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ABC Boss Discusses The Future Of Grey's Anatomy After Season 19 Renewal

Link and Jo look surprised at a phone.
(Image credit: ABC)

Grey’s Anatomy is coming back for Season 19, as a deal was recently reached with series star Ellen Pompeo to return as Meredith Grey. As fans bask in the joy of more of our favorite Seattle surgeons, the big question that nobody seems to know the answer to is how long the medical drama can keep going. With Pompeo’s consistent concerns about being on the show too long, an ABC boss has weighed in with his thoughts on the future of Grey’s Anatomy.

While ABC renewed Grey’s Anatomy for a nineteenth season, it wasn’t specified whether or not that would be its last. Craig Erwich, president of ABC Entertainment and Hulu Originals, discussed at TCA (via Deadline) the current state of the medical drama and the network’s opinion on its longevity.  

Grey’s Anatomy is still at the top of its game creatively, it’s our most watched drama, it’s one of the top shows on television. I think the current season they are having is extraordinary, we are delving into stories and characters in as deeper way as we ever had. Ultimately, any decisions around that franchise are going to be made by the stewards of the franchise, Shonda [Rhimes] and Krista [Vernoff] and Ellen [Pompeo]. We will have as much Grey’s as we can have, it’s one of the things we are most proud of at ABC.

“As much as we can have” sure has a nice ring to it for Grey’s Anatomy fans, and it’s no surprise that the ABC boss would feel that way, with the amount of success Grey’s Anatomy has had. Ellen Pompeo suggested as much when she said she’d been trying to convince everybody they should end the show:

I've been trying to focus on convincing everybody that it should end. ​I feel like I'm the super naive one who keeps saying, 'But what's the story going to be, what story are we going to tell?' And everyone's like, 'Who cares, Ellen? It makes a gazillion dollars.’

Ellen Pompeo’s new one-year contract promotes her from co-executive producer to executive producer, a title also held by creator Shonda Rhimes and showrunner Krista Vernoff. While it can be frustrating for Grey’s Anatomy fans to hear the star say she’s ready for the show to end, Pompeo explained on her podcast that if she wasn’t motivated to make sure the show is good and the characters’ stories were strong, then she wouldn’t deserve to be in the position she’s in.

Grey’s Anatomy sure has shaken things up in the past couple of seasons. After tackling COVID in Season 17 and bringing back former cast members who had been killed off, the show continued to bring back fan favorites in Season 18, with the return of Addison Montgomery (Kate Walsh), Nick Marsh (Scott Speedman) and more. Meredith and Amelia have also been splitting their time between Seattle and Minnesota in an attempt to cure Parkinson’s. 

Most recently, however, viewers were left with multiple cliffhangers, as the Season 18 winter finale saw Owen Hunt, David Hamilton and Megan Hunt’s son Farouk all fighting for their lives. Whatever the future holds for Grey’s Anatomy, I know where I’ll be February 24, when the drama picks back up for a two-hour crossover event that starts at 8 p.m. ET with Station 19 on ABC. In the meantime, check out our 2022 TV Schedule to see what other premieres are coming up. 

Heidi Venable
Heidi Venable

Mom of two and hard-core '90s kid. Unprovoked, will quote Friends in any situation. Can usually be found rewatching The West Wing instead of doing anything productive.