The Most Shocking TV Cast Exits of 2023 (So Far)
More than 50 TV stars left us in shock last year when they opted to depart their shows… and we’re sensing that similar heartbreak is already underway in 2023.
Though only a quarter of the year has passed, the last three months have delivered several stunning cast exits, which we’ve compiled in the list below. On the scripted side, All American, Grey’s Anatomy and Chicago Fire are among the shows to announce surprising departures — though Taylor Kinney’s comes with an asterisk, as he’s currently expected to return to Chicago Fire at some point. (You’ll notice we excluded Sex Education‘s Ncuti Gatwa and Emma Mackey from our roundup; their potential exits are unconfirmed, as is Sex Education‘s fate beyond the upcoming fourth season.)
But the drama isn’t confined to primetime: GMA3‘s Amy Robach and T.J. Holmes kicked off the year with some shocking scandal that led to their ousters, while daytime staple Ryan Seacrest announced he’s leaving one of his many, many TV jobs.
Fair warning: The list below does contain spoilers for events that have happened or will happen on several scripted series, so we’d recommend bookmarking and returning to this page if you’re not caught up on your favorites. If you are, though, keep scrolling to review this year’s biggest cast exits so far, and drop a comment with the one(s) that surprised you the most!
Lisa Rinna and Diana Jenkins, The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills
After an eight-season run, Rinna announced in January that she’d be stepping away from the Bravo reality series, and Jenkins followed suit (after just one season as a full-time cast member) later that month.
“This is the longest job I have held in my 35-year career, and I am grateful to everyone at Bravo and all those involved in the series,” Rinna said at the time. “It has been a fun eight-year run, and I am excited for what is to come!” (Jenkins, meanwhile, cited her high-risk pregnancy as the main factor in her decision to exit.)
Amy Robach and T.J. Holmes, GMA3
Robach and Holmes were both permanently dismissed from GMA3 in late January, following ABC’s internal review of the co-hosts’ illicit romantic affair. (They were first benched from the daytime program on Dec. 5, in the wake of their alleged relationship going public and making headlines.)
“After several productive conversations with Amy Robach and T.J. Holmes, about different options, we all agreed it’s best for everyone that they move on from ABC News,” the network said in a statement. “We recognize their talent and commitment over the years and are thankful for their contributions.”
Taylor Kinney, Chicago Fire
Kinney’s absence from Chicago Fire will, by all accounts, not be permanent: It was reported in January that the actor was taking a leave of absence from his role to deal with a personal matter. He last appeared as Kelly Severide in the Feb. 22 episode of the NBC drama, and it was explained in a subsequent installment that Severide was away at an arson investigation training program in Alabama. Kinney’s return date is still TBD.
Phoebe Dynevor, Bridgerton
Dynevor, who played Daphne Bridgerton during the Netflix drama’s first two seasons, confirmed in January that she won’t appear in Season 3, releasing later this year.
“Sadly [I’m] not in Season 3,” Dynevor told Screen Rant at the time, adding that she could “potentially” return in future seasons. In the meantime, she says she’s “just excited to watch [Season 3] as a viewer.”
Taye Diggs, All American
Diggs, who had co-starred as football coach/father figure Billy Baker since All American‘s pilot episode, made an unexpected departure from the CW drama in its Feb. 13 installment; Billy was killed off in that hour, while trying to help a student escape from an overturned bus.
“It was just a feeling that I got [that I was ready to leave], and I just honored that feeling,” Diggs told TVLine of his decision to exit, adding that Billy’s death felt like the most appropriate way to write out the character. “The easiest choice would have been for [Billy] to teach at some college, but then given the intensity of the relationships between me and my family, and me and the team, it would not make sense if I was still alive and wasn’t still in contact with these children of mine.”
Ryan Seacrest, Live With Kelly and Ryan
Seacrest announced in February that he planned to step away from the daytime talk show after six seasons. He will make his final appearance on Friday, April 14; beginning Monday, April 17, he’ll be succeeded by Kelly Ripa’s husband (and onetime All My Children costar) Mark Consuelos, and the show will be rebranded as Live With Kelly and Mark.
“Working alongside Kelly over the past six years has been a dream job and one of the highlights of my career,” Seacrest said in a statement. “She has been an amazing partner, friend and confidant, and although we will always be a part of each other’s lives, I will miss our mornings together.”
Tyra Banks, Dancing With the Stars
After a three-year stint as host, Banks shared in March that she’s stepping down from DWTS in order to focus more on her business endeavors. She’ll be succeeded by series vet Julianne Hough, who will join Alfonso Ribeiro as a co-host for Season 32.
Meanwhile, longtime Dancing pro Mark Ballas has also announced that he’s retiring from the series after 20 seasons of competition (and a recent Mirrorball win with Charli D’Amelio in Season 31).
Kelly McCreary, Grey’s Anatomy
After nine seasons, McCreary — who has played Meredith Grey’s half-sister, Maggie Pierce, since 2014 — is exiting the ABC medical drama. Her final episode as a series regular will air Thursday, April 13.
“To spend nine years exploring a character inside and out, while reaching a global audience with impactful stories, is a rare gift,” McCreary said in a statement. “It has afforded me an opportunity to collaborate with, learn from and be inspired by countless brilliant artists both in front of and behind the camera. Playing Pierce has been one of the true joys of my life and I leave with profound gratitude for every step of this journey. I am excited for this next chapter and what the future holds.”
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