EXCLUSIVE: It looks like Dr. Addison Montgomery, who left Seattle Grace five years ago to move to Los Angeles, will be packing again. I’ve learned that Private Practice star Kate Walsh plans to leave the medical drama after 13 episodes of the upcoming sixth season.
There had been speculation that Walsh, who has played the character of Addison for 7 years, starting on Grey’s Anatomy before she segued to spinoff Private Practice, had been looking to move on. Her deal was up at the end of last season and, after intense negotiations, she agreed to return but committed to only 13 episodes. That paved the way to ABC’s sixth-season renewal of the series, which also was for 13 episodes. I hear that Walsh is now ready to move onto other things after she completes her contractual obligation.
It is unclear whether Private Practice, which was built around Walsh’s character, would continue without her. When ABC renewed Private Practice earlier this month, speculation was that the sixth season would be the show’s last, but ABC has stopped short of announcing an end date for the series.
However, with creator/executive producer Shonda Rhimes busy with three series on the air — all created and run by her — in Grey’s Anatomy, Private Practice and Scandal, she may decide end Practice after Walsh leaves to focus on her other shows. There is a major cast departure already afoot on Private Practice. Tim Daly, originally tapped as the male lead opposite Walsh, unveiled earlier this week that he won’t be returning next season after his option was not picked up. On the feature side, Walsh will next be seen in The Perks Of Being A Wallflower, which opens in September.