Grey’s Anatomy Preview: Who’s Returning? Who Got Cut?
We’ll be seeing a lot less of at least one regular!
As Grey’s Anatomy prepares to kick off Season 19 on October 6, we’re finally learning who in the main cast will be returning. When combined with all of the casting news which has been released in recent weeks, we’re starting to get a much clearer idea of what to expect… and it’s enough to get us excited about the show in a way we haven’t the past few years.
If we’re being honest, Grey‘s has been a bit of a slog ever since Season 17 found Meredith hanging out on what fans dubbed “Covid Beach.” Things improved last year, with the show moving to a fictionalized post-Covid world, but it didn’t have the same spark, thanks in part to lackluster plots and the ultimately pointless game of “Will Meredith stay or go?”
This year, however, things are definitely looking up. We now know that Ellen Pompeo’s Meredith will only be appearing in fewer than half of the episodes, but that’s fine… because we’ve got a whole crop of new interns to look forward to. As for which of the other regulars will be returning, we can now fill in a few of those blanks, too.
First, let’s just deal with the major cliffhanger which found Kevin McKidd’s Owen and Kim Raver’s Teddy packing up their kids and hitting the road in order to avoid being locked up. We’re guessing that whole situation will be resolved, as both actors will be back for Season 19. (Sure, technically the show could follow them to their new life, but that seems more like spinoff material.)
Meanwhile, Chandra Wilson (Bailey) and James Pickens, Jr. (Richard) will be keeping things running at Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital. Also scrubbing in for more drama (and, we’re hoping, some laughs) will be Kelly McCreary (Maggie) and her on-screen spouse, Anthony Hill (Winston); Caterina Scorsone (Amelia), Camilla Luddington (Jo), Chris Carmack (Link); and Jake Borelli’s adorkable Schmitt, who could wind up being the only resident to have survived the cliffhanger which saw the hospital’s residency program going belly up!
One person we’ll definitely be seeing less of? Scott Speedman’s Nick. Apparently, with Pompeo appearing in fewer episodes, the show decided to cut Speedman from regular to recurring rather than have Nick appear sans Meredith.
Here’s hoping that with a new crop of interns coming in, the show might feel more like the primetime soap we first fell in love with back when Meredith was first learning her way around the corridors of the facility she now partially owns!
Speaking of medical facilities, check out the exits which have rocked General Hospital in recent days!
<p>He put the “hit” in “pinch hitter.” In fact, the show’s substitute Nikolas <em>so</em> knocked it out of the park in the character’s last episodes in February that he got himself added to our photo gallery of soaps’ <a href="https://soaps.sheknows.com/gallery/soaps-temporary-recasts-best-worst-list-photos/" target="_blank">all-time best <span style="text-decoration: line-through">and worst</span> temporary recasts</a>.</p>
<p>It was going to be a blue Christmas for fans of Nikolas’ third portrayer when the news broke in mid-December that his portrayer was on his way out as the Cassadine prince.</p>
<p>What’s the <em>opposite</em> of a Christmas miracle? ’Cause that’s what poor Trina got when boyfriend Rory, ahem, got The Hook. On the plus side, now there was nothing and no one stopping her from acting on her feelings for Spencer.</p>
<p>As November sweeps ended, so, apparently, did the veteran actress’ return engagement as Holly, who took her leave of Port Charles with yet another piece of lost love Robert’s heart in her hand.</p>
<p>It appeared to be the end of an era in late October 2022, when the soap-hopper who’d played BLT-loving nutjob Heather since 1980 was replaced by <em>Bold & Beautiful</em> vet Alley Mills (Pam).</p>
<p>Don’t panic. Brook Lynn’s portrayer isn’t <em>out</em>-out. She was just being replaced for a day in the fall of 2022 by Briana Lane, who also filled in when Setton was on maternity leave.</p>
<p>Brando could hold his own in the boxing ring, for sure. But in September of 2022, he learned the hard way that you don’t bring your fists to a hook fight.</p>
<p>Only two months after Britt’s portrayer won her first Daytime Emmy, her imminent exit was announced by our sister site <a href="https://deadline.com/2022/08/station-19-kelly-thiebaud-returning-abc-drama-eva-vasquez-season-6-1235094635/" target="_blank">Deadline</a> in an article revealing that she was returning to primetime’s <em>Station 19</em> as Eva.</p>
