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Kate Walsh might have some disappointing news for Private Practice fans. The medical series' lead actress could be leaving the show after this fall. According to E! News, Walsh is considering exiting the Grey's Anatomy spinoff that centers on her after the first 13 episodes of the 2012-2013 season.
With Tim Daly announcing his decision not to return for the drama's sixth season, Walsh is apparently exercising her contractual prerogative to opt out herself, making fans wonder what will happen to Private Practice without its central star.
Although neither ABC nor Walsh's reps will confirm or deny the story (ABC officials told E! that news of Walsh's departure "are speculatory and premature. Nothing has been finalized"), the source seems certain that the red-headed beauty, 44, is on her way out of Private Practice.
An ABC insider says it's "unlikely" the show would continue without Walsh's involvement but adds that a few seasons ago during tense contract negotiations with Walsh, the network considered going forward without her. That didn't happen, obviously, but it means there's a possibility of a Walsh-less medical ensemble, the same way that NBC has kept The Office going after Steve Carell's exit.
Would Private Practice be worth watching without Walsh, or would that be like contemplating Grey's Anatomy without Ellen Pompeo?