How much heartbreak can a fan take? After seeing next week’s dramatic season finale I thought I couldn’t be any more shocked or saddened, until the new season starts. But, oh yes – I am.
Eric Dane, who plays the loveable rogue Dr. Mark Sloan has decided to leave the ABC medical drama after six years, to pursue other opportunities. However, Grey’s fans have not yet seen the very last of him.
“I am extremely grateful to everyone at Grey’s, ABC and Shondaland for the experience and memories I have had over the course of this run,” Dane says. “It has been wonderful to work alongside and learn from a creative force such as Shonda Rhimes.”
In a statement to TVLine, Rhimes called McSteamy “one of the most beloved characters on Grey’s Anatomy.” She added that Dane “did not come to this decision lightly, but after much consideration and conversations, he and I have decided that this is the right time for his storyline to end. We’re a big family here at Grey’s with a long history together and Eric will always remain an important part of our family,” Rhimes continued. “I wish him the best and I look forward to watching him as he continues to steam up the big and small screen.”
Dane will be back for several episodes in order to ensure he gets a proper farewell.
Dane’s departure, along with next week’s finale’s tragic death (and more hinted at with the series return), means Grey’s will enter its ninth season this fall with three fewer series regulars. (The rest of the main cast are expected to stay put for at least two more years.) To fill the void, the show has hired Friday Night Lights‘ grad Gaius Charles and True Blood‘s Camilla Luddington as new docs.
Grey’s Anatomy‘s ninth season kicks off Thursday, Sept. 27. in the US.