ABC's mainstay medical drama Grey's Anatomy is now set to continue its historic run on primetime television with a nineteenth season. Unlike last year's renewal, which came all the way in May, fans of Meredith Grey and the ups and downs of her medical career at Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital won't be left waiting with bated breath for a last-minute renewal. Along with the news that the show will go on, Ellen Pompeo, who plays the titular Grey, is set to return, along with fellow original cast members Chandra Wilson and James Pickens Jr.
Grey's Anatomy follows the professional and personal lives of Grey and her colleagues as they grow from lowly medical interns competing for patients to highly-trained and respected surgeons. Each season of the show has taken on a different theme, with many documenting a new stage in the medical personnel's careers. Seasons seventeen and eighteen tackled the very real pandemic-laden world and what life after COVID could be like, intertwining the drama with a modern-day medical crisis. After nearly seventeen years on air, the show still retains top billing on ABC and is tied for the top broadcast television drama.
Krista Vernoff is also set to run the show again for season nineteen, marking her sixth season at the helm since series creator Shonda Rhimes gave her the keys. Vernoff is deeply entrenched in the Grey's Anatomy universe at this point, also handling the show's spinoff Station 19 on the side. Upon hearing the announcement, Rhimes released a statement applauding Vernoff and the continuation of her flagship drama:
"I couldn’t be more excited that we get to keep telling the stories of Meredith, Bailey, Richard and all of the other doctors at Grey Sloan Memorial for another season. This is a true testament to Krista Vernoff, the cast, the crew and all the writers who keep the audience on the edge of their seat week after week. And it would not be possible without the generations of incredible fans who have supported Grey’s Anatomy for so many years."
Dana Walden, the chairman of entertainment at Walt Disney Television, also hailed the renewal of Grey's Anatomy and spoke to the continued cultural presence of the show seventeen years later:
Grey’s Anatomy is a true phenomenon, beloved by audiences around the world. Whether they catch it live on ABC, or stream it on Hulu or globally on Disney Plus or Star Plus, it’s clear that fans can’t get enough of Shonda Rhimes’ brilliant creation. We have enormous faith in Shonda, Krista Vernoff, Ellen Pompeo and the entire creative team to unlock new, untold stories that will continue to focus on modern medicine, tackle the issues that shape the world around us, and resonate deeply with loyal fans for years to come.
And Vernoff herself expressed her enthusiasm for continuing the Grey's storyline:
Grey’s Anatomy has a global impact that can’t be overstated. Grey’s touches, and sometimes changes, hearts and minds worldwide through the depth of connection people feel with these characters. I’m excited to work with our extraordinary writers to dream up where we go from here, and I’m always grateful to our partners at Disney and ABC for letting us tell bold stories with real impact.
While the high ratings make it seem like a given that Grey's Anatomy would continue on for the foreseeable future, it is worth noting that Pompeo herself has previously lobbied unsuccessfully to end the show, fatigued with the character of Meredith and the series in general. Still, it's hard to see ABC giving up their cash cow now, while the show is up there with This is Us as one of its most beloved still on the air.
Grey's Anatomy is executive produced by Rhimes, Vernoff, Betsy Beers, Debbie Allen, Meg Marinis, and Mark Gordon with Pompeo being upped from a co-executive producer position for season nineteen. Zoanne Clack executive produces as well and provides the show with medical expertise.
Maybe it's time for the show to flatline.
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