‘Good Witch’: Why Did Bailee Madison Leave the Hallmark Show?

Good Witch returns to Hallmark Channel on May 3, but a familiar face will be missing. After five seasons on the show, Bailee Madison, who played Grace Russell, decided not to return for a sixth season. But even though the actress has moved on, the woman who played her on-screen mom is still holding out hope that she might be able to come back for a couple of episodes. 

Bailee Madison says it was ‘bittersweet’ to leave Grace behind 

Bailee Madison
Bailee Madison | Cindy Ord/Getty Images for American Heart Association

After five years playing Cassie’s (Catherine Bell) teenage daughter on Good Witch, Madison decided it was time to move on to other things. But she left with nothing but love in her heart for the show and her co-stars  

“The feeling couldn’t be more bitter sweet,” she wrote in an August 2019 Instagram post after her last episode aired. “Thank you so much for loving and watching Grace (and in a way, me) grow up on your screen for the last 5 years, and thank you for tuning in tonight to wish her a farewell. I am so beyond grateful for the memories these last 5 years have provided me, and as this chapter ends tonight I celebrate all that was and all that is ahead. To my cast & crew whom I love so much, congrats on this wonderful season.”

The actress was ready for ‘new adventures’

While Madison, 20, called her experience on Good Witch “amazing,” she was ready for new challenges.  

“They say life is like a beautiful book, and everyone’s story is unique to them,” she shared in a tweet announcing her departure from the show. “As one chapter ends, a new one begins which is even more exciting and unexpected than the previous one … I couldn’t be more grateful for the new adventures ahead.” 

In the season 5 finale, Grace graduated from high school, delivering her valedictorian speech at her commencement ceremony. Flash-forward a few months, and Cassie has dropped her only child off at college (after giving her an antique sewing machine that’s been in the family for generations) and is ready to start on the next chapter of her life with new husband Sam (James Denton).

Catherine Bell hopes Madison might return to the show  

Catherine Bell
Catherine Bell | Paul Archuleta/Getty Images

With her character off at college, it seems like there would be plenty of opportunities for Madison to return to Good Witch for an episode or two. Bell is certainly hoping that happens. 

“I love Bailee. We’re dear friends. We still talk, still check in all the time. That was a really tough decision, I know, for her. There are different reasons — just life going by, location — that it made sense for her [to leave],” Bell told Entertainment Tonight in September 2019. “My dream is that she gets to come back for a couple of episodes. I don’t know schedule-wise when it’ll happen, but I know that she’s working on some great projects right now.”

Madison will soon be seen in A Week Away, a faith-based musical recently acquired by Netflix