As the cast and crew of ABC's Station 19 look ahead to the upcoming crossover event with Grey's Anatomy, an announcement was made that will probably shakes things up behind the scenes for the firefighting drama. It's been revealed that Station 19 is losing its current showrunner, and if the network decides to renew for Season 3, a replacement would be needed for day-to-day duties.
Showrunner Stacy McKee is reportedly deciding to step down as showrunner for Station 19 after two seasons. The move is something of a surprise, considering McKee has been part of the growing Grey's Anatomy family since its first season. She went from production staffer to story editor to writer to producer to executive producer during her 13 years on the medical drama, and went on to create Station 19 ahead of its 2018 debut. (It was technically birthed by backdoor pilot on Grey's.)
After two seasons, though, Stacy McKee is walking away from her ABC creation ahead of the summer hiatus. The choice to back out doesn't appear to have been caused by any scandalous circumstances or foul intentions. According to THR, McKee is choosing not to renew her overall deal with ABC Studios, which is expiring soon. She is reportedly ready to seek out new career opportunities outside of Shondaland's dramas.
Station 19 has completely wrapped production on Season 2, so Stacy McKee isn't stepping away in the middle of a stressful time. However, the drama would necessarily need to find a new showrunner before going into production on any future episodes. One big question would concern who the producers would get to replace McKee, but the biggest question of all is whether or not ABC will provide Station 19 with the Season 3 renewal.
On the one hand, Station 19 might seem like a lock for a renewal, since it's the second-highest performing Shondaland series after Grey's Anatomy. Save for three episodes, Station 19 has brought in over 5 million viewers per episode in Season 3. Its demo rating for adults 18-49, which tied the series low of 0.8 with the most recent episode, hasn't been so massive, but still strong enough to not make waves at the network, where For the People and How to Get Away with Murder both have smaller audiences.
So while it technically falls under the category of a cancellation bubble show, Station 19 has a really good shot of getting picked up for Season 3. Although it's worth pondering how much of an effect Stacy McKee's exit will have on the producers' decision-making. If losing the showrunner is deemed too detrimental to the process, it's possible the powers that be could decide to pull the plug for good. Plus, Grey's Anatomy just hit a series low in the ratings, so its days as a boost-worthy lead-in may be ending.
Chances are, fans are going to hear some news relatively soon about Station 19's future. ABC will be putting on its upfronts presentation for bigwig advertisers in just a couple of weeks, and networks tend to get their fall schedules straightened out ahead of the event.
Plus, Station 19's next episode will be its second big crossover event with Grey's Anatomy this season, and it will follow up on the potentially tragic events of the episode "Friendly Fire." Brett Tucker's Ripley is going to be the biggest crossover catalyst, as characters jump from one show to the other to follow a medical emergency. Will everyone survive, or will the dramas be seeing goodbye to a character or two ahead of McKee's official departure.
Station 19 airs Thursday nights on ABC at 9:00 p.m. Though it took a week off, the drama will return to ABC on Thursday, May 2, also at 9:00 p.m. While waiting, check out some shows that are potentially closer to cancellation than Station 19.