Exclusive

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.

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“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.”

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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 are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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209 Comments
  1. Ashley Ranney says:

    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

  2. tw111 says:

    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.

  3. Vallery says:

    Naomi should take Sam with her wherever she disappears to next season.

  4. Michelle says:

    I loved Naomi and its sad to see her go. I wish her the best and understand the decision to leave. Family comes first.

  5. mel says:

    sucks, i was hoping to see her get back together with sam! i hate to see sam and adison together!!! i will miss her!!!!

  6. Andie says:

    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.

  7. Yasmine says:

    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

  8. the only one says:

    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!

    • Yasmine says:

      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

    • Neil says:

      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.

  9. apparently, not the only one says:

    Bravo! Break them up. They have ZERO chemistry. Hard to watch!

  10. Jacqi says:

    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.

  11. Reality says:

    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…

  12. Bridget says:

    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.

  13. Candyz85 says:

    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.

  14. sarah says:

    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

  15. ronkus says:

    pls let her stay she and sam are the only reason why i watch the show. its never going to be the same again……………

  16. Anita Wilson says:

    I will greatly miss her presence. I was really hoping that she and Sam would get back together. I HATE him with Addison. YUCK!

  17. Sofie says:

    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.

  18. Amandalyn says:

    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!

  19. Amandalyn says:

    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!

  20. Disappointed peach says:

    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.

  21. Roxy says:

    Audra McDonald is great as Naomi, and I’m glad that at least she’ll return to the show periodically.

  22. kita says:

    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…

  23. Cordelia says:

    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.

  24. Claire Geinzer says:

    HATE HATE HATE NAIOMI- complains too much. LOVEEEEEEEE AMELIA!!!

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