Grey's Anatomy Shocker: Sandra Oh Leaving After 10 Years -- 'I Am Ready to Let Cristina Go'

Sandra Oh Leaving Grey's AnatomyThe doctor is out.

Sandra Oh has decided to leave Grey’s Anatomy when her contract expires at the end of the ABC hit’s upcoming 10th season, TVLine has confirmed.

RELATED | Grey’s Anatomy Boss Shonda Rhimes on Possible Exits of Ellen Pompeo, Patrick Dempsey

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, which first broke the news, Oh said, “Creatively, I really feel like I gave it my all, and I feel ready to let her go. It’s such an interesting thing to play a character for so long and to actually get the sense that she wants to be let go as well. [Cristina] wants to be let go, and I am ready to let her go. We have to start the process, story-wise, for the Grey’s writers to think of why she’s going to go.”

Series creator Shonda Rhimes, meanwhile, promises Cristina will get “the exit she deserves.”

RELATED | Grey’s Anatomy’s Kevin McKidd: Owen/Cristina ‘Might Spend a Lot of This Season Broken Up’

Oh is one of six Grey’s actors facing expiring contracts in May. Fellow “originals” Ellen Pompeo, Patrick Dempsey, Justin Chambers, James Pickens Jr. and Chandra Wilson will also be deciding their GA fates in the coming weeks and months (Pickens’ may be decided for him in the season premiere, when we learned if Richard survived the finale).

“I spoke to [ABC Studios] and asked really clearly that I know sooner rather than later,” Rhimes told TVLine last month. “Last time they kept me guessing up until almost the last minute, which was really stressful. This time I asked to know much sooner, so that we could plan for it.”

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219 Comments
  1. Ninna says:

    Of course! Shonda wrote Crowen absolutely incompatible. Two fundamentally different people who had no business staying together. She closed all the doors and windows for this couple and we barely saw any growing. And when we saw some, was only to see them regress for plot interests. Circles. No wonder she got saturated and exhausted of the same old…

  2. Andie says:

    I don’t blame her, it doesn’ feel like the writers have much good material left for her character anyway and I’d love to see her in something she can stretch herself in a little more. Really that’s true of most of the cast and I’m sort of hoping they wrap it up nicely at the end of this season instead of dragging it out much longer than they should.

  3. Mandy says:

    With Oh confirming her exit, I can strongly say I think it is time for the show to close. I do t really want to see a Grey’s without Christina.

  4. Sarah says:

    SANDRA OH IS MY FAVORITE PART OF THIS SHOW……it breaks my heart she is leaving. It will e nearly impossible for me to watch when she is gone.

  5. cjeffery7 says:

    it’s been a rough month for BFFs

  6. cjeffery7 says:

    that’s a shame, i just started liking her character the most. oh well, no hard feelings. 10 years is a long time, i dont know how mariska hargitay’s done it for 14.

  7. Midori says:

    I’d just end the show and if some minor characters want to do a spinoff than go for that.

  8. ggny says:

    Patrick and Ellen will follow suit. And my guess is Jo will be the main character and the show will go back to focusing on interns

    • Chris says:

      If all of what you say happens, the show is cooked. It will lose SO many viewers. Hardly anyone will want to watch it for boring Jo, of all characters.

  9. Fernanda says:

    I don’t want to see Grey’s Anatomy as the new ER. Greys should end with the original cast. Even if the hospital’s name has the Grey last name.

  10. Cathie says:

    Sandra Oh is such a wonderfully talented actress. She brought Christina to life and we saw her grow. I will truly miss the Christina character and wish Sandra Oh a tremendous career to come.

  11. Kelly says:

    I have been looking for that thing that will finally get me to break up with Grey’s. I have just found it. Christina has been my favorite character since day one. I could not leave until she did. Can’t wait to find out what Sandra will do next. Whatever it is, I’ll tune in.

  12. sladewilson says:

    Sandra is an amazing talent. The woman put in a decade – she’s earned her due. I know I’d be in the minority but I would love to see Preston Burke walk Christina off… yeah, you all can yell and scream now but I miss Dr. Burke… Good luck and God Speed, Sandra – I’ll be waiting for your next project…

  13. Tara says:

    We all knew this was coming. Shonda Rhimes secured the show’s title still making sense by renaming the hospital “Grey-Slone Memorial”. And you know EP and PD kind of have to agree on what they are doing because I believe at this point it would royaly suck if they did one more tragic thing to Mer and Der! Considering they own the Hospital the characters can go off and do anything. Miss Shonda really knew what she was doing the past year. She was quoted as saying she wanted it to be the next ER. I still miss the originals! My prediction is that Justin Chambers and possibly Chandra Wilson will be the only ones staying.

