Jesse Williams Is Officially Returning For Grey's Anatomy Season 16, But There's A Catch

Grey's Anatomy Season 15 finale Jackson drives car in fog ABC

Jackson Avery will be found! The Grey's Anatomy Season 15 finale ended with Maggie calling out for Jackson in the thick fog. We still have no idea what happened to him. Last we heard, showrunner Krista Vernoff wasn't exactly sure where that storyline would go either. The writers hadn't gathered to break the story for Season 16 at that point. Plus, actor Jesse Williams' contract may still have been up-in-the-air.

It was just revealed that Jesse Williams will not only return for Grey's Anatomy Season 16, he's coming back for Season 17 as well. ABC renewed the two seasons at once, with Ellen Pompeo set to return for both seasons as Meredith Grey. Deadline said the other original Grey's actors will return as well, which has to include Justin Chambers as Alex Karev, Chandra Wilson as Miranda Bailey, and James Pickens Jr. as Richard Webber.

Jesse Williams was the only major Grey's Anatomy star without a deal when the two-season renewal announcement was made, Deadline reports. Negotiations included a salary raise but also his availability, considering Williams is set to make his Broadway debut this spring 2020.

So here's the catch on Jesse Williams returning for Grey's Anatomy Season 16: Because a Broadway show requires extensive rehearsals, Williams is expected to do a limited number of episodes for the 2019-2020 season. Deadline added that was likely the case, but it was too soon to confirm. If true, it's also not clear if he'd have fewer episodes toward the end of the season, or not appear as often throughout the entire season.

Grey's Anatomy seasons are pretty darn long. Season 15 had 25 episodes, airing from late September to mid-May. They seem to film finales around April, so it's possible Jesse Williams will have to check out of Grey Sloan toward the end of Season 16's run. But, even if that's how it plays out, Jesse Williams signed a contract for Season 17, so it's not like Jackson Avery would be gone forever.

So Jackson is lost in the fog at this point, but he should be all right in Grey's Anatomy Season 16. We'll have to see how Jesse Williams' schedule plays out. Meanwhile, other characters are in worse situations as we approach the fall premiere. Meredith was not only fired for her insurance fraud, she may go to jail. DeLuca was already in jail, taking the blame for her crime. Bailey fired Meredith, Richard, and Alex for their roles in the insurance fraud.

Jo Karev committed herself to the psych ward. But at least Glasses and Nico are happy. Levi even came out to his mom. Teddy and Owen seem happy now that they have a child and have decided to be together, but I'm still worried about how Tom Koracick is going to take that crushing blow.

Grey's Anatomy Season 16 premieres this fall on ABC. Keep up with everything airing this summer with our handy TV guide.

Gina Carbone

Gina grew up in Massachusetts and California in her own version of The Parent Trap. She went to three different middle schools, four high schools, and three universities -- including half a year in Perth, Western Australia. She currently lives in a small town in Maine, the kind Stephen King regularly sets terrible things in, so this may be the last you hear from her.