Grey's Anatomy Loses Original Series Regular as Justin Chambers Exits

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Alex Karev is peacing out of Grey's Anatomy. 

The original series regular, who has appeared since the ABC juggernaut debuted in 2005, is exiting during Grey's Anatomy Season 16.

“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.

Helllooo Alex Karev! - Grey's Anatomy Season 14 Episode 6

“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."

"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.”

Grey's Anatomy was once well-known for having a revolving door of cast members, but the departures slowed down following the exits of Sarah Drew and Jessica Capshaw in 2018. 

Backing Mer- Tall  - Grey's Anatomy Season 16 Episode 8

The series has lost many big names over the years, but it continues to be one of the most resilient on the small screen. It its sixteenth season it continues to be ABC's highest-rated drama in the demo. 

Fans need not worry about the future of the series, since ABC has already renewed it for Season 17 with lead, Ellen Pompeo slated to remain with the series until that time. 

That being said, the end of Grey's Anatomy will probably come when Pompeo decides to say goodbye to her Meredith Grey role. 

Pompeo, Chandra Wilson, and James Pickens Jr. are now the only original cast members remaining on the venerable series. 

Justin Chambers as Dr. Alex Karev

It's unclear whether the door will be left open for Chambers to return after a break, but this being Grey's Anatomy, we might be in for a heartbreaking goodbye that includes a death. 

If you watch Grey's Anatomy online, you know Alex's storyline has taken him away from Grey Sloan Memorial as the character works at Pac North Hospital. 

It's possible that the storyline will wrap with Alex continuing to work there, in a similar way to Drew's exit, which finds her character still in the orbit of the of the other characters off-screen. 

Handsome Karev Pic

Camilla Luddington plays Alex's wife, and as of yet, there has been no confirmation of whether she will be exiting with Chambers. 

The series also stars Kevin McKidd as Dr. Owen Hunt, Jesse Williams as Dr. Jackson Avery, Caterina Scorsone as Dr. Amelia Shepherd, Kelly McCreary as Dr. Maggie Pierce, Giacomo Gianniotti as Dr. Andrew DeLuca, and Kim Raver as Dr. Teddy Altman.

Grey's Anatomy is a vital series for ABC.

It has thus far birthed two spinoffs in Private Practice and Station 19. 

After spending years in the 8/7c slot, the series is shifting back an hour to 9/8c, with Station 19 inheriting the Thursday lead-off spot.

UPDATE: TV Line is reporting that Justin Chambers has already left Grey's Anatomy, and his final episode has already aired. 

What are your thoughts on this news?

Will you continue to watch without Justin as Alex?

Hit the comments below. 

Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.

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