  14. Justin says:

    Real shocker. I always thought she’d out stay Ellen Pompeo. Speaking of which, it’s only August and one the last remaining major characters has stated she’s leaving, I can’t help but think Patrick Dempsey will follow suit, and there’s no Meredith without Derek and, to me, no Grey’s w/o Meredith Grey. Revolve your door all you want, Shonda… MerDer out, I’m out. (PS the last major character was Izzie, and before that George but he stopped being ‘major’ his last couple of seasons on the show. Before that, Addison, McSteamy, Dr. Burke. No one else really managed to be significant. Not even Alex Carev, Chief, or Baily, let alone the newer additions — long story short, kinda nice the Super Couple managed to out last every supporting player, i. e. there’s no excuse to continue the show without them.)

  15. danielle h says:

    Please, shonda, have some dignity and end it. The others will follow suit and jump ship. It’s time to put it to bed.

  16. Natalie says:

    Why are people calling for the end of the series? Do you know how many shows go on and survive with complete cast changes? Lots of them. Look how long ER went for with the cast changing.

    • ggny says:

      Ya Jo was already front and center last year it seems like she is being groomed to take over as the lead

    • megan says:

      Isn’t it funny? They still watch it and all they do is complain. The easy solution when you don’t like a show anymore is to stop watching. Not these people though! This is why the series continues to thrive. People are STILL watching. Jesus people, go find a new show and leave this one alone.

    • twilight123 says:

      ER was an embarrassment those last few years. I love Grey’s way too much to want it to go out like that. I’d rather leave with the main cast in tow, and on our own terms, then wait until we become a ratings joke in a few seasons and have ABC pull the plug haphazardly.

  17. JakeK says:

    They should end Grey’s with the main cast this season, then focus on the interns or Spin them off.

  18. Kissan says:

    Real shocker. But 10 years is a long time and she can quit if she wants. I honestly think Grey’s Anatomy still has a little bit more life to do at least one or two more seasons. Maybe Ellen and Patrick will stay for one or two more seasons then ABC will end the show which is awesome cause I can already imagine the series finale. Then Chandra and Justin Chambers and the people that play April, Jackson and Callie will probably stay on a spinoff with the interns for a while.

  19. Emma says:

    But I’m not ready! Seriously though, good for Sandra. She’s an awesome actress and while I love Cristina Yang, I can’t blame her for wanting to move on and not potentially be typecast for the rest of her life. It will be weird to have a Grey’s without Cristina but at least we’ll have a whole season to prepare for it! And she better not get killed off.

  20. esha says:

    I hate to see her leave but maybe it is a good time to kinda close out the show. Dont get me wrong I live GA but all good things must come to an end!

  21. Alichat says:

    Hmm…surprising, and yet not. I can see why she’d want to move on. I wonder how the dynamic on the show will be after her exit…..and if she will be the only one. She and Kevin McKidd were the only reason I remained a viewer after 2008 with all that Lexie/George/Izzie/Alex mess and Hahn mess.

  22. Nick Fleisher says:

    If Ellen and Patrick leave the show would be done honestly the show could end at 10.

  23. Dags says:

    Hmmm… Let me issue the response every REAL Grey’s fan is feeling: NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

  24. Dags says:

    There is no Grey’s without Christina Yang. She is Mer’s person. The show is OFFICIALLY ending regardless of what Shonda wants to say

    • Ninna says:

      I agree. I feel it has more weight SO leaving than if it was EP. Cristina was the secondary character that surpassed the main character.

  25. Madeline says:

    i LOVE Grey’s and have from the beginning but what’s wrong with ending this great show after 10 seasons? i think that’s good enough— i just dont see why we need another and another season—if everyone original stayed and was really IN IT then okay. Same with the writers—they have Scandal now and seem real involved in that. id rather Greys writers write a wonderful final farewell season with the originals. that’s what id like anyway.

  26. katrina says:

    Im so sad! She has made that character real! I love Christina, she probably is my fav! I will miss her! I cant wait to see Sandra play a new character! At least we know and don’t have to play the guessing game. I hope she has a beautiful send off!! :)

  27. LC says:

    They should just cancel the show. Grey’s Anatomy is getting more ridiculous as it goes on. And now that big main cast characters are leaving I see no point. I just hope they don’t kill off Christina like they do nearly every single one that has departed.

  28. jen says:

    Good for her. I have watched too many shows where the actors stay past their prime, and well after their characters have had a great run and a memorable storyline. (Hello Jorja Fox!) Give your character a satisfying exit arc, then go. Pursue your artistic side. Sandra Oh was by far the best actor on Grey’s. I wish her luck and much success.

  29. 4theloveoffilm says:

    LOTS of popular shows losing major characters this season, and the season has yet to begin.

