison is going to be in the market for a new BFF.

In what is by all indications is a completely amicable split, Audra McDonald is leaving the Thursday-night ABC drama at the end of the season to be closer to her family (including 10-year-old daughter Zoe) in New York. But that doesn’t necessarily mean we’ve seen the last of her Private Practice character, Naomi.

Huh? Allow me to explain.

Although the four-time Tony-winning powerhouse will be losing her series-regular status, there’s a very good chance she’ll be back in a guest-star capacity next season.

Private Practice Exclusive: Shrink Role Fits ER Alum Alex Kingston

“I have spent four amazing years working with the best cast and crew on television at Private Practice,” McDonald tells TVLine exclusively. “Though I am stepping away from the series as a regular in order to spend more time in New York with my family, I am not closing the door on Private Practice or the character, Naomi. I am beyond grateful to [series creator] Shonda Rhimes, ABC, and the team behind the show.”

Rhimes in turn says, “We are so appreciative of Audra and her talents and look forward to having her return to Private Practice as often as possible. Audra has been a bicoastal commuter throughout our four seasons on the air, and, ultimately, we respect and appreciate her desire to spend more time with family in New York.”

Private Practice Exclusive: ‘AddiSam’ Baby Talk from Shonda Rhimes

McDonald’s departure shouldn’t come as a complete shock to fans. For the past two seasons, the actress’ presence on the show has been scaled back as producers strived to mitigate her hellish cross-country trek.

Thoughts? Are you sad to see Naomi go? How do you think her reduced presence will be accounted for? And do you care to guess which Broadway revival McDonald should headline next? Hit the comments!



Comments (209)

  • Have any of you ever heard of grey’s anatomy if you haven’t then PLEASE don’t be talking shit about amelia if you’d watch grey’s anatomy you would understand amlia’s presence in the show and why she was casted the only reason why she was casted was because addison is off of grey’s anatomy and she’s related to amlia and PLEASE don’t talk shit about naomi and audra she is a great person and a great actor and was a awesomely amazing character for the show and she will be missed very deeply and really do wish they wouldn’t take her off she was one of the mine character when the whole show started out so please don’t take her off and please let her come back on the show ofr once in a while to check up on the practice and things since she was the one who started the practice in the first place WE ALL LOVE YOU VERY MUCH NAOMI AND AUDRA good luck with family and things love ya

    Comment by Ashley Ranney – February 9, 2011 08:34 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I won’t miss her character, but Audra is so talented that it was slghtly irritating to never get to hear her fantastic voice on PP….. what a waste.
    Kate Walsh and Taye Diggs are both great separately … but they have zero chemistry together….. please, break ‘em up.

    Comment by tw111 – February 9, 2011 09:21 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • couldn’t have said it better my friend! You’re so right

      Comment by Yasmine – February 10, 2011 11:55 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Naomi should take Sam with her wherever she disappears to next season.

    Comment by Vallery – February 10, 2011 12:05 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I loved Naomi and its sad to see her go. I wish her the best and understand the decision to leave. Family comes first.

    Comment by Michelle – February 10, 2011 04:17 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • sucks, i was hoping to see her get back together with sam! i hate to see sam and adison together!!! i will miss her!!!!

    Comment by mel – February 10, 2011 04:23 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I thought Neomi was great. I really missed her a few times on the show. How about when they let Dell’s daughter go to foster care. Neomi would never have let that happen. I think she really adds a lot to the show and she will be missed.

    Comment by Andie – February 10, 2011 04:48 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I adore Audra Mcdonald and I will sincerely miss her on TV but I must admit the character she played has died. While watching PPP without Naomi, at times I didn’t notice she was gone.

    I do hope to see her on TV or walking around New York (since she “loves and misses” it here so much ;) soon

    Comment by Yasmine – February 10, 2011 11:54 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I may be the only one but I feel like this show is Shonda Rimes after-thought. I keep waiting for it to get canceled mid-season. So, this seems like a perfect time for Audra to leave. The story-lines keep going down the drain anyway. I would hate for it to get really silly and have her sleep with her ex-husband, turn up pregnant and then debate over the next two seasons –what to do about it and cope with feelings of betraying Addison…True enough, that last little madness came from me but this is how silly the show has been of late!

    Comment by the only one – February 10, 2011 12:06 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I’m sure this is exactly what would have happened, probably still will :/ the writers aren’t the best it’s like no one cares about the show

      Comment by Yasmine – February 10, 2011 12:21 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • They need to do something about the writing for this show, no doubt. Otherwise I can’t see it lasting beyond one more additional season. They have a fab cast but I was already bored and disappointed with some of the ridculousness that happened during season 3 and season 4 has not shown much improvement in the grand scale of things.

