Justin Chambers Is Leaving 'Grey's Anatomy' After 15 Years

by Valerie Williams
Originally Published: 
Richard Cartwright/ABC

Justin Chambers won’t be returning to your TV screens after 15 years on “Grey’s Anatomy”

If you didn’t know Grey’s Anatomy is not only still on television, but currently in its 16th season, there — now you know. As hardcore fans gear up for whatever Meredith Grey and her fellow doctors at Seattle Grace are up to next, they’re about to be keeping track of one less major character. Justin Chambers, the actor who plays Dr. Alex Karev, is exiting the show after 15 years.

Chambers was last seen in the show’s 350th episode which aired on November 14th. “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,” Chambers said in a statement to Deadline. “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.”

Grey’s fans right about now.

“As I move on from Grey’s Anatomy, I want to thank the ABC family, Shonda Rimes, 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 said.

Chambers’ character, Dr. Alex Karev, first appeared in the series’ premiere as a Seattle Grace surgical intern. His path took him from resident to pediatric surgical fellow to total fan favorite.

It’s that beloved status that has Twitter erupting with feels as news of his departure from the show spreads.

This turn of events means that Meredith Grey is the last one on the show from the original intern class.

While fans mourn the departure of yet another original character, it might comfort them to know that their very favorite show is still a ratings juggernaut and is currently ABC’s most watched and highest-rated series in adults 18-49 this season. Its current (sixteenth) season is happening now with a seventeenth on the way, and ABC Entertainment President Karey Burke says it might even go longer than that. When asked if Grey’s would end in the 2020-21 season, the last in Ellen Pompeo’s contract, Burke said, “I hope not. Grey’s Anatomy will live as long as Ellen is interested in playing Meredith Grey.”


The show’s midseason premiere hits on January 23rd at 9 p.m. EST on ABC.

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