Fans of the recently departed Callie Torres from Grey's Anatomy should prepare themselves for a familiar face to hit another network drama on Nov. 19. Sara Ramirez, who played Callie on the Shonda Rhimes hit for more than a decade, is beginning a new journey on CBS's Madam Secretary. It's been a long drought without seeing her talent showcased on television, so how many Madam Secretary episodes is Sara Ramirez in?
The good news is, Deadline reports that Ramirez will be a series regular on the political drama, which also stars Tea Leoni and Tim Daly, so fans can plan on tuning in indefinitely. She'll play the part of Kat Sandoval, a Washington, D.C. political strategist who joins the staff of the State Department. "We're very excited that Sara is joining the cast," Barbara Hall, executive producer and series creator, told Deadline. "She brings a fresh perspective and a fun, energetic quality to the State Department staff." Lori McCreary, executive producer, echoed those sentiments. "We are thrilled to have Sara join the Madam Secretary State Department team," she also told Deadline. "From the moment she walked on set with her talent, intellect and spirit, she became part of the family."
Ramirez exited Grey's Anatomy in 2016 amid contract negotiations, according to Variety, but the magazine reported that there was no bad blood or serious issues surrounding her departure — it was just her time. Shonda Rhimes, creator of Grey's Anatomy, sent her well wishes as she departed. "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," Rhimes said, according to the same Variety report. "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."
It was a little unorthodox of an exit, however. Rhimes also told Vulture that she found out Ramirez was leaving just a few days before everyone else did. Callie leaves the show when she takes a job in New York, which apparently was just coincidental. "I found out maybe three days before you guys [the public] found out,” Rhimes said at the Vulture Festival, per Vulture. "It wasn’t a big, planned thing. I had a different plan going and then Sara came and said, ‘I really need to take a break.’ I was sort of lucky that we had shot the end of the season with her going to New York."
Ramirez has always spoken fondly of her time with Grey's Anatomy, and that didn't change after she left. She's said it just seemed like leaving was the step she needed to take. "It was a very conscious decision, a choice that I made, and it was really supported by my colleagues and my boss, and so for me, it’s the best choice I ever made," Ramirez told Parade. "When you’re really clear about the decisions you’re making and why you’re making them, it’s actually rather empowering, and I continue to wish them all well and they know it, so it’s a good thing."
Jessica Capshaw, who plays Arizona, Callie's former wife and mother to her child on Grey's Anatomy, also sent her well wishes along when Ramirez left the show.
With the camaraderie displayed by the cast and crew, it's possible that former Grey's Anatomy co-stars might even be tuning in for this Madam Secretary arc. Ramirez's talent was incredible to watch on Grey's, and given that Madam Secretary also features plenty of storylines written for badass women, Ramirez should feel right at home for as long as the writers want her to stay.