‘Grown-ish’ Season 4 Finale Says Goodbye to Six Cast Members
Freeform’s sitcom grown-ish is shaking things up ahead of the fifth season as six original cast members are leaving the college-set show.
As reported by TVLine, the Season 4 finale marked the end of an era as the graduation-themed episode said goodbye to original cast members Francia Raisa (Ana), Emily Arlook (Nomi), Chloe Bailey (Jazz), Luka Sabbat (Luca), Halle Bailey (Sky), and Jordan Buhat (Vivek). The six actors will not be returning for Season 5.
However, there will be a handful of returning stars for the upcoming fifth season, including Yara Shahidi (Zoey), Trevor Jackson (Aaron), and Diggy Simmons (Doug). But the show will turn its attention to a new group of students arriving at the California University of Liberal Arts, including black-ish‘s Marcus Scribner (Junior).
“Francia, Emily, Chloe, Halle, Luka, and Jordan will always be a part of the ‘-ish’ family. This new season isn’t a goodbye, we are just expanding the world; there will always be an open door for them to return,” said Season 5 showrunners Zakiyyah Alexander and Courtney Lilly (via TVLine). “For season 5, we’re excited to dive deeper into the storylines of Zoey, Aaron, and Doug in their post-grad adventures and welcome a new dynamic class to Cal-U, including Junior (Marcus Scribner).”
The series, created by Kenya Barris and Larry Wilmore, premiered on January 3, 2018, as a spinoff from the ABC sitcom black-ish. It follows the Johnson family’s firstborn daughter Zoey as she leaves the family to go to college and discovers that her journey to adulthood and departure from the family does not go the way she hoped.
‘grown-ish’: 6 Original Cast Members Exit Ahead of Season 5
It’s the end of an era for Grown-ish for fans. The recently aired Season 4 finale set the board for a major overhaul of the show moving forward, starting with the exit of six main cast members. As such, the fifth season of the hit show will not see the return of Francia Raisa, Emily Arlook, Jordan Buhat, Luka Sabbat, Halle Bailey, and Chloe Bailey. However, the show’s lead, Yara Shahidi will remain onboard, alongside Trevor Jackson, and Diggy Simmons.
Grown-ish, a spinoff of Black-ish, follows Shahidi’s Zoey Johnson as she experienced the ups and downs of college life. The story saw Zoey and her group of friends explore their journey to self-identity and adulthood. The recently concluded fourth season wrapped up with the characters graduating from university, allowing for an organic and plausible mass exodus of characters.
The remaining three main cast members will welcome a new class of students which includes Zoey’s own brother, Junior (played by Marcus Scribner). Additional casting news is expected for the incoming new students. A lot is still up in the air regarding which direction Grown-ish will take moving forward, particularly with the show’s lead, Zoey. The season finale saw Zoey leave California and head to New York with her love interest, Aaron Jackson; this introduces an element of uncertainty and curiosity to the duo’s future and stability.
While the announcement of the cast exit is surprising, it is not unexpected as many of the main cast members have already begun forging career paths outside the show. For instance, Raisa who played Ana Torres on the show already plays a main character on How I Met Your Father which has recently been renewed for a second season. Additionally, Halle Bailey missed a significant amount of the fourth season while filming her titular role in The Little Mermaid live-action adaption. In a joint statement to TV Line, new showrunners – Zakiyyah Alexander and Courtney Lilly – addressed the character departures, stating:
“Francia, Emily, Chloe, Halle, Luka and Jordan will always be a part of the -ish’ family. This new season isn’t a goodbye, we are just expanding the world; there will always be an open door for them to return,”
“For season 5, we’re excited to dive deeper into the storylines of Zoey, Aaron and Doug in their post-grad adventures and welcome a new dynamic class to Cal-U, including Junior.”
The upcoming season will be executive produced by Shahidi, Lilly, Alexander, Kenya Barris, Anthony Anderson, Laurence Fishburne, Craig Doyle, Helen Sugland, E Brian Dobbins, and Michael Petok. At the moment, though the show was renewed on March 7, no word yet on when Grown-ish is expected to return to our screens.