Freema Agyeman, who has played Dr. Helen Sharpe since the launch of NBC medical drama series New Amsterdam, is departing the show ahead of its fifth and final season.
Agyeman announced the news, first reported by TVLine, on Instagram.
“Dearest Dam Fam. First off I would like to say a huge heartfelt thank you for your unending, dedicated and deliciously ferocious support!” Agyeman wrote. “I feel very fortunate to have connected with so many of you over these past few years, while rolling around in the skin of Ms. Helen Sharpe, and witness every ebb and flow of your emotional investment. What a ride! Thank you for being on it with me. She has meant so much to me, but the time has come for me to hang up her white coat, as I officially share the news that I will not be returning for the final season of New Amsterdam. While I am saddened, I am also incredibly excited to see how the story concludes as a fan of the series. It has been such a joy to play Dr. Helen Sharpe for 4 seasons – those magnificent writers built a badass! Beyond grateful for the opportunity to tell some of her stories! Fanfic – it’s over to you to tell the rest!!Lots of love Fam!”
New Amsterdam creator/showrunner David Schulner and executive producer Peter Horton released a statement in response.
“We wish Freema the best of luck on her next chapter and the doors of New Amsterdam will always be open if she wishes to return!,” Schulner and Horton wrote. “We are extremely proud of the impact Freema and Dr. Helen Sharpe have made over these past four seasons and are so grateful to have been a part of that story. As we head into the fifth and final season, we want our #Sharpwin fans to know we still have a few surprises in store for them.”
Season 4 ended with Max and Helen making preparations for their upcoming wedding, but a hurricane headed for the Carolinas changes course for New York. In the season finale, Max is frantically texting Helen asking if her flight had been redirected, but his texts are not answered. The last word from Helen was a message to Max the following morning: “Today has been… I have no words. Will call you ASAP.”
Schulner and Horton executive produce with Michael Slovis, David Foster, Shaun Cassidy, Aaron Ginsburg and Erika Swafford-Green. New Amsterdam is produced by Universal Television, Pico Creek Productions and Mount Moriah. Serving as producer is Dr. Eric Manheimer, the former medical director at New York City’s Bellevue Hospital and author of the memoir Twelve Patients: Life and Death at Bellevue Hospital, which inspired the series.
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