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"Grey's Anatomy" Star Joins The Cast of "Madam Secretary" As A New Series Regular

With the sudden departure of Bebe Neuwirth's character of Nadine Tolliver from the hit CBS show, Madam Secretary, it left an opening at the State Department.

In an emotional episode on Sunday, we watched longtime chief of staff hug Secretary of State Elizabeth McCord, played by Téa Leoni, in a farewell that had us reaching for the tissue. The character's exit was written so that she could be closer to her son and soon-to-be-born grand-baby.

Neuwirth had been a series regular on the show since it premiered in 2014.

“So grateful for my time @MadamSecretary – a wonderful show where I love the cast, crew, background artists. #lifelongfriends,” she wrote. “So grateful to @CBS for accepting my request to depart @MadamSecretary and writing a beautiful exit for me.”

Nadine's final moments with her boss showed her true feelings about the political environment.

“I love public service, but it’s gotten so vicious,” she said. “Somehow, we’ve become our own worst enemy. And I don’t want to spend the rest of my career fighting.”

Neuwirth will definitely be missed on set by her colleagues.

“Working with @BebeNeuwirth has been one of the highlights of my career,” Erich Bergen tweeted. “Till the next one, my friend.”

With Neuwirth's departure, that has left the door open for another familiar face to join the cast.

Sara Ramirez has now joined the cast as a new series regular.

She will play Kat Sandoval, a brilliant political strategist who is legendary in D.C. for her talent. She abruptly had dropped out to politics until Elizabeth manages to coax her back into the State Department.

CBS reveals that the new character will be introduced on the November 19th episode.

“We’re very excited that Sara is joining the cast,” said Barbara Hall, executive producer and series creator. “She brings a fresh perspective and a fun, energetic quality to the State Department staff.”

“We are thrilled to have Sara join the Madam Secretary State Department team,” said Lori McCreary, executive producer. “From the moment she walked on set with her talent, intellect and spirit, she became part of the family!”

This will be the first time Ramirez joins a show as a TV regular since her departure from Grey's Anatomy last year. She played Dr. Callie Torres for over a decade on the hit show.

“Dr. Callie Torres came into our lives dancing it out in her underwear almost a decade ago and I could not be happier or more proud of her journey," the show's creator Shonda Rhimes said."Sara Ramirez’s performance inspired me as well as millions of fans each week. We wish her the best on her well-deserved time off. I will miss Callie tremendously, but am excited for what the future holds for Sara. She will always have a home at Shondaland,”

“I’m deeply grateful to have spent the last 10 years with my family at ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ and ABC, but for now, I’m taking some welcome time off,” Ramirez tweeted.

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Source: EW / Deadline