Five-time Emmy nominee Sandra Oh has announced that she will depart Grey's Anatomy following its 10th season on ABC, ending in May 2014.
The actress said Tuesday, "It's such an interesting thing to play a character for so long and to actually get the sense that she wants to be let go as well."
"Creatively, I really feel like I gave it my all, and I feel ready to let her go."
"[Cristina] wants to be let go, and I am ready to let her go. We have to start the process, story-wise, for the writers to think of why she's going to go."
Oh signed a two-year extension with the series in May 2012, as did co-stars Ellen Pompeo and Patrick Dempsey, whose deals are also up next spring.
Pompeo and Dempsey were long-rumored to be exiting the show back then, only to sign for two more years. Their status beyond 2014 is not known.
"I've gone through a lot of therapy over this," Oh said. "I started thinking about it because I had to prepare myself. I gave myself two years to emotionally let go."
Despite the emotional departure of the acclaimed actress who brought us Cristina Yang, fans shouldn't expect the hospital itself to close up shop.
ABC Entertainment President Paul Lee said at this summer's Television Critics Association that he hopes Grey's Anatomy will continue to run for "many years."
How much it will resemble the show that premiered in 2005 and once averaged over 20 million viewers a week remains to be seen, but it will go on.
Grey's Anatomy Season 10 kicks off September 26 with a two-hour premiere.