It’s never easy saying goodbye. Just ask fans of any number of Dick Wolf’s procedurals.
Below, TVLine has compiled a list of the most shocking cast exits of 2023 — and
seven eight of them hail from the FBI, Law & Order and #OneChicago universes. Meanwhile, The CW’s Superman & Lois is gunning for a record with a whopping seven departures of its own.
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Among the other comedies and dramas that parted (or will soon part ways) with some of their actors and actresses: All American, Bridgerton, The Good Doctor, Grey’s Anatomy, Interview With the Vampire, Superman & Lois and The Sex Lives of College Girls.
Of course, the drama isn’t confined to primetime: Good Morning America duo Amy Robach and T.J. Holmes kicked off the year with some shocking scandal that led to their ousters, while daytime staple Ryan Seacrest announced he was leaving one of his many, many TV jobs. The calendar year also saw the stunning termination of Fox News’ Tucker Carlson and the retirement announcement of Wheel of Fortune host Pat Sajak.
Fair warning: The list below does contain spoilers for events that have happened on several scripted series, so we’d recommend bookmarking and returning to this page if you’re not caught up on your favorites. For everyone else, keep scrolling to review the year’s biggest cast exits, and drop a comment with the one(s) that surprised you the most!
Still to come in TVLine’s Year in Review: Unjust Cancellations, Sexiest Scenes, the Character Deaths That Nearly Killed Us, Scene-Stealing Characters, Best Cameos and much, much more!
Lisa Rinna and Diana Jenkins, The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills
After an eight-season run, Rinna announced in January that she’d be stepping away from the Bravo reality series, and Jenkins followed suit (after just one season as a full-time cast member) later that month.
“This is the longest job I have held in my 35-year career, and I am grateful to everyone at Bravo and all those involved in the series,” Rinna said at the time. “It has been a fun eight-year run, and I am excited for what is to come!” (Jenkins, meanwhile, cited her high-risk pregnancy as the main factor in her decision to exit.)
Amy Robach and T.J. Holmes, GMA3
Robach and Holmes were both permanently dismissed from GMA3 in late January, following ABC’s internal review of the co-hosts’ illicit romantic affair. (They were first benched from the daytime program on Dec. 5, 2022, in the wake of their alleged relationship going public and making headlines.)
“After several productive conversations with Amy Robach and T.J. Holmes, about different options, we all agreed it’s best for everyone that they move on from ABC News,” the network said in a statement. “We recognize their talent and commitment over the years and are thankful for their contributions.”
The pair would mark one year since they were initially benched with the launch of a new podcast.
Phoebe Dynevor, Bridgerton
Dynevor, who played Daphne Bridgerton during the Netflix drama’s first two seasons, confirmed in January that she won’t appear in Season 3, releasing in 2024.
“Sadly [I’m] not in Season 3,” Dynevor told Screen Rant at the time, adding that she could “potentially” return in future seasons. In the meantime, she says she’s “just excited to watch [Season 3] as a viewer.”
Taye Diggs, All American
Diggs, who had co-starred as football coach/father figure Billy Baker since All American‘s pilot episode, made an unexpected departure from the CW drama in its Feb. 13 installment; Billy was killed off in that hour, while trying to help a student escape from an overturned bus.
“It was just a feeling that I got [that I was ready to leave], and I just honored that feeling,” Diggs told TVLine of his decision to exit, adding that Billy’s death felt like the most appropriate way to write out the character. “The easiest choice would have been for [Billy] to teach at some college, but then given the intensity of the relationships between me and my family, and me and the team, it would not make sense if I was still alive and wasn’t still in contact with these children of mine.”
Ryan Seacrest, Live With Kelly and Ryan
Seacrest announced in February that he planned to step away from the daytime talk show after six seasons. He made his final appearance on April 14 and was succeeded by Kelly Ripa’s husband (and onetime All My Children co-star) Mark Consuelos.
“Working alongside Kelly over the past six years has been a dream job and one of the highlights of my career,” Seacrest said in a statement. “She has been an amazing partner, friend and confidant, and although we will always be a part of each other’s lives, I will miss our mornings together.”
