“I love Tim Daly. We spent a long time working together. But yeah, there were budgetary reasons,” the TV mogul said back in 2012. “We wanted to afford to keep the show going and that was not necessarily an easy choice to make. But in a lot of ways, there already was an end for Pete.”

Viewers may recall that the physician died of a heart attack while jogging through Los Angeles’ Runyon Canyon. He had been out of jail on bail after his arrest for ending the life of a patient who was being kept alive by machines.

Shonda revealed that the table read detailing Pete’s death was a tough one. “Amy Brenneman [who played Pete’s widow, Violet] knew, because we spoke about it ahead of time,” the producer shared. “Because he was her acting partner, I wanted her to know what was going on.”

While the rest of the cast knew Tim wouldn’t be returning, they had no idea what was going to happen to his character. “It was a pretty big moment for everybody,” Shonda said of the scene where Violet learns of Pete’s passing. “People got it in a way that was really emotional.”

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