It could just be me, but it can’t be a coincidence a large handful of actors and actresses have been let go from various Shonda Rhimes programs, with the latest being Henry Ian Cusick (Stephen Finch of Scandal), Tim Daly (Pete Wilder of Private Practice), and quite surprisingly Kate Walsh (Dr. Addision Montgomery, the main character of Private Practice) – though to be fair, Walsh made this decision to leave on her own. Add these names to the couple of characters dropped from Grey’s Anatomy and you can’t help but wonder if Rhimes is systematically dismantling her shows’ casts. Obviously that’s not the case, but it makes for fun conspiracy talk.
Shonda Rhimes spoke with TV Guide in order to explain the logic behind letting Cusick and Daly go, with different reasoning behind each of them. Cusick was apparently a mercy firing, with Rhimes claiming he’s a great actor and there just wasn’t enough work for him to do on the show after the first season. I can see how that makes sense, but I’m sure Cusick would’ve been okay with staying on board for a while. He stayed on Lost through out Seasons 5 and 6, but only appeared in 14 episodes between the two despite being credited as a series regular. Letting go of Daly was more about money than anything, with budget issues being the cause for his firing. I’m not sure which one is better, not needing you or not being able to afford you.
More disturbingly is Kate Walsh’s decision to leave Private Practice at the end of the upcoming sixth season. Don’t believe me? Check out the video below where she confirms her intent to exit the show. She’s been playing Addison Montgomery since her days on Grey’s Anatomyso I’m not surprised she’s ready to move on from the part. But will this mean the end of Private Practice? As the main character, will the show be able to continue without her? It’s certainly possible, but I’m not sure if it’ll be worth it. At any rate, Rhimes seems to be under the impression Season 6 may not be the last for Private Practice, but I remain unconvinced.