Tyra Banks, Dancing With the Stars
After a three-year stint as host, Banks shared in March that she was stepping down from DWTS in order to focus more on her business endeavors. She was succeeded by series vet Julianne Hough, who joined Alfonso Ribeiro as co-host for Season 32.
Meanwhile, longtime Dancing pro Mark Ballas has also announced that he was retiring from the series after 20 seasons of competition (and a recent Mirrorball win with Charli D’Amelio in Season 31).
Kelly McCreary, Grey’s Anatomy
“To spend nine years exploring a character inside and out, while reaching a global audience with impactful stories, is a rare gift,” McCreary said in a statement. “It has afforded me an opportunity to collaborate with, learn from and be inspired by countless brilliant artists both in front of and behind the camera. Playing Pierce has been one of the true joys of my life and I leave with profound gratitude for every step of this journey. I am excited for this next chapter and what the future holds.”
Bailey Bass, Anne Rice’s Interview With the Vampire
As production on Season 2 of Anne Rice’s Interview With the Vampire commenced in Prague, the AMC adaptation announced that Bass would not be returning as Claudia. In her stead, Delainey Hayles, whose previous TV credits include BBC’s Holby City, has taken over the role.
“Due to a variety of unforeseen circumstances” — possibly including her role as Tsireya in James Cameron’s next Avatar sequels — “I’m unable to return to Anne Rice’s Interview With the Vampire for the second season,” Bass said in a statement. “Playing Claudia has been a dream role and an incredible ride. I wish Delainey the best of luck in taking over. I cannot wait to watch.”
Tucker Carlson, Fox News
Fox News announced (rather abruptly) on April 24 that it had parted ways with Carlson, who had been with the network since 2009 (and hosted Tucker Carlson Tonight since 2016). His final broadcast was on April 21, where he gave no indication he would not be returning the following week.
“We thank him for his service to the network as a host and prior to that as a contributor,” Fox News said in a brief statement.
Come July, Jesse Watters inherited Carlson’s perch, as Jesse Watters Primetime relocated from 7 to 8 pm on Fox News.
Don Lemon, CNN
Also on April 24, Lemon revealed that he’d been “terminated” by CNN after nearly two decades on the air.
“I was informed this morning by my agent that I have been terminated by CNN. I am stunned,” Lemon wrote at the time. “After 17 years at CNN I would have thought that someone in management would have had the decency to tell me directly.
“At no time was I ever given any indication that I would not be able to continue to do the work I have loved at the network,” he alleged. “It is clear that there are some larger issues at play. With that said, I want to thank my colleagues and the many teams I have worked with for an incredible run. They are the most talented journalists in the business, and I wish them all the best.” (CNN later challenged Lemon’s account of his dismissal.)
Brandon Larracuente and Hill Harper, The Good Doctor
It was revealed in April that Larracuente, who played Dr. Danny Perez, would not return to the ABC medical drama on a full-time basis for Season 7 — though an insider told TVLine that he could return as a guest star. (Larracuente has since booked a leading role in Dick Wolf’s Prime Video drama On Call, starring opposite Pretty Little Liars alum Troian Bellisario.)
Then in November, TVLine exclusively confirmed that Harper, who had played Dr. Marcus Andrews since Season 1, was also scrubbing out amid his real-life bid for the United States Senate.
“Hill Harper feels strongly that there is a crisis in American democracy — too often, government only works for the rich and powerful while the rest of us struggle to find a voice,” Harper’s campaign spokesperson said in a statement. “Hill is dedicating his efforts full time to fixing that, and he’s running for the U.S. Senate as an active union member to give working people more of a voice in Congress.”
Molly Burnett, Law & Order: SVU
Burnett joined NBC’s long-running procedural at the start of Season 24 as Det. Grace Muncy, a rough-and-tumble Bronx gang unit officer who became part of Capt. Olivia Benson’s Special Victims Unit in Manhattan. But at the end of the season, Muncy announced that she’d taken a promotion and was joining a task force; the finale found the character packing up her desk and bidding her co-workers an emotional goodbye.
NBC later confirmed to TVLine that Burnett would not be a series regular in Season 25.
