There's no denying that Grey's Anatomy is now, and has long been, a signature show for ABC. Now in its seventeenth season, and recently renewed (Finally!) for Season 18 with original star Ellen Pompeo returning (though we are losing some other regulars), those at the network would be crazy to not try and continue to mine that world for additional possible spinoffs. While one ABC boss just got fans very hyped about another spinoff, though, he's now revised his story.
Grey's Anatomy has been able to deliver two successful spinoffs to audiences so far, with Private Practice running for six seasons (2007-2013), and firefighter drama Station 19 beginning in 2018, currently being in Season 4 and also renewed for another season. It's only natural for fans to wonder whether or not this universe will continue to expand, and when asked about that potential by Deadline earlier this week, the president of ABC Signature (which produces Grey's and Station 19, among other shows), Jonnie Davis, originally got fans very excited about the future, and noted:
Krista [Vernoff] and the team are really digging deep and finding out what that looks like. They are noodling ideas, and I can’t wait to, when we land on what that is, to introduce the next phase of Grey’s Anatomy. We will find the next version that will take it to the next 18 years. We’re working on [it] for right now, and there’s no better brains to figure it out than Krista and Shonda [Rhimes].
So, this is simple enough, right? Jonnie Davis made it sound like a near certainly that audiences would be able to see an expansion of the stories and / or characters of Grey's Anatomy / Station 19 in the near-ish future. From his first comment, it seems as though showrunner Krista Vernoff and Shondaland mastermind Shonda Rhimes were well into the planning stages for what could come next. Davis even added that they all wanted to do it "not just for commerce, it has to be the right idea that meets the moment."
Well, here's the problem. Not long after that interview with Jonnie Davis went live, only several hours later, in fact, Davis sent out a statement which said he wanted to clear up his previous comments about what was being done to bring fans yet another Grey's Anatomy spinoff, and said:
I would like to clarify some statements I made in a prior interview. There are no conversations about a spinoff of Grey’s Anatomy at this time. We are 100 percent focused on producing Season 18, with the incredible Krista Vernoff at the helm, and the amazing Ellen Pompeo leading our ensemble and co-executive producing. As the leader of ABC Signature, I meant only to convey my support and optimism for Shonda’s brilliant creation.
Confusing, correct? It seems as though Davis would have been better able to get his "support and optimism" for Grey's across without making a new spinoff sound so thoroughly like it was actually being thought about and worked on right now. But, at any rate, Jonnie Davis has now taken back what he at first said about those spinoff plans, and noted that they're all just concentrating on plans for Season 18 of the ground-breaking medical drama.
Obviously, this throws a lot of cold water on fan expectation for what might be coming next, especially with the veteran series (and its star, Pompeo) only confirmed to return for one season right now. At least we can all count on that, and rest easy for a time knowing that Grey's Anatomy and Station 19 will be back in the fall of 2021, even if that means we have to wait a while for that potential Seattle Police Department spinoff which seemed almost like a guarantee by the end of 2020.
Grey's Anatomy will have its Season 17 finale on June 3 at 9 p.m. EST, but for more to watch in the coming weeks, check out our guide to 2021 summer TV premieres!