      Comment by Neil – February 11, 2011 08:31 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Bravo! Break them up. They have ZERO chemistry. Hard to watch!

    Comment by apparently, not the only one – February 10, 2011 12:07 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I am not all that surprised she is being taken off series regular, she really hasn’t been around a whole lot since her character’s boyfriend died.

    Comment by Jacqi – February 10, 2011 04:13 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • People…It’s a TV SHOW!! it’s scripted, these are all ACTORS! The only thing you have to do is shut off your mind and watch. After that you go on with your REAL life… if you have one…

    Comment by Reality – February 10, 2011 09:18 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I appreciate her wanting to end the cross country travel but she will definitely be missed. I missed Naomi early this season with her being away to know she’s not a regular will hurt. I’m glad they’re not recasting the role because I’d like for her to have a recurring role. All the best to Audra.

    Comment by Bridget – February 11, 2011 08:06 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • She was great on the show, although her character was pushed so OUT of character. I wish she didn’t have to go. Any word on if they will let Derek’s sister go? Don’t see a real point to her part.

    Comment by Candyz85 – February 24, 2011 05:06 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Let’s not forget that Addison’s storyline starts from when she was on Grey’s Anatomy…she crossed over remember..and from that storyline. She slept with her husband’s best friend! Wasn’t the nicest of persons to Grey who her husband started seeing! So addison is putting Naomi in that same similar position but the difference is that Naomi is stil trying to stay friends with Addison despite the hurt…I think that’s a big thing to do and shows she really cares about her best friend Addison

    Comment by sarah – March 2, 2011 06:41 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • pls let her stay she and sam are the only reason why i watch the show. its never going to be the same again……………

    Comment by ronkus – March 3, 2011 01:44 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I will greatly miss her presence. I was really hoping that she and Sam would get back together. I HATE him with Addison. YUCK!

    Comment by Anita Wilson – March 4, 2011 08:47 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • These days i feel like killing her, I hate Naomi so much right now for kissing Sam. She is just destroying everything. Sam told Addie that he would never hurt her, and now what????

    So please just get out of the show, so we can have our “Addisam” back.

    Comment by Sofie – March 7, 2011 06:20 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I think it is a great thing to choose your family instead of your career. I think Amelia will grow on me. What is the deal with the comment about “you people” to which “people” are you referring to ther Jessica? Breathe slowly and remember…it’s all pretend!

    Comment by Amandalyn – March 18, 2011 07:27 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I think it is a great thing to choose your family instead of your career. I think Amelia will grow on me. What is the deal with the comment about “you people” to which “people” are you referring to there Jessica? Breathe slowly and remember…it’s all pretend!

    Comment by Amandalyn – March 18, 2011 07:28 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I’m disappointed that Audra is leaving. For me she is the best thing in the show (besides the Cooper/Charlotte relationship – I love them together). Audra is a beautiful and talented black woman. She’s gorgeous and she emotes such feeling when she acts. I understand that she wants to be with her family more so kudos to her. I’ve never seen her in Broadway but I hear she’s excellent. I had stopped watching PP but recently re-started, and I know if Audra leaves, I might lose my reasoning to watch completely. I like Amelia (I like Caterina ever since the show, Missing) and I don’t understand why people don’t like her. I think people don’t like add-ons, and as she was not in the show from the beginning I think that’s the problem with some people. People should give her a chance because she’s sweet. That’s my two cents.

    Comment by Disappointed peach – March 21, 2011 05:32 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Audra McDonald is great as Naomi, and I’m glad that at least she’ll return to the show periodically.

    Comment by Roxy – May 21, 2011 10:04 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I will miss Naomi. I was wondering why she hadn’t been there as much and why they finally wrote her out. Im sorry she had to go…

    Comment by kita – October 6, 2011 07:16 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I totally agree with you.. THE SHOW WILL NOT BE the same… sigh!

      Comment by Pat – October 13, 2011 02:00 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Audra is not only a beautiful woman, with a natural African American “shape”, her singing voice is truly her God given talent. Broadway is her true home. Not a surprise that her time was limited on TV.

    Comment by Cordelia – November 3, 2011 08:06 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • HATE HATE HATE NAIOMI- complains too much. LOVEEEEEEEE AMELIA!!!

    Comment by Claire Geinzer – January 11, 2014 09:26 PM PDT  Reply To This Post

Leave a Reply

Comments on TVLine.com are monitored. So don't go off topic, don't frakkin' curse, and be gone with your offers of discount leather goods. Talk smart about TV!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s