Ben Feldman Was 'Surprised' by America Ferrera's 'Superstore' Exit
That was due to the timing of him directing an episode (airing this Thursday, March 25). "[America] didn't want to upstage or get in the way of [it]," he told TVLine. "It was actually really nice of her. She said, 'I want you to know first so that you're not dealing with this while you're stressing about actually putting together and running a show.'"
While he "was a little surprised" and thinks everyone, including Ferrera herself, was by the "timing" of it, he wasn't completely shocked. "We've been doing this for a while [and] America has a lot going on," he explained. "So I don't think anybody was like, 'Oh my God! She's leaving!?'"
Ferrera announced that Season 5 is her last at the end of February and called her time on the show "some of the most rewarding, enriching, and enjoyable years of [her] career." "Producing, directing and acting with this wonderful cast and crew has given me opportunities to grow as a person and storyteller," she said in a statement.
However, Superstore is one of the many TV shows that have shut down production due to the coronavirus pandemic. As a result, it's unclear how that will affect Amy's exit. "I'm about to go shoot my last scene. None of my cast members are here, and this is not how we expected to be ending the season," Ferrera shared in an Instagram story in March. ""I assume [this] means we'll be coming back when things clear up to finish Amy's storyline."
Will her character's ending change as a result? If so, it wouldn't be the first time this season, as Feldman shared that the writers had to make some changes to "guide the show in a specific direction" after Ferrera announced her departure. "Fortunately, there were certain elements of what they've been building towards that aligned in kind of a lateral way with what they ultimately ended up doing," he said.
How will the story end for Jonah and Amy? We'll have to wait and see.
Superstore, Thursdays, 8/7c, NBC