  30. Sam Goodman says:

    I have a feeling this is going to be like ER.. the main characters are gonna be all gone but they’ll keep adding new ones and sooner or later the show will be an entirely new cast and it will not even be worth watching.

  31. About damn time. Plasticface has been the bane of that show since day one.

  32. DavidSask says:

    Honestly I think this should be the last season and wrap it up with cast complete! Its time to move on for the actors and really dragging in new interns and other drama tricks are getting played out!

  33. Walter says:

    I can only imagine the show continuing if the other five original characters continue their roles. Which means they have to save James Pickens, Jr.’s character. If both Chief Webber and Cristina leave, they show would be to far removed from itself. I trust Shonda and ABC to end the series before it loses sight of what (and who) it is about.

  34. eila1995 says:

    Reblogged this on Let Life Move You and commented:
    This makes me pretty sad. I don’t care if it is just a tv show.

  35. Chris says:

    She is so ugly it hurts my eyes!

  36. Kari says:

    It’s not Grey’s without Christina and Meredith, end the show and create a spin off if the others want to stay.

  37. Katie says:

    I have never been a big Christina fan: Sandra don’t let the door hit you in the ass when you leave!

  38. Katie says:

    I was mad when they killed off Mark and Lexie; I wanted Arizona to bite the dust; and have Callie get together! Too late now!

  39. Katie says:

    Callie & Mark get together! I meant to say!

  40. Truefan says:

    Oh is a terrific actress, but playing the same character for ten years is a long time. She probably wants to do some new and challenging things. I’ll be watching to see what new endeavors she tries.

  41. A says:

    Beyond sad about this, I can’t imagine this show without Cristina/Sandra. She is such an important part of what made Grey’s what it is. All I can say is that in the event that the show continues beyond the tenth season, I hope she get a good ending and that Shonda better not kill her!

  42. A says:

    I seriously wish it was Arizona leaving and not her!

  43. Vickie Nelson says:

    Cristina Doesn’t make or break Grey’s…Derek, Meredith, Alex, Jackson, Bailey Richard…Tec they keep it going….and me personally stuck to the tv. IF Cristina wants to go…hope she has a nice life.

  44. Hannah says:

    Sad to read this, although I totally understand her wanting to leave after 10 years. It’s crazy to think she’s only been given 1 Emmy and 1 SAG for her performance, she has been the heart of this show for me.
    I think the show has done a good job of moving past actor departures, but hers will be hard to manage.

  45. april-ann says:

    LOL. I’ve been ready to let them ALL go for quite some time now.

  46. tiffany says:

    I love the Oh and if she’s really leaving I will miss her. With Oh and Leigh gone, I will only have one favorite left. That is Chandra Wilson. If she leaves I’m O.U.T.

  47. Mel says:

    I’m feeling a mix of emotions at the moment. On the one hand, Cristina has always been my favorite and Sandra Oh is one of the few reasons I stuck with the show during it’s not-so-great seasons. Grey’s without Cristina and the Cristina/Meredith friendship is definitely hard to imagine. On the other hand, Cristina’s storyline has been so stagnant these past few seasons and it’s good to know the writers have a chance to really wrap things up for her and hopefully give her some good character development as her storyline comes to a close. It’s in Shonda’s hands now. I hope she writes a better ending for Cristina than she did for Lexie.

  48. Nancy says:

    So she’s leaving. Big deal. Yes I wil miss her but to stop watching the show? For me she was not the reason I watched. So I will keep waching. Now if PD and EP leave that will be different. Every other character has moved forward but her. She’s stuck. And I really think you all need to give the interns a chance. ER lasted quite a while after the originals all left and it will still good. Law and Order did it with several cast changes. Life goes on You can’t end a show because one actor wants to go.

  49. nickrnz says:

    The show definitely won’t be the same without her. Love me some Sandra Oh and Cristina Yang!

  50. Valerie says:

    I agree with what Shonda said in the THR article, “this feels different.” Losing the other characters (Mark, Lexie, etc) was depressing, but there’s just a different type sadness knowing that there will no longer be a Cristina.

    I still love the show, I will watch it until the end, but I would love for it to end after season 10. Unlike E.R., this show is MAINLY about relationships. We’ve invested years into most of these friendships, you can’t just recreate that by having a revolving door of characters. Someone like this leaving, just kind of changes the essence of Grey’s Anatomy.

    Finally, the way Sandra Oh has handled this has been so dignified and respectful. She’s a fantastic actress and could have left years ago; but she put in 10 years. That’s to be commended. And she always seemed like she supported the show and the writers (even though I imagine at times recently, she must have been bored), and never had a bad word to say. And giving the writers ample time to handle her exit the right way. She’s handled this brilliantly, much better than others have.

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