This article concerns gendered sustainability of careers in the UK TV industry. Much academic scrutiny is focused on equality of access and progression, using data secured from those still working in the sector. The research featured here offers a new insight by focusing on career sustainability and exit, reporting on a survey of 80 individuals, both male and female, who left professional careers in the industry to move on to other careers or activities. While quantitative data demonstrate that incompatibility with parenting was the overwhelmingly dominant factor motivating early exit from the sector for women, the qualitative findings also advance discussions of wider structural barriers and gendered inequalities, embedded in working cultures, practices and attitudes. The article explores the wider perception of a lack of care for the sector’s workers, as well as the individual bereavement and identity loss encountered by those who leave.