Stana Katic and four other TV exits that stunned fans worldwide

Story highlights

  • Patrick Dempsey was referred to as "McDreamy" on "Grey's Anatomy"
  • He was killed off the show in a grisly traffic accident
  • Shemar Moore's exit from "Criminal Minds" was not as brutal

(CNN)Television shows can be as unpredictable as real life.

In recent years, several big stars have suddenly left hit shows, devastating fans worldwide. The latest exit is Stana Katic, who plays the lead female in the crime drama "Castle."
    While it's unclear why Katic is leaving the show, she joins a long list of TV characters who've announced their departures when fans least expected.
    In addition to Katic, here are five shocking TV exits:

    Stana Katic

    Stana Katic plays the female lead in the crime drama, "Castle."
    In a surprising twist, ABC announced this week that it's planning a ninth season without one of its stars. Katic plays Detective Kate Beckett and is married to main character Rick Castle, played by Nathan Fillion. Another original cast member, Tamala Jones, is also reportedly leaving the show. Fillion released a statement wishing Katic the best in her new ventures, but she has remained mum on her exit.
    "Rather than distract from what was an amazing experience I would just like to say that I'm very grateful to ABC for giving me the opportunity to be a part of a much beloved show," she said.

    Patrick Dempsey

    Dempsey played Dr. Derek Shepherd on the popular medical drama "Grey's Anatomy."
    He was killed off in a grisly car accident last season. He died at a hospital incapable of treating his injuries, a genius doctor losing his life as a result of incompetent counterparts. His exit was brutal and sudden, and left fans reeling.
    Patrick Dempsey was one of the lead characters in "Grey's Anatomy."
    Stunned fans trolled show creator Shonda Rhimes on social media, demanding the return of the man nicknamed McDreamy. Others vowed to stop watching the show without him. The enterprising ones launched an online petition to bring him back.
    It's safe to say when it comes to the show, you'll only see him in your McDreams.

    Shemar Moore

    Shemar Moore played Agent Derek Morgan on "Criminal Minds."
    Moore's exit from "Criminal Minds" was more pleasant.
    The man who played Agent Derek Morgan walked off into the sunset with the love of his life and a new baby boy.
    But "baby girls" everywhere did not want to see him go after 11 years on the show. Moore, who constantly referred to co-star Kirsten Vangsness as "baby girl" on the show, got the ultimate send-off. His final episodes were directed by his co-stars, with the last one co-written by Vangsness. While his fans were sad to say goodbye, they're hopeful he'll make a future guest appearance.

    Cote de Pablo

    The stunning actress was a fan favorite on "NCIS."
    Actors Michael Weatherly and Cote De Pablo played love interests in "NCIS."
    Pablo played Ziva David, but left the show three years ago to pursue other options. Fans were brokenhearted to see her go, especially because she was special agent Tony DiNozzo's love interest, played by Michael Weatherly.
    Tony dated a lot of women on the show, but his chemistry with Ziva was undeniable. She exited the show by going back to her native Israel and cutting ties with the United States despite Tony's pleas for her return. The good news is she was not killed off, leaving open chances of a guest appearance.

    Michael Weatherly

     Actor Michael Weatherly is leaving "NCIS" after this season.
    Tony is saying goodbye to "NCIS" this season, along with his unique sense of humor and dapper suits.
    The actor is one of the original cast members and has been a part of the show for 13 seasons. Unlike Ziva's sudden exit, the show's creators are planning to give him a memorable exit. Will it include his happy ending with Ziva?