Justin Chambers Leaving ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ After 15 Years

ABC/Mike Rosenthal

Grey’s Anatomy is saying goodbye to another original cast member soon.

Justin Chambers, who has been playing Alex Karev since the pilot, will be exiting in Season 16, Deadline reports. No details have been released regarding how the ABC medical drama will be writing him out or the air date for his final episode.

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How might his exit affect the Pac-North storyline and Alex and Jo's relationship?

Alex was one of the doctors, alongside Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) and Richard (James Pickens Jr.), fired by Bailey (Chandra Wilson) in the Season 15 finale.

This season has seen him take over Pac-North and attempt to turn the hospital around. It hasn’t been easy — they’ve uncovered a mass grave — but he has also recruited Owen (Kevin McKidd) and attempted to bring over more of his former coworkers.

(ABC/Richard Cartwright)

This news comes after Grey’s showrunner Krista Vernoff shot down the possibility of a Pac-North spinoff. Chambers’ statement regarding his exit also makes it clear he’s moving on from his Grey’s character, who is at the center of that storyline in Season 16.

“There’s no good time to say goodbye to a show and character that’s defined so much of my life for the past 15 years,” the actor said. “For some time now, however, I have hoped to diversify my acting roles and career choices. And, as I turn 50 and am blessed with my remarkable, supportive wife and five wonderful children, now is that time.”

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“As I move on from Grey’s Anatomy, I want to thank the ABC family, Shonda Rhimes, original cast members Ellen Pompeo, Chandra Wilson and James Pickens, and the rest of the amazing cast and crew, both past and present, and, of course, the fans for an extraordinary ride,” he added.

We’ll have to wait and see how the show writes him out, but it is always possible that he stays at Pac-North and Grey’s moves on from that storyline. After all, that would also allow his and Jo’s (Camilla Luddington) marriage to continue off-screen.

(ABC/Kelsey McNeal)

Grey’s Anatomy, Thursdays, 9/8c, ABC