Audra McDonald is checking back into Seaside Wellness as the Tony winner will will return to Private Practice for the show’s series finale, according to TV Guide. The final episode of the ABC medical drama will air at the end of January.
McDonald will return to the character of Naomi Bennett, a role she first took over in the show’s second episode back in 2007 (replacing pilot star Merrin Dungey when the show was picked up to series). Naomi is the best friend of the series' leading lady Addison (Kate Walsh) and the ex-wife of Sam (Taye Diggs). Naomi left the practice at the end of season four, when McDonald wished to be closer to her family in New York.
Since McDonald's departure—although not necessarily because of it—Private Practice has struggled in the ratings, leading to the network's decision to cancel the Shonda Rhimes-created drama after its sixth season.
McDonald is a five-time Tony winner, having taken home trophies for Porgy and Bess, A Raisin in the Sun, Ragtime, Master Class and Carousel. Her other Broadway credits include 110 in the Shade, Henry IV, Marie Christine and The Secret Garden.