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The Biggest Cast Exits of 2024 (So Far)

The Biggest Cast Exits of 2024 (So Far)
The Biggest Cast Exits of 2024 (So Far)

We’ve got something to add to that famously short list of life’s certainties: death, taxes and shocking cast exits in any given year of television. (A little wordy, we know. We’ll work on it.)

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That last one is what we’re focusing on in the list below, which will keep track of all the cast departures announced — some of them in rather surprising fashion! — throughout 2024.

And while most cast shake-ups tend to come from TV’s scripted side — Law & Order is saying goodbye to fan favorite Sam Waterston, for example — our list also includes notable unscripted exits. Thus far in 2024, Bravo veteran Kandi Burruss has revealed she won’t return to The Real Housewives of Atlanta, while Katy Perry will leave her seat at American Idol‘s judging table vacant after the current season.

We’ll be updating this list all year long as more small-screen departures make headlines, so be sure to bookmark this page for all the latest reshuffles on your favorite shows. In the meantime, keep scrolling to see who’s leaving what (so far) this year, then drop a comment with the stars you’re sad to see go!

Josh Stewart, Criminal Minds: Evolution

Josh Stewart, Criminal Minds: Evolution
Josh Stewart, Criminal Minds: Evolution

Stewart, who made his debut as New Orleans Police Department detective William LaMontagne Jr. way back in Season 2 of Criminal Minds‘ original run, announced in January that he will not be back for Criminal Minds: Evolution‘s second season.

“[S]adly, my days of playing Will LaMontagne Jr. are over,” Stewart posted on X in response to a fan asking about his Season 2 status. “You guys have been the absolute best.”

Sam Waterston, Law & Order

Sam Waterston, Law & Order
Sam Waterston, Law & Order

NBC announced in February that longtime Law & Order actor Waterston would be stepping down from his role as D.A. Jack McCoy. His final episode aired Feb. 22, and he was replaced in March by Scandal vet Tony Goldwyn.

“The time has come for me to move on and take Jack McCoy with me. There’s sadness in leaving, but I’m just too curious about what’s next,” Waterston said in a statement. “An actor doesn’t want to let himself get too comfortable. I’m more grateful to you than I can say. Law & Order’s continuing and amazing long run, along with its astounding comeback, is all thanks to you and to Dick Wolf, but for whose vision, patience, perseverance, and unique combination of creative and business talents, none of this would have happened. I feel very blessed. I hope to see you all on the flip side.”

Kandi Burruss, The Real Housewives of Atlanta

Kandi Burruss, The Real Housewives of Atlanta
Kandi Burruss, The Real Housewives of Atlanta

Burruss, who has been a main cast member on The Real Housewives of Atlanta since Season 2, announced in February that she has chosen to depart the Bravo reality series ahead of its 16th season.

In a red carpet interview with our sister site Variety, Burruss said, “I decided I’m not coming back this year. It’s been 14 seasons, and they allowed us to sit around for a little too long, but during that time I had started working on a lot of other things, and I got some nice big projects coming soon, so I’m super excited about those things.”

Marlo Hampton and Sanya Richards-Ross later announced their RHOA departures, too, while Real Housewives of Potomac cast member Candiace Dillard Bassett opted to exit that series ahead of Season 9.

Katy Perry, American Idol

Katy Perry, American Idol
Katy Perry, American Idol

The current 22nd season of American Idol will be Perry’s last, she announced in February on Jimmy Kimmel Live.

“I think this probably will be my last season for Idol,” said Perry, who has served as a judge alongside Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie since the series was rebooted at ABC. “I love Idol so much. It’s connected me with the heart of America, but I feel like I need to go out and feel that pulse to my own beat.”

Sara Ramírez, And Just Like That…

Sara Ramírez, And Just Like That…
Sara Ramírez, And Just Like That…

After co-starring in the first two seasons of Max’s Sex and the City continuation, Ramírez won’t return as non-binary podcast host Che Diaz for Season 3. No official statement regarding Ramírez’s departure has been released, but sources told our sister publication Variety in February that the Che character had reached a natural conclusion, since their relationship with Cynthia Nixon’s Miranda had ended. (Max had no comment when reached by TVLine.)

Meanwhile, Karen Pittman — who played professor Nya Wallace on the series — has also exited ahead of Season 3 due to scheduling conflicts.

Stuart Martin, Miss Scarlet & the Duke

Stuart Martin, Miss Scarlet & the Duke
Stuart Martin, Miss Scarlet & the Duke

PBS announced in February that Miss Scarlet & the Duke would return for a fifth season… but it will simply be called Miss Scarlet, with Martin departing as William “The Duke” Wellington after four seasons.

“It has been such an incredible joy to bring Duke to life through [series creator] Rachael [New]’s beautiful, brilliant writing, and to get to play him for the past four years,” Martin said in a statement at the time. “But it felt like the time was right for Scarlet to explore new stories and challenges for now, as the show continues to grow and evolve. I will miss working with my amazing partner in crime Kate [Phillips] and the rest of our brilliant family and team, but I’m excited to continue following Eliza and her escapades as a huge fan and newly enrolled Scarleteer!”

Olivia Colman, Heartstopper

Olivia Colman, Heartstopper
Olivia Colman, Heartstopper

Due to scheduling conflicts, Colman won’t return for Season 3 of Netflix’s Heartstopper, where she played Nick Nelson’s beloved mom, Sarah.

“We tried absolutely everything we could, but it wasn’t meant to be, and that’s just the way the TV world works sometimes,” series creator Alice Oseman told fans in March. “Nick’s story from the comics is still there, still infinitely important to me, and Sarah’s role as emotional support for Nick will shift to other characters in the story for now. If we get a Season 4, I would love for Olivia to be a part of it again!”

Hunter Clowdus, All American

Hunter Clowdus, All American
Hunter Clowdus, All American

TVLine confirmed in March that Clowdus, who had co-starred as football player JJ Parker since All American‘s debut, would not be returning to the CW series for Season 6. A rep for the show told us JJ’s storyline had “organically wrapped” at the end of Season 5, though as far back as November 2023, Clowdus had been hinting in social media posts that it was not his choice to depart the show.

“That said I began to feel very unwelcome there and it was really taking a toll on my mental health,” Clowdus wrote in an Instagram comment. “I still wanted to come back for the fans but at the end of the day it was their decision to not continue JJ’s character.”

Rome Flynn, Chicago Fire

Rome Flynn, Chicago Fire
Rome Flynn, Chicago Fire

Flynn, who joined Chicago Fire as Derrick Gibson at the start of Season 12, ultimately had a short-lived run on the NBC series, exiting after just six episodes.

The actor told our sister site Variety that it wasn’t his choice to leave the show: “Just like all the fans, I was sad to see Gibson leave. He was a character I very much enjoyed playing,” he said in April. “I had a wonderful experience during my time on Chicago Fire and have great respect for the cast and crew and hope to team up with Dick Wolf again when the time is right.”

Crystal Kung Minkoff, The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills

Crystal Kung Minkoff, The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills
Crystal Kung Minkoff, The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills

After three seasons, Minkoff announced her departure from The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills on April 15, ahead of the Bravo reality show’s upcoming 14th season.

In an emotional video posted to Instagram, she called her exit “very bittersweet,” adding that it was an “honor” being the first Asian-American cast member.

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