<p>There was disorder in the court in June of 2022, when suddenly <em>Young & Restless</em> vet Robert Adamson (ex-Noah) was filling in as Michael as the judge decided whether his son would be spending any time with grandma Nina.</p>
<p>Only months after his leading lady had to be temporarily recast, the actor who brings Brando to life was spelled by Brad Schmidt.</p>
<p>Well, <em>that</em> was a short love story. Chet and Terry had just started dating when his sister arranged for him to get a job in Chicago. In real life, the character’s exit was necessitated by his portrayer’s move out of California.</p>
<p>Once it was revealed that Harmony had killed Neil — <em>and</em> she offed his brother <em>and</em> was ready to do the same to Carly — the writing was on the wall for Willow’s “mother,” whom Sasha accidentally turned into a speedbump in May 2022.</p>
<p>Less than a year after the youngster took over the role of Charlotte from Scarlett Fernandez, Valentin and Lulu’s daughter was shipped off to boarding school. Would the character come down with a case of SORAS? Tune in tomorrow…</p>
<p>When the Emmy winner underwent what she jokingly called <a href="https://soaps.sheknows.com/general-hospital/news/626008/general-hospital-nancy-lee-grahn-warns-fans-back-surgery/" target="_blank">“a little back thingy surgery”</a> in the spring of 2022, the soap accommodated her absence by bringing in as a temp Stephanie Erb, who you may recall once played a GH patient named Camille on spinoff <em>Port Charles.</em></p>
<p>When the soap’s longest-serving cast member was replaced by another actress in mid-March 2022, many a fan suffered the kinda palpitations that would make them a patient of Monica’s. But our heart rates all returned to normal once we took in the fact that the switcheroo was <em>extremely</em> temporary.</p>
<p>“May the Force be with her” was all we could say as the UCLA freshman revealed in March 2022 that <a href="https://soaps.sheknows.com/general-hospital/comings-and-goings/624945/general-hospital-recasts-trina-tabyana-ali-sydney-mikayla-exits/" target="_blank">she was leaving her role of Trina</a> to focus on college. Tapped to pick up where the fan favorite left off in Port Charles was Tabyana Ali.</p>
<p>After word began to spread in February 2022 that the actor was leaving his role of Shawn, he took to social media to make sure fans knew that he hadn’t been let go. “It was my decision to exit the show because of other obligations,” he tweeted, adding, “Who knows [what’s] to come in the future?”</p>
<p><em>General Hospital</em> didn’t have to look far to find a sub for Sasha when her usual portrayer needed someone to fill in: The soap just slid her sister Helena into the role.</p>
<p>During 2022’s February sweeps, it appeared once again that Peter had met his maker. And, as skeptical as we were, we had to consider the possibility that his reign of terror was really over when his portrayer Instagrammed that “it was one helluva ride.” (<a href="https://soaps.sheknows.com/general-hospital/news/624120/general-hospital-wes-ramsey-goodbye-message-finola-hughes-leave/" target="_blank">Read his full statement here.</a>)</p>
<p>She’d “urn’d” a break. Though we were psyched to have the <em>General Hospital</em> vet reprise her role of Tracy, even if she came bearing bad news (RIP, Luke), she wasn’t back to stay. Only a month later, Elliot took her leave.</p>
<p>As when she tested positive for COVID in the summer of 2020, Sam’s portrayer was again briefly spelled by Lindsay Hartley (Theresa, <em>Passions</em>) when she sat out a few episodes in February of 2022.</p>
<p>Fans flipped when suddenly, Ned and Olivia’s son Leo was being played by Isaiah Dell. But they needn’t have; it turned out to be a one-day thing in the winter 2022. <a href="https://soaps.sheknows.com/general-hospital/comings-and-goings/622087/general-hospital-easton-rocket-sweda-recast-returns-leo-falconeri/" target="_blank">Sweda had reclaimed his role</a> in time for Leo to watch Mom and Dad recommit to one another.</p>
<p>Just before Christmas 2021, the 12-year-old who’d played Valentin’s daughter since 2016 revealed that <a href="https://soaps.sheknows.com/general-hospital/comings-and-goings/618103/general-hospital-scarlett-fernandez-out-charlotte-recast/" target="_blank">she was being recast</a>. “Playing Charlotte Cassadine was my favorite,” she said, “and I’m sad it’s come to an end.” Still, the youngster gave a kind shout-out to her successor. “I know,” she predicted, “the fans will support the new actor playing Charlotte.”</p>
<p>Kids — sometimes, they grow up so fast; other times, they’re transformed into altogether different people. The latter was the case for Rocco in November of 2021 when Brady Bauer took over as Lulu’s son with Dante.</p>