Nick Gehlfuss, Chicago Med
After eight seasons as a series regular on Med, Gehlfuss exited the NBC drama as Will Halstead resigned from the hospital and reunited with his ex-fiancée Natalie Manning (former series regular Torrey DeVitto) and her son Owen in Seattle in the May 24 season ender.
“It was a difficult decision, but I felt…that I was getting to the point of taking Dr. Halstead as far as I could go with him,” Gehlfuss explained to TVLine. “[When] an actor gets involved in this profession, we’re attracted by the variety, and eight years is a long time with one character, and I felt as if I went as far as I could go with him, and that was that, really.”
Padma Lakshmi, Top Chef
The host and executive producer announced on June 2 that after “much soul searching,” she was leaving the Bravo cooking competition after 20 seasons. “I feel it’s time to move on and need to make space for [Hulu’s] Taste the Nation, my books and other creative pursuits,” she explained. “I am deeply thankful to all of you for so many years of love and support.”
Kristen Kish, who previously won Season 10 of Top Chef, will take over as host for Season 21.
Pat Sajak, Wheel of Fortune
Sajak announced in June that he’d be stepping away from Wheel of Fortune after the current 41st season. “It’s been a wonderful ride,” Sajak remarked at the time. “Many thanks to you all.”
American Idol host/ubiquitous TV personality Ryan Seacrest has since been selected as Sajak’s replacement; he’ll take over in September 2024.
Emmanuelle Chriqui & Co., Superman & Lois
Superman & Lois‘ renewal for a shortened fourth (and final) season came with another caveat: Significant budget cuts would result in the ousters of Dylan Walsh (as General Sam Lane), Emmanuelle Chriqui (as Mayor Lana Lang), Erik Valdez (as Lana’s ex-husband Kyle Cushing), Inde Navarrette (as Lana and Kyle’s daughter Sarah), Wolé Parks (as Superman’s ally John Henry Irons), Tayler Buck (as John Henry’s daughter Natalie) and Sofia Hasmik (as Smallville Gazette editor-in-chief Chrissy Beppo).
The cast cuts leave just four returning series regulars for the farewell run: Tyler Hoechlin (as Clark Kent/Superman), Elizabeth Tulloch (as Lois Lane) and Alex Garfin and Michael Bishop as Clark and Lois’ twin sons, Jordan and Jonathan Kent, respectively. Additionally, Michael Cudlitz, who debuted in Season 3 as Lex Luthor, has been promoted to series regular.
Reneé Rapp, The Sex Lives of College Girls
Rapp, who has co-starred as wealthy Essex College student Leighton Murray since the Max comedy’s debut, will exit during its upcoming third season. The actress will recur in a handful of Season 3 episodes, but will then formally depart the show.
“A lot of queer work gets belittled — but playing Leighton has changed my life,” Rapp said in July. “I love who I am 10x more than I did before knowing her… I’m so excited for this season and I can’t wait for you to see what we have coming for [Leighton] and the girls.”
Tom Brittney, Grantchester
Brittney’s run as motorcycle-loving vicar Will Davenport will end in Season 9. “I’ve had the most incredible time playing Will Davenport for the last five years,” Brittney said in a statement. “I got to solve crimes with my best friend [Robson Green as detective Geordie Keating] and work with the best cast and crew I could ever ask for. I’ll miss it more than anything. But it’s time for the baton to be passed, as it once was to me.”
English actor Rishi Nair (Hollyoaks) has been cast as Will’s successor, vicar Alphy Kotteram.
Alexa Davalos, FBI: Most Wanted
Davalos, who joined the CBS procedural at the start of Season 3 as Special Agent Kristin Gaines, will not be returning for Season 5. Per our sister site Deadline, the actress was “informed by a producer on set that she won’t be coming back after filming her last scene from Season 4 several months ago.” The trade nonetheless described her departure as “amicable.”
There’s currently no indication how Davalos’ exit will be addressed on air when the series returns in 2024. In her absence, franchise vet Shantel VanSanten will bring FBI’s Special Agent Nina Chase to Most Wanted.
