Max Goodwin isn’t going to like this news one bit: New Amsterdam star Freema Agyeman, who has played Dr. Helen Sharpe since the show’s debut, will not return for the NBC medical drama’s fifth and final season, TVLine has exclusively learned.
A source close to the show tells us that it was Agyeman’s decision to leave. The actress recently began shooting the Sky Original comedy series Dreamland, opposite Lily Allen, in England.
“Dearest Dam Fam. First off I would like to say a huge heartfelt thank you for your unending, dedicated and deliciously ferocious support!” Agyeman said in a statement to TVLine. “I feel very fortunate to have connected with so many of you over these past few years, while rolling around in the skin of Ms. Helen Sharpe, and witness every ebb and flow of your emotional investment. 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.
“While I am saddened, I am also incredibly excited to see how the story concludes as a fan of the series,” Agyeman continued. “It has been such a joy to play Dr. Helen Sharpe for 4 seasons — those 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!”
New Amsterdam creator/showrunner David Schulner and executive producer Peter Horton added in a statement: “We wish Freema the best of luck on her next chapter and the doors of New Amsterdam will always be open if she wishes to return! We are extremely proud of the impact Freema and Dr. Helen Sharpe have made over these past four seasons and are so grateful to have been a part of that story. As we head into the fifth and final season, we want our #Sharpwin fans to know we still have a few surprises in store for them.”
As fans of the show will recall, the Season 4 finale did not end on a good note for Max and his (now ex?) fiancée Helen. After a season that found the pair navigating their new relationship, a move to London for Helen’s job and a health crisis, Max and Helen got engaged. They eventually decided to get married in New York, but while Helen was supposed to be on a flight to NYC, an unexpected hurricane hit the city. On the ground in New Amsterdam, Max worried when he couldn’t reach Helen. When the storm finally passed, Max got a message from his fiancée: “Today has been… I have no words. Will call you ASAP.”
Max, meanwhile, set up an impromptu wedding space on New Amsterdam’s rooftop. As he stood in his suit, awaiting his bride, he got a call from Helen, who was still in London. “I can’t,” she cried. Shocked and crestfallen, Max told his worried friends, “She’s not coming.”
When New Amsterdam returns on Tuesday, Sept. 20 at 10/9c, it will do so with at least one doc fully on the hospital staff: As TVLine previously reported, Sandra Mae Frank, who plays Dr. Elizabeth Wilder, has been promoted to series regular for the show’s swan song.
#Sharpwin fans, how are you handling this news? Hit the comments with your reactions!