A New Grey's Anatomy Spinoff For Jackson? Here's What Jesse Williams Says

jesse williams in jackson's final grey's anatomy episode

Grey's Anatomy fans spent much of Season 17 with the suspicion that Ellen Pompeo's Meredith could get killed off, thus bringing the show to an end without a Season 18 renewal. Things didn't pan out in quite that way, however, as Meredith survived her COVID coma and will be back for more when the new season hits in the fall. What many viewers didn't see coming, though, was the swan song for Jesse Williams' Jackson Avery, who vacated the series with Episode 15, which also featured the final appearance (so far) from Greg Germann's Tom Koracick. The question now is whether or not fans should hold out hope for a Jackson-centric spinoff drama.

Considering Jackson's final episodes brought back Sarah Drew's April, and that the narrative saw them both heading off to Boston to take over the Catherine Fox Foundation, the breadcrumbs are there for a separate spinoff tale to exist, should everyone involved be interested in taking things in that direction. And shockingly enough, Jesse Williams seems to be theoretically on board with the concept. Here's how he put it when asked by Insider about his reaction to fans clamoring for more:

It's a really interesting premise. We would kill it. [Sarah] is such a tremendous person and actor. So, I get it. I'm with them.

Power to Jesse Williams for giving fans almost exactly what they wanted to hear, as opposed to offering a more cagey reply, which is what the majority of other actors do in similar situations. Instead of saying he'd been playing Jackson for so many years and just needed to find something new to dive into, Williams implied he totally understands why fans would be so eager to continue watching his character in a new setting, and I'm betting that interest would be three-fold if Sarah Drew's April was indeed part of the fun.

Granted, Jesse Williams can also say he'd be interested in taking on a Grey's Anatomy spinoff in which Jackson Avery is now a giant mecha-kaiju solving mysteries for a magical warlord from space, and it wouldn't mean that project is actually happening. In fact, there's room to believe that Williams could be so candidly interested in the idea of a Japril spinoff precisely because he knows how slim the chances are that such spinoff plans will ever come to fruition. It would make a lot of sense for the actor to be more open to talking about his character's potential future only if he was certain such a plan would never come together. Or at least not in the near-future.

Still, audiences probably won't hear The Blacklist's exiting star Megan Boone talking about a Liz-fronted spinoff at any point soon, so the fact that Jesse Williams is entertaining the idea at all is intriguing. He's clearly aware of how popular Grey's Anatomy is and probably knows just how much ABC would love to keep that franchise going for as long as possible. In his words:

I won't say it's not a possibility. I sure as hell won't say that.

One has to look no further than Criminal Minds to understand just how strong the hunger is for spinoff and revivals. While that show ended its 15-year run on CBS in 2020, the drama's studio relatively quickly began setting up a follow-up season for Paramount+ with returning cast members, based in part on Criminal Minds' streaming success on Netflix. So by all means, fans could very well be watching a new Japril-focused spinoff on ABC by next summer, should the creative and financial elements fall into place. But nobody get their hopes up until the rumor mill is actually up and running on this one.

Jesse Williams is certainly building up his career outside of Grey's Anatomy, also. Having appeared for a silly cameo in HBO's excellent A Black Lady Sketch Show, the actor recently signed on for a new film role opposite MCU stars Owen Wilson and Michael Peña, and he'll also be taking on a big Broadway role in 2022 in the Take Me Out revival. For now, though, fans can stream repeats of Grey's Anatomy on Netflix (Seasons 1-16) or Hulu (Season 17) while waiting for more awesome shows populating the 2021 Summer TV season.

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.