Ahead of season five, Alexis Bledel announced her departure from The Handmaid’s Tale.
Bledel announced to the world that she would not be appearing again as Emily Malek in the dystopian drama in May. As viewers learned when season five hit the big screen, her character returned to Gilead to seek her own revenge, as June (Elisabeth Moss) did with Fred (Joseph Fiennes).
“After much thought, I felt like I had to retire from The Handmaid’s Tale at this point,” the Gilmore Girls vet told Variety. “I am forever grateful to Bruce Miller for writing such truthful and resonant scenes for Emily, and to Hulu, MGM, the cast and crew for their support.”
Barbie Ferreira announced her departure from Euphoria six months after the second season aired.
Ferreira played fan-favorite Kat on the HBO drama, but announced in a statement on her Instagram account in August that she would not be returning for season three.
Alongside a framed fan art of her character, she wrote: “After four years of portraying the very special and enigmatic character Kat, it is with tears that I say goodbye.
“I hope many of you were able to see yourself in her the way I did and that she brought you joy to see her journey to the character she is today,” she continued. “I put all my care and love into her and I hope you can feel it. I love you Katherine Hernandez.”
Before her departure, there was speculation of on-set drama between the actor and ‘Euphoria’ creator Sam Levinson – but Ferreira shut down the rumors in a March interview with Insider’s Olivia Singh.
After 12 years as Detective Amanda Rollins, Kelli Giddish left Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.
Giddish began portraying the detective on the long-running NCB drama in 2011, and in its final season she gave up her badge for a university teaching position shortly after marrying Dominic “Sonny” Carisi (Peter Scanavino).
The actress confirmed in August that she was retiring from the show, and at the time Variety reported that leaving the show wasn’t her decision.
The outlet reported that according to multiple sources, star and executive producer Mariska Hargitay and at least one other producer struggled to keep Giddish on the Dick Wolf drama, but the decision was made to write Giddish’s character.
The rebooted main series Law & Order also lost a cast member this year when Anthony Anderson decided to bid farewell to the show.
Anderson’s character, Detective Kevin Bernard, was one of the characters reprising his role when NBC decided to revive the NBC drama in 2021. The actor originally joined the show during its 18th season in 2008 and starred on the show until it originally ended in 2010 with season 20.
However, he only signed a one-year contract, meaning season 21 was his final appearance.