ABC Is Not Looking at ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Season 17 As Its Last

Ellen Pompeo Grey's Anatomy Future
ABC/Kelsey McNeal

Fortunately, Grey’s Anatomy fans didn’t have to wait all year for news about its fate; ABC renewed the medical drama for Seasons 16 and 17 at the same time in May 2019.

But should they worry that the 2020-21 season may be the last time they see their favorite doctors at Grey Sloan Memorial? The network certainly hopes not. “I’m hopeful that Grey’s Anatomy stays a part of our schedule,” ABC Entertainment President Karey Burke said to Deadline. “They certainly know that we’d like it to be part of our schedule for as long as they are interested in making more episodes.” Previously, Burke said the show would “live as long as Ellen [Pompeo] is interested in playing Meredith Grey.”

The longest-running primetime medical drama — it passed ER to take that title on February 28, 2019 — follows Meredith and the rest of the hospital staff’s personal and professional lives. It’s showing no signs of slowing down, with new medical cases and doctors, a shared universe with another ABC drama, and people continuing to tune in. The past season was ABC’s No. 1 program in total viewers (15.7 million) and among adults 18-49 (5.92 rating), in delayed viewing over 35 days across all platforms.

Grey’s also stars Chandra Wilson, James Pickens Jr., Kevin McKidd, Jesse Williams, Caterina Scorsone, Camilla Luddington, Kelly McCreary, Kim Raver, Giacomo Gianniotti, Greg Germann, Chris Carmack, and Jake Borelli. Grey’s said goodbye to one of its original cast members in Season 16 when Justin Chambers (who played Alex Karev since the pilot) left.

Jason George Chandra Wilson Grey's Anatomy Station 19 Crossover

(ABC/Richard Cartwright)

The world of Grey’s expanded in 2018 to include Station 19, following the members of the nearby firehouse. With the two back-to-back on Thursdays (with the spinoff kicking off the night) and characters in relationships across the shows (like Jason George‘s Ben and Wilson’s Bailey above), crossovers have become common.

Grey’s Anatomy, Season 17, 2020, ABC