The Real Reason Nicollette Sheridan Left Dynasty

Dynasty is the definition of drama, but it turns out that the real reason Nicollette Sheridan left the CW soap opera is actually fairly straightforward. Sheridan joined the cast of the Dynasty reboot in 2017, taking on the iconic role of Alexis Carrington — one of the greatest TV villains of all time. The role was played by Joan Collins in the original, so Nicollette had big shoes to fill, but she really rose to the occasion. 

It was a grand return to the small screen for Sheridan, who played Edie Britt, a series regular on the wildly popular ABC drama Desperate Housewives from 2004 until her character was killed off in 2009. She said at the time, "Killing off Edie was a risky decision that could have devastating ramifications. When the show started it was such a different beast. It was exciting and dangerous and funny and edgy and bizarre. It started feeling a little complacent, and that was very frustrating." At least there appeared to be a creative need for her to move on from that show, but why ditch the Dynasty reboot — her first major role post-Desperate Housewives – after just two seasons?

It was time for Nicollette Sheridan to move on

Nicollette Sheridan released a statement to explain why she was parting ways with Dynasty. "Working on the Dynasty reboot and reprising the iconic role of Alexis has been thoroughly enjoyable, but the chance to spend precious time with my terminally ill mother is more important to me right now," she said She said, via TVLine. "I am profoundly grateful to Mark Pedowitz (The CW) and David Stapf (CBS) for graciously allowing me to return to Los Angeles to be with her, and I wish them and everyone associated with the show nothing but continued success. I am hopeful that my fans will embrace my successor with as much passion as they embraced me."

See? Nothing scandalous at all, but Sheridan's departure did mark another link in the chain of cast shakeups. Before her exit, series regulars Nathalie Kelley (Cristal Flores) and James Mackay (Steven Carrington) also left the show. Kelley (pictured right) quit the show because she just couldn't get into it. "I signed on before I ever read the script. There was a basic outline. I think I wasn't up to the challenge of a nighttime soap," she said, via Digital Spy. "I wasn't prepared for that genre. It wasn't something I had experience in." While that's humble of her, the cast shakeups do suggest that something was off — like the dialogue on the CW's Dynasty reboot. 

Nicollete Sheridan never saw the original Dynasty

Nicollette Sheridan seemed to enjoy playing Alexis Carrington on Dynasty. She told Variety that she had never seen the original version of the soap, though she is friends with the original Alexis — actress Joan Collins (pictured right). Nicollette said the character is "a force to be reckoned with." She added, "She's a complicated person who is driven by power, money, and the dichotomy of an overwhelming desire to protect her children to have them flourish. She is back to reclaim both of her children and help them onto a different path." 

In other words, Alexis isn't allergic to a little drama and stirring up the pot. Nicollette was basically born for the role, which is why it's such a shame that she left the series so soon. Who knows, maybe she could make a return somehow in the future? This is Dynasty after all — anything can happen. 

Dynasty kept fans guessing about Nicollette Sheridan's role

When Nicollette Sheridan announced she was leaving Dynasty, she left a huge pair of shoes (or should we say, stilettos?) to fill. Sheridan's last episode was in March 2019, and in that fateful episode, Alexis Carrington was thrown into a fire, burning her face and setting the stage for a recast. According to Deadline, when the bandages were removed, it was revealed that the actress taking over the role was none other than Elizabeth Gillies, who also plays Carrington's daughter, Fallon on the show! Talk about the ultimate Dynasty twist!

Gillies, who spent about five hours in the makeup and prosthetics chair to turn into the infamous Alexis, portrayed the character for the remainder of the second season, but her stint playing double duty on the show didn't carry over into Season 3. Actress Elaine Hendrix (pictured above), best known for her role in The Parent Trap opposite Lindsay Lohan, took over the infamous role. "I'm an OG Dynasty girl," Hendrix told CBS Los Angeles. "Alexis Carrington, please let me add that to the roster of iconic things I've gotten to do. She to me is just the ultimate."

Dynasty was renewed for a fourth season, so buckle up for even more drama to come!