McDonald in at ‘Practice’

'Grey's Anatomy' spin-off builds cast

Dr. Addison Montgomery’s college pal has a new face: Audra McDonald is in, and Merrin Dungey is out of, the cast of ABC’s new entry “Private Practice.”

Dungey played Dr. Naomi Bennett, an old chum of Kate Walsh’s lead character, in the spring “Grey’s Anatomy” episode that doubled as a backdoor pilot for “Private Practice.”

But a rep for ABC Studios, which produces “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Private,” said series producers have decided to go in a different direction and have hired the multiple Tony-winning McDonald to take over the role.

McDonald most recently starred in NBC’s short-lived “Kidnapped.” She’ll also be seen on the Alphabet net next season in the longform “A Raisin in the Sun.” She’s also had TV roles in “The Bedford Diaries,” “Mister Sterling” and the telepic “Wit.”

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