The 38-year-old actress joined the cast of the long-running medical drama as Andrew DeLuca’s (Giacomo Gianniotti) sister OB/GYN Carina DeLuca in season 14.
“These are the kind of news I would have loved to share with mamma Lorenza … Dreams can come true, wherever you make them from, even your little bedroom in Belpasso, Sicily …” Spampinato wrote on Thursday, July 30, via Instagram. “Thank you @shondarhimes @kristavernoff & the rest of the writing team for creating Carina, thank you @greysabc @station19 & the incredible cast for making me feel at home since day 1.”
She continued: “Thank you to the AMAZING fans for the constant love and support, thank you @pmbrownla @jshermy.casting for believing in me when I had no credits to my name and thank you @linnysuelowy & team for bringing me into the room that day. Let’s keep dreaming belli!”
Spampinato’s move shouldn’t come as a shock to Grey’s Anatomy fans as Carina started dating Maya Bishop (Danielle Savre) on season 3 of the firefighter spinoff.
While fans will see less of DeLuca’s sister in the hospital, they will see more of Dr. Cormac Hayes (Richard Flood) and Dr. Winston Ndugu (Anthony Hill) as the actors were upped to series regulars on Grey’s Anatomy for season 17.
Flood, for his part, had a recurring role in season 16 as “McWidow,” a new love interest for Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo). Hill’s Dr. Ndugu was introduced in a March episode as a former flame of Kelly McCreary’s Dr. Maggie Pierce.
ABC renewed Grey’s Anatomy for season 17 in 2019. While season 16 was cut short after production was forced to shut down amid the coronavirus pandemic, showrunner Krista Vernoff recently confirmed the series is moving forward with upcoming story lines.
“We’re going to address this pandemic for sure. There’s no way to be a long-running medical show and not do the medical story of our lifetimes,” Vernoff revealed in a Television Academy panel on July 21, noting that the writing staff has conversed with doctors and nurses working throughout the COVID-19 crisis. “They are literally shaking and trying not to cry, they’re pale and they’re talking about it as war — a war that they were not trained for.”
Creator Shonda Rhimes has been open about the fact that Grey’s Anatomy will likely end when Pompeo is ready to walk away.
“I have no expectations [for Meredith’s ending] and that’s how I survive,” Pompeo told Variety in April. “The final episode I did [have an image], but I can’t really tell you because then I’ll have to kill you. Krista and I talked about potential things.”
Pompeo, one of the three original actors still on the show, played coy about the plans for the series to come to end: “I’ve signed on for one more season is all I can say.”