Jodi Balfour and Casey W. Johnson, For All Mankind
Balfour, who had played NASA astronaut-turned-President Ellen Waverly since the show’s debut in 2019, did not return as a series regular for Season 4. She made an encore appearance in the Nov. 10 premiere, in which it was revealed that Ellen was re-elected as POTUS and later married her longtime love Pam.
Additionally, Casey W. Johnson, who played the polarizing Danny Stevens for two seasons, was no longer a series regular come Season 4.
Roy Wood Jr., The Daily Show
Wood Jr., who had served as a Daily Show correspondent since 2015, revealed in October that he’d be exiting the late-night series ahead of its post-WGA strike return. At the time, Wood Jr. told NPR that it had become infeasible to remain a correspondent while simultaneously planning the next step in his career.
“I can’t come up with Plan B… while still working with Plan A,” he said. “The job of correspondent… it’s not really one where you can juggle multiple things. [And] I think eight years is a good run.”
Tracy Spiridakos, Chicago P.D.
After six seasons as a series regular on Chicago P.D., it was reported in October that Tracy Spiridakos would be departing the NBC drama as Upton after Season 11. It is currently unknown which episode in the forthcoming season she is due to exit.
Spiridakos first recurred in Season 4 before joining the show full-time in Season 5. Season 10, which wrapped up in May, saw Upton grappling with the abrupt departure of her husband, Jay Halstead.
Bobby Berk, Queer Eye
Berk, who has been a member of Netflix’s Fab Five since the Queer Eye reboot debuted in 2018, announced in November that Season 8 of the unscripted series (premiering Wednesday, Jan. 24) will be his last.
“The love that I have received from you all over the last 6 years has been absolutely surreal,” Berk wrote in an Instagram post. “You have tuned in and been dedicated fans and together we were able to share the healing powers of design. I learned from you all about kindness, love and acceptance and that has changed my life for the better. The way you have embraced me and accepted me for who I am is something that l will truly carry with me for the rest of my life… It’s not been an easy decision to be at peace with, but a necessary one.”
Jeffrey Donovan, Law & Order
In November, TVLine was first to report that Donovan, who played Detective Frank Cosgrove in Seasons 21 and 22, would not be returning to the veteran NBC procedural for Season 23. NBC declined comment, but sources close to the show told us that Donovan was let go for creative reasons.
In his place, Veep vet Reid Scott has been recruited to play a new detective; further character details have not yet been made available.
Kara Killmer and Alberto Rosende, Chicago Fire
After 10 seasons as paramedic Sylvie Brett, TVLine reported in November that Killmer will depart the NBC firefighter drama after Season 12. An exact timetable for her exit has not been disclosed.
Two weeks later, it was announced that Alberto Rosende, who has played Blake Gallo for four seasons, will exit Fire following its Jan. 17 premiere. “When I decided to end my time with Chicago [Fire], it wasn’t easy,” the actor wrote in an Instagram story shortly thereafter. “The people I’ve met were truly special, the friendships I’ve made will last a lifetime and [the] story I got to tell was one that made me proud.”
Hilary Farr, Love It or List It
Farr isn’t lovin’ it anymore. The co-host of HGTV’s Love It or List It announced in December that she was leaving the home design series after 19 seasons.
“It’s been a wonderful 12 years,” Farr shared in a statement. “I’m so grateful to the network for their support and to my fans who have stayed loyal and true. David [Visentin] and I will remain friends forever and I expect him to be as fabulously and hilariously annoying as ever.
“Love It or List It has had such a true impact on so many lives, including mine,” she continued, “but now it’s time for me to embrace new challenges that have come my way. If this is my legacy, it’s a great one.”
Heida Reed, FBI: International
The Icelandic actress — who has played Special Agent Jamie Kellett since the CBS procedural’s 2021 launch — will be leaving the spinoff early into the upcoming third season, TVLine reported exclusively on Dec. 7. Sources confirm that Reed’s departure was creatively driven. Reed’s looming exit comes on the heels of FBI: I adding Christina Wolfe (The Ark, Batwoman) in the series regular role of Special Agent Amanda Tate.
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