'New Amsterdam' Star Freema Agyeman Reveals She Will Not Return for Fifth and Final Season

The actress has portrayed Dr. Helen Sharpe since the NBC medical drama's debut in 2018

NEW AMSTERDAM --"Castles Made of Sand" Episode 421 -- Pictured: Freema Agyeman as Dr. Helen Sharpe
Photo: Virginia Sherwood/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty

Freema Agyeman is saying goodbye to her role as Dr. Helen Sharpe as she departs NBC's New Amsterdam ahead of its fifth and final season.

Agyeman, who has been the leading lady of the medical drama since its 2018 start, announced her departure from the series in a post on Instagram Wednesday.

"Dearest Dam Fam. First off I would like to say a huge heartfelt THANK YOU for your unending, dedicated and deliciously ferocious support!" the actress, 43, wrote. "I feel very fortunate to have connected with so many of you over these past few years, while rolling around in the skin of Ms. Helen Sharpe, and witness every ebb and flow of your emotional investment."

"What a ride! Thank you for being on it with me," she continued. "She has meant so much to me, but the time has come for me to hang up her white coat, as I officially share the news that I will not be returning for the final season of New Amsterdam."

Though Agyeman said she is "saddened" to leave the medical drama, she noted, "I am also incredibly excited to see how the story concludes as a fan of the series."

"It has been such a joy to play Dr. Helen Sharpe for 4 seasons - those magnificent writers built a badass! Beyond grateful for the opportunity to tell some of her stories!" she concluded. "Fanfic - it's over to you to tell the rest!! Lots of love Fam!"

In a statement obtained by PEOPLE, New Amsterdam creator/showrunner David Schulner and executive producer Peter Horton also confirmed Agyeman's departure.

"We wish Freema the best of luck on her next chapter and the doors of New Amsterdam will always be open if she wishes to return!" the statement read. "We are extremely proud of the impact Freema and Dr. Helen Sharpe have made over these past four seasons and are so grateful to have been a part of that story. As we head into the fifth and final season, we want our #Sharpwin fans to know we still have a few surprises in store for them."

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Though Agyeman did not cite a specific reason for leaving the show, a source close to the series told TVLine that it was Agyeman's personal decision.

Ryan Eggold as Dr. Max Goodwin, Freema Agyeman as Dr. Helen Sharpe
Ryan Eggold as Dr. Max Goodwin, Freema Agyeman as Dr. Helen Sharpe. Heidi Gutman/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank

New Amsterdam, which is executive produced by David Schulner and Peter Horton, debuted on NBC in September 2018, starring Agyeman alongside Ryan Eggold as Dr. Max Goodwin, Janet Montgomery as Dr. Lauren Bloom, Jocko Sims as Dr. Floyd Reynolds, Anupam Kher — who left the show last year — as Dr. Vijay Kapoor and Tyler Labine as Dr. Iggy Frome.

The series focuses on Dr. Max Goodwin as he becomes the medical director of New Amsterdam, a fictionalized version of one of the country's oldest public hospitals, and works to fight against bureaucracy and provide his patients with better care.

Because Agyeman has starred on the show from its start, the news came as a shock to fans of the medical drama. It also leaves Sharpwin shippers — fans of the romantic relationship between Helen Sharpe and Max Goodwin — devastated, as the pair left off on a bad note at the end of season 4 with Helen proclaiming that she could not marry Max.

In March, NBC told PEOPLE that the show's final season will be shortened to only include 13 episodes and will begin airing in September.

While the story of the New Amsterdam Medical Center comes to its end, Agyeman will be starring in the new Sky Original comedy series Dreamland alongside singer and How to Build a Girl actress, Lily Allen. The pair recently starting shooting the series in England, per TVLine.

New Amsterdam returns on Sept. 20 at 10 p.m. ET on NBC.

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