Grey’s Anatomy has seen a lot of actors come and go in its 18 seasons so far, but one benefit of the hit medical drama’s longevity is that it's also had ample opportunities to bring long-absent characters back. Whether from beyond the grave (a la McDreamy on the beach) or a simple return to Seattle (like Addison Montgomery this season), Grey-Sloan Memorial has maintained a revolving door for its doctors. Fan favorite Jesse Williams, who played Jackson Avery from Seasons 6 through 17, is among those keeping the door open, as he recently commented on if he’d consider returning.
Jesse Williams was one of three actors to leave Grey’s Anatomy in the middle of its 17th season. Jackson left Seattle to take over his family’s Catherine Fox Foundation in Boston, taking with him Tom Koracick (Greg Germann). Their departures followed Giacomo Gianniotti’s Andrew DeLuca being murdered in the spring premiere. Germann has already made a comeback, with Tom returning to help Meredith in Minnesota with her Parkinson’s trial, so can fans expect to see Williams follow suit? The actor told ET:
Jackson fans can continue to keep their hopes up that we'll see the doctor again someday, especially since the character is just living a normal life in Boston, while his on-screen mother Catherine Fox (Debbie Allen) continues to appear on the show. While Grey’s Anatomy has shown it’s not afraid to bring characters back from the dead to make appearances — case in point, Meredith’s hallucinations in Season 17 that reunited her with husband Derek Shepherd, sister Lexie Grey and bestie George O’Malley — it’s always going to be easier to bring a character back to the show if they were NOT killed off.
Of course, if we’re talking about seeing Jackson Avery, April Kepner (Sarah Drew) is going to be mentioned in the same breath (regardless of some f-bomb-worthy levels of villainy), and Jesse Williams also touched on the relationship he assumes his character still has with April, which probably doesn't sound as lovey as some fans might have wanted.
I think it’s safe to say there’s only one thing fans would want to see more than the return of “Japril” to Grey’s Anatomy, and that would be a full-blown spinoff featuring the two characters. Grey’s star Ellen Pompeo was even among those behind that idea, saying she’d watch a spinoff led by Jesse Williams and Sarah Drew.
Sarah Drew reprised the role of April Kepner for a guest appearance when it was learned that Jesse Williams was leaving the show. Would she do it again? Only time will tell, but someone else who’s recently expressed interest in returning to Grey-Sloan Memorial. Sara Ramirez, who played bisexual icon Callie Torres for 11 seasons, said they’d “absolutely” be down for a Grey’s Anatomy comeback, noting the show’s continued efforts to include trans and nonbinary characters.
Grey’s Anatomy fans sure do love to see their favorite doctors return to the longtime show, so we’ll continue to keep an eye out on Jesse Williams’ career, as he’s currently preparing to make a revealing Broadway debut in the revival of Take Me Out. In the meantime, Grey’s Anatomy airs at 9 p.m. ET Thursdays on ABC, and be sure to check out our 2022 TV Schedule to see when new and returning shows are premiering.
Your Daily Blend of Entertainment News
Mom of two and hard-core '90s kid. Unprovoked, will quote Friends in any situation. Thrives on New Orleans Saints football, The West Wing and taco trucks.