<p>Just before Thanksgiving 2021, the Emmy winner revealed via social media that <a href="https://soaps.sheknows.com/general-hospital/comings-and-goings/614203/general-hospital-steve-burton-leaving-jason-morgan-vaccine-mandate/" target="_blank">he had been let go</a> from his role of Jason, “because of the vaccine mandate” put in place to protect the cast and crew from COVID-19. Nonetheless, “I’ll always be grateful for my time on <em>General Hospital</em>,” he said. “I grew up there.” He even hoped to return someday. “That would be an honor.”</p>
<p>Perhaps not coincidentally, only weeks after <em>General Hospital</em> implemented a COVID-19 vaccine mandate to protect the cast and crew, our sister site <a href="https://deadline.com/2021/11/ingo-rademacher-general-hospital-last-airdate-set-1234870108/" target="_blank">Deadline</a> reported that the actor and anti-vaxxer who’d played Jax off and on for 25 years would last air by November’s end.</p>
<p>In September of 2021, when Jordan was sent to Albany for treatment for renal failure and kidney damage, we assumed that she’d return — until, that is, her portrayer revealed that she had taken a bow and left the show. “I hope I brought something unique and honest to your beloved character,” she Instagrammed. “<a href="https://soaps.sheknows.com/general-hospital/comings-and-goings/609488/general-hospital-briana-nicole-henry-exits-jordan-ashford/" target="_blank">She’s one helluva woman</a>.”</p>
<p>When Laura left the canvas in the summer of 2021, the soap legend who plays her was quick to reassure the audience that she’d booked a return trip. “I am very much looking forward to spending the time with my family and relaxing a bit,” she told <a href="https://www.tvinsider.com/1009236/genie-francis-break-general-hospital-laura/" target="_blank"><em>TV Insider</em></a>. “I promise, though, I will be back to Port Charles before you know it.”</p>
<p>Aw, the Tan-O would never be the same after pancreatic cancer got the best of Lenny, who passed away in August of 2021.</p>
<p>When Spencer revealed his face anew in July 2021, it was not that of the 16-year-old we’d watched play Nikolas’ son since 2013 — the character had been SORAS’d and recast. But his original portrayer had no regrets. As he tweeted, “It’s been a great run.” (<a href="https://soaps.sheknows.com/general-hospital/news/603731/general-hospital-nicolas-bechtel-leaving-spencer-cassadine-goodbye-message/" target="_blank">Read his full remarks here.</a>)</p>
<p>Watch your… oops. In the June 3, 2021, episode of <em>General Hospital</em>, we learned that Finn had, erm, <a href="https://soaps.sheknows.com/general-hospital/comings-and-goings/595062/general-hospital-wes-ramsey-exits-peter-august-falls-stairs-death/" target="_blank">“helped” down the stairs Peter</a>, the supervillain who’d just tossed away Chase’s one hope for a cure. And that was merely the latest and last of his offenses! (Till he returned alive and well, anyway.)</p>
<p>“You’re killin’ us!” we cried while watching the March 9, 2021, episode of <em>General Hospital.</em> But, in fact, it was Franco that the soap was killing. Thankfully, his portrayer soon revealed to <a href="https://www.soapoperadigest.com/content/exclusive-roger-howarth-on-gh-status/" target="_blank"><em>Soap Opera Digest</em></a> that his exit would only be temporary.</p>
<p>When COVID sidelined Jordan’s portrayer just after Thanksgiving in 2020, actress/dancer Tiffany Daniels (<em>La La Land</em>) was tapped to step in for a spell and keep Port Charles safe from crime. Or at least as safe as it ever is! </p>
<p>Now you see him, now you don’t. It seemed like Taggert’s portrayer had scarcely resurrected his character when <a href="https://www.soapoperadigest.com/content/gh-temporarily-recasts-taggert/" target="_blank"><em>Soap Opera Digest</em></a> reported that the actor was being temporarily replaced in December 2020 by Asante Jones.</p>
<p>Ahead of the November 23, 2020, episode of <em>General Hospital</em>, Dustin’s portrayer shared on social media that it was <a href="https://soaps.sheknows.com/general-hospital/comings-and-goings/584923/general-hospital-mark-lawson-exits-dustin-phillips-death/" target="_blank">“special to me.”</a> Little did we suspect at the time that the <em>reason</em> it was special was because it was going to mark the death of his character.</p>
<p>The explosion that rocked the Floating Rib in November 2020 didn’t just blow up the bar, it obliterated the soap’s teen scene by claiming as a casualty Dev, the young pickpocket who was as good at stealing hearts as wallets.</p>
