Superstore‘s favorite employee is clocking out for the last time. Star and executive producer America Ferrera is leaving Superstore at the end of the NBC comedy’s currently airing fifth season. The series has already been renewed through 2021 will continue on without their most valuable employee.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, America Ferrera is leaving Superstore after five seasons on the job. Ferrera, who for the past five years has played the cynical big-box store employee who found love and a cushy promotion at the “Cloud 9” location where she works, is leaving when the current season ends in April this year. The star, executive producer, and director of several episodes, said in a statement that she’s ready to seek the “next chapter” in her career and life.
“The last five years on Superstore have been some of the most rewarding, enriching and enjoyable years of my career. Producing, directing and acting with this wonderful cast and crew has given me opportunities to grow as a person and storyteller. I’m so grateful to my partners at NBC and Universal Television for the support and belief they have always placed in the show, and I’m most thankful to the brilliant Justin Spitzer for creating the funny, smart and relevant world of Superstore and inviting me to be a part of it. As I start the next chapter for my family and career, I wish only the best, and much continued success, to my beloved Superstore family.”
“America’s immeasurable contributions to Superstore, both in front of and behind the camera as well as an ambassador for the show, can’t possibly be quantified,” added Lisa Katz and Tracey Pakosta, co-presidents scripted programming at NBC. “We feel so fortunate to call her both a colleague and friend.”
The announcement comes as a bit of a surprise, as Ferrera is the show’s biggest star and its ostensible romantic lead, with her romance between Ben Feldman’s Jonah becoming a driving force behind the series. But Superstore is an ensemble comedy and could bounce back after Ferrera’s departure. It’s not clear yet how Ferrera will leave Store 1217, but it’s possible that she could get a lucrative promotion right out of the city.
This is not the first time a lead character has left a popular show in the middle of production. Shows such as Roseanne and House of Cards recently continued on after their stars were fired, while The Office and Grey’s Anatomy maintained their popularity even after their most recognizable stars exited. There are also shows like Scrubs and Once Upon a Time that completely reinvented themselves after their main cast left. Superstore should have no problem keeping its lights on.
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