April Kepner is going to be just fine.
Ok, we should say Sarah Drew is going to be fine, since less than a week after the announcement of her exit from Grey’s Anatomy, she’s already got a new gig. (The word is still out on whether April Kepner will survive her time at Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital.)
Deadline first reported the news that Drew will star as Cagney in CBS’ Cagney and Lacey reboot pilot alongside Blindspot alum Michelle Hurd, who has been cast as Lacey.
The show, based on the 1980s police series, will follow the two LAPD detectives and friends as they keep the streets of Los Angeles safe.
The original show ran for seven seasons on CBS from 1981 to 1988 and starred Tyne Daly as Lacey and Sharon Gless as Cagney. The duo became kind of iconic, so Drew and Hurd have some big shoes to fill.
ABC announced last Thursday that Drew would be leaving Grey’s Anatomy, along with Jessica Capshawfor creative reasons at the end of this season. Capshaw had been on the show for 10 seasons, and Drew had been a part of it for nine.
“The characters of Arizona and April are permanently woven into the fabric of Grey’s Anatomy thanks to the extraordinary work of Jessica Capshaw and Sarah Drew,” Krista Vernoff, co-showrunner and executive producer on Grey’s Anatomy, said in a statement. “As writers, our job is to follow the stories where they want to go and sometimes that means saying goodbye to characters we love. It has been a joy and a privilege to work with these phenomenally talented actresses.”
Fans were so outraged that Veronoff and Ellen Pompeo found themselves having to speak out on Twitter, defending the show and shutting down theories that the exits were due to Pompeo’s massive raise.
“The suggestion in the Deadline article that our cast changes are in any way related to Ellen Pompeo’s salary renegotiation is wrong and hurtful and misguided,” Vernoff wrote. “It smacks of an old, broken, patriarchal notion that women must be pitted against each other and that one woman’s success will be costly to others. Ellen Pompeo has not only advocated passionately for her fellow cast members, she has taken the time to educate women world wide as to how to advocate for themselves and that must not now be twisted. The decision to make changes to our cast was a creative one. The only thing as constant on Grey’s Anatomy as Ellen Pompeo is our penchant for reinvention. It is a part of our success and what keeps the show exciting. We love these actresses and we love these characters and it felt true and right creatively to wrap up their stories. And that is the whole story.”
Drew summed it all up in her own tweet about the news.
“Well, it’s been quite a week,” she tweeted, along with a selection of happy emojis. “So excited!!!!”
Grey’s Anatomy airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. on ABC.