<p>At first, the fan favorite toyed with viewers, dropping hints that no one could be sure really <em>were</em> hints that his stint as Julian was coming to an end. But when in November 2020 he made reference to <a href="https://soaps.sheknows.com/general-hospital/news/583447/general-hospital-william-devry-my-last-day/" target="_blank">“my last day,”</a> we couldn’t pretend anymore that the writing wasn’t on the wall.</p>
<p><em>General Hospital</em> fans didn’t want to believe it was true when reports surfaced in the fall of 2020 that Lulu’s portrayer had been let go. While the actress hesitated to address the rumors, she did make one thing clear: <a href="https://soaps.sheknows.com/general-hospital/news/582695/general-hospital-emme-rylan-addresses-exit-rumors-lulu-sudden-trip/" target="_blank">“I did not choose this.”</a></p>
<p>With no warning, Lucas’ longtime portrayer was simply… boom… replaced with <em>Chicago Fire</em> alum Matt Trudeau. The show didn’t even announce on the recast’s first day in November that “Today the role is being played by… ” It was just “Surprise!” And there he was.</p>
<p>In November of 2020, the daytime newcomer who spelled Amanda Setton as Brook Lynn during her maternity leave took <em>her</em> leave, setting the stage for her predecessor’s return. Ironically, as the character exited Port Charles, she did so toting around a pregnancy test.</p>
<p>In November of 2020, the actress, who played Willow’s mother Harmony, shared that scheduling conflicts would prevent her from continuing in the role of the former Dawn of Day member. “But,” she added, “you never know <a href="https://soaps.sheknows.com/general-hospital/comings-and-goings/583631/general-hospital-inga-cadranel-exits-harmony/" target="_blank">what the future may bring</a>.”</p>
<p>We all knew that Mike Corbin’s storyline would have an unhappy ending — not even General Hospital’s doctors can cure Alzheimer’s disease. But that in no way diminished the impact of the character’s heartrending last days with Sonny and their family in September 2020.</p>
<p>After <em>General Hospital</em> sent Neil Byrne from Alexis’ bed to the grave in September 2020, the ill-fated shrink’s portrayer <a href="https://soaps.sheknows.com/general-hospital/news/579707/general-hospital-joe-flanigan-petition-rehire-save-neil/" target="_blank">thanked fans for petitioning the show</a> to resurrect his character. “I don’t know if it makes any difference,” he tweeted, “but I hope it does!”</p>
<p>No one believes that <em>General Hospital</em> troublemaker Nelle Benson is really, much less most sincerely, dead. But viewers still had to say goodbye, at least for a while, to her talented portrayer when the vixen plunged from a cliff in August 2020.</p>
<p>In August of 2020, the <em>One Life to Live</em> alumna (as Kim) was just making herself at home as the latest Brook Lynn to hit Port Charles when she had to press “pause,” allowing Briana Lane to take over her role while she herself went on maternity leave.</p>
<p>We would’ve liked to have seen Kim bounce back after losing son Oscar. But instead, her portrayer was let go, bringing to an end her second run on <em>General Hospital</em>. (You’ll recall, she’d previously played Carly between Sarah Brown and Jennifer Bransford.)</p>
<p>Disproving the theory that only the <em>good</em> die young, Sam introduced Dawn of Day guru Shiloh to his maker in the fall of 2019, cutting short a run that should’ve made his portrayer a modern-day answer to the late, great Roscoe Born (aka <em>One Life to Live</em> cult leader Mitch Laurence).</p>
<p>Hey, nobody can say that the Emmy winner didn’t leave <em>General Hospital</em> for a good reason in the summer of 2019: Nina’s original portrayer was headed back to her old soap, <em>The Young and the Restless</em>, where she reclaimed her role of Phyllis from Gina Tognoni.</p>
<p>In March of 2020, baby-swap accomplice Brad began a prison stint that’s lasted longer than any of career criminal Sonny’s — and took the remorseful schemer’s portrayer off the canvas for more time than any of us would have liked.</p>
<p>Hoping to cover his tracks in November 2019, Nikolas tricked former lover Hayden into beating a hasty retreat from Port Charles. But since she left behind daughter Violet with her dad Finn, we never gave up hope that the sorta-reformed conniver would return.</p>
<p>After almost five years as Jake… No, make that <em>Jason</em>… Whoops, no, make that <em>Drew</em>… the Emmy winner walked into an elevator in the summer of 2019, and the next thing we knew, we were being told that his walking identity crisis of a character had been killed off screen.</p>
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