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Freema Agyeman had undeniable chemistry with Ryan Eggold on New Amsterdam for four seasons. The two formed “Shipwin,” the “shipping” name for their fan-favorite relationship.
But in 2022, Agyeman announced she was leaving the show, and her fans mourned the loss of their favorite couple. We’ve got the details below on the real reason Freema Agyeman left and how viewers handled the end of her storyline.
Freema Agyeman left New Amsterdam after season 4 to pursue other projects.
In 2022, Agyeman announced her departure in an open letter to her fans. “Dearest Dam Fam,” she began. “First off I would like to say a huge heartfelt thank you for your unending, dedicated and deliciously ferocious support!”
“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 has meant so much to me, but the time has come for me to hang up her white coat,” Agyeman explained, “as I officially share the news that I will not be returning for the final season of New Amsterdam.”
“While I am saddened, I am also incredibly excited to see how the story concludes as a fan of the series.”
According to the series creator, David Schulner, Freema’s decision to leave didn’t come as a surprise. “Freema let us know very early near the end of Season 3 what she was thinking, and we didn’t even know if we’d get her for Season 4,” he explained to TV Insider.
“But Freema agreed to stay for Season 4 and give us the runway we needed to prepare her exit in case she didn’t come back for Season 5.”
“It has been such a joy to play Dr. Helen Sharpe for 4 seasons—those writers built a badass!” Freema said in her original announcement. “Beyond grateful for the opportunity to tell some of her stories! Fanfic—it’s over to you to tell the rest!! Lots of love Fam!”
Did Freema Agyeman Ever Return To New Amsterdam?
Freema Agyeman didn’t return to the New Amsterdam set after season 4, but the showrunners used old footage of her for two episodes in season 5.
Just two episodes before the finale, New Amsterdam shocked fans with a reappearance from Freema Agyeman.
Sharpe was absent for almost the entirety of season 5, but the producers tried to get her back for the finale. They said that the timing just didn’t work. David Schulner said that Freema was also “totally up for returning for the season finale […] We just couldn’t make it work.”
Executive producer and director Peter Horton backed Schulner up, saying it was simply scheduling conflicts. “We really did try with Freema, too, just to see if we could get her, and it just didn’t time out right.”
But because they’d “already committed to using [old] footage for episode 11” featuring Agyeman, they had to work around not actually having Agyeman there to film new scenes.
Cast And Fan Reactions To Freema Agyeman Leaving New Amsterdam
The cast and crew of New Amsterdam said they loved working with Freema Agyeman, but fans were very unhappy with her leaving.
“We never wanted her to leave,” Peter Horton told TVLine. “We love her, and she was a big, big part of our show.”
“She just made a choice that we honored. But given our druthers, especially at that time, we would’ve said, ‘No, stay, please.’ She’s a great actress and lovely person.”
Ryan Eggold, who played Freema’s love interest, Max Goodwin, said he has “so much love for Freema and [wants] Freema to do what’s best for her, always.”
As for Freema Agyeman’s fans, some were saddened by her departure but thanked her for role.
Most, however, were angry and disappointed by the end of Helen Sharpe’s storyline. They felt the showrunners had plenty of notice to give Freema’s character a better ending than “vilifying” her.
What Is Freema Agyeman Doing Now?
Freema Agyeman is still acting and has a starring role in the TV series Dreamland.
After leaving New Amsterdam, Freeman Agyeman landed another lead role, this time on the British comedy series Dreamland. She stars with Gabby Best, Aimee-Ffion Edwards, and Lily Allen as sisters in a small British town by the seaside.
In 2023, Agyeman also starred on stage as Veronica in God of Carnage. She hasn’t announced any future projects just yet, but fans can’t wait to be there when she does.