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The Real Reason Jake Borelli's Levi Schmitt Is Leaving Grey's Anatomy

Grey-Sloan is going to be missing one familiar face when the 21st Season of "Grey's Anatomy" rolls around. Jake Borelli, who's been playing Levi Schmitt on the drama since Season 14, will be departing the series during the upcoming fall outing. According to Deadline, fans can expect to see Levi return to conclude Levi's story should negotiations be successful. There's no word as to how the character will leave the drama, nor how many episodes fans can expect to see him in. It looks like some "Grey's Anatomy" fans who think writing Schmitt off would be wise are getting their wish.

It appears that Borelli is a victim of budget cuts put in place to trim down the ensemble cast and make the next season of "Grey's" more cost-effective. A common reality for even the most successful dramas, in the case of "Grey's Anatomy" it means even the veteran performers ensconced with the drama could be seen less often.

Schmitt is a groundbreaking character, and his romance with Dr. Nico Kim (Alex Landi) was the show's first ever regular same-sex relationship between two men. As fans of the show know, Kim has recently returned to Greys with a partner and a child via surrogate on the way. Perhaps they'll be written out and into a happily ever after together. And perhaps Borelli — who said his favorite part of playing Levi is his character's relationship with Jo Wilson (Camilla Luddington) will get to play one more scene with her. But until then, the show's producers are coping with more than a budget cut.

Season 21 will be on a whole hour later than usual

Besides Jake Borelli's departure, Season 21 will bring a new timeslot to "Grey's Anatomy," which is being bumped to 10 PM EST. While all of this might make fans of the drama nervous, Disney TV Group President Craig Erwich assures Deadline that the drama's enviable position allows it to move about. As a matter of fact — since the show's audience tends to consume the show non-linearly — Erwich thinks that the timeslot change will have little effect on the show's fortune.

"Well over 80% watches the show on multiple platforms, not specifically live, so we think the move is going to be minimal, as well as it will provide an incredible lead into our local news at 11," he said. According to the Disney exec, these moves and cuts do anything but sound a death knell for the drama. "[It's] a great opportunity for ABC to launch a new show, as well as to keep 'Grey's' on a night where it's been extraordinarily successful for many years." We'll find out if he's is right when the show returns in the fall. 

For longtime fans wanting to read more about their favorite medical drama, be sure to read things you didn't know about "Grey's Anatomy."