‘Chicago Med’: Why Did Colin Donnell Leave the Medical Drama?

For five seasons, actor Colin Donnell played Dr. Connor Rhodes on the NBC medical drama Chicago Med. Rhodes was a highly skilled trauma surgeon at Gaffney Chicago Medical Center. As one of the original cast members, Donnell starred in the medical drama since the beginning. When the actor announced his departure from the show, fans were utterly devastated. Here is why Colin Donnell decided to leave Chicago Med.

Fans say goodbye to Conner Rhodes in ‘Chicago Med’ Season 5

In the season 5 premiere, viewers learned Conner was suspected of murdering his father, Cornelius Rhodes (D.W. Moffett). But, the killer was his ex-girlfriend Dr. Ava Bekker (Norma Kuhling), who was trying to win him back with countless advances. When Ava found evidence connecting her to the crime, she slashed her throat in front of Connor. Even though he tried to save her, she died from the injuries. After Conner is declared innocent, he decides to leave the hospital for good.

Why did Colin Donnell leave the medical drama?

Colin Donnell dressed in black scrubs at the 2018 Chicago Press Day.
Colin Donnell | Timothy Hiatt/Getty Images

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Chicago Med fans were shocked to hear Colin Donnell was leaving the medical drama. Donnell’s character was considered a fan-favorite and was truly beloved. So, why did the actor exit the show? According to Fansided, the producers decided Donnell’s character wouldn’t come back due to a “creative decision.” So, fans said a final goodbye to Conner Rhodes in the Chicago Med Season 5 premiere. 

After he departed from the show, Donnell said goodbye to fans on social media. “Sorry to say that this is true,” the actor wrote on Twitter. “I love my #ChicagoMed #OneChicago family dearly. And a special thank you to all the fans that have made these last four seasons so amazing.”

Donnell continued, “It’s been an honor to be a part of such a great trio of shows and in the [Dick Wolf] family. I know that there’s great things coming for Season 5, and I can’t wait to see what they are along with all you fans.”

What is Colin Donnell doing now?

Although fans won’t see Dr. Conner Rhodes return to the One Chicago universe, viewers have not seen the last of Colin Donnell. The Chicago Med alum recently joined the cast of the Peacock crime thriller Irreverent. Per TVLine, the official logline describes it as a “fish out of water drama” that centers around a criminal mediator Paulo Keegan (Donnell). 

Paulo flees the United States after a mediation goes wrong and takes on the identity of  Reverend Mackenzie ‘Mack’ Boyd. Soon, Mack must play the “devoted Reverend” while trying to search for a way out. Alongside Donnell, the ensemble cast features Hollywood veterans like Kylie Bracknell (Black Is the New White), Briallen Clarke (Doctor Doctor), Tegan Stimson (The Tailings), and PJ Byrne (The Boys). 

Irreverent creator Paddy Macrae will serve as the writer and showrunner. The executive producers include Debbie Lee and writer Andrew Knight. The rest of the writers include Andrew Anastasios, Angela McDonald, and Darlene Johnson. Lastly, the directors are Jonathan Teplitzky and Lucy Gaffy. At the moment, there is no official release date for the project.