Audra McDonald, aka Naomi, to leave Private Practice–for now

The cast of Private Practice just lost another cast member, but itÂ’s not nearly as dramatic of an exit as when Dell died at the end of season three. Rather, Audra McDonald–who plays Naomi–has decided to quit the GreyÂ’s Anatomy spin-off to spend more time with her family.

File:Audra McDonald (1).jpgReally, this was only a matter of time. AudraÂ’s character on Private Practice has been scaled back in recent months as sheÂ’s been spending more time in New York with her family. ThereÂ’s only so many times Naomi can disappear for a month at a time, like when she helped her ailing boyfriend overseas.

Audra’s decision to split from Private Practice appears to be on amicable terms with executive producer Shonda Rhimes. “I have spent four amazing years working with the best cast and crew on television at Private Practice,” McDonald said recently to TVLine.com. “Though I am stepping away from the series as a regular in order to spend more time in New York with my family, I am not closing the door on Private Practice or the character, Naomi.”

So what does this mean for NaomiÂ’s character through the end of this season? In last weekÂ’s episode, Heaven Can Wait, Naomi and Addison (Kate Walsh) were on shaky ground. Chances are that best friendship ground is going to get even shakier, but still leave room for Naomi to make some guest appearances in season five.

Will Naomi be leaving the practice? Will her character move away from California? Only time–and more Private Practice episodes–will tell, but sound off with your opinions on the fate of Naomi and Audra McDonald below!

Image source: Wikimedia Commons

© Copyright: 2011 Elizabeth SanFilippo at Gather.co

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