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Why Grey's Anatomy's Kevin McKidd Says Season 19 Is A 'Reignition' Of The Show, But Not Quite A Reboot

Kevin McKidd as Owen Hunt on Grey's Anatomy.
(Image credit: ABC)

Changes are coming to Grey’s Anatomy! Viewers already could have guessed the medical drama was shaking things up with the way Grey's18th season came to an end, the addition of five new series regulars and the shocking news that Ellen Pompeo will only appear in eight episodes this season. But Kevin McKidd’s take on Season 19 makes it sound like there might be more upheaval ahead than we realized, as the actor stopped just short of calling the upcoming season a reboot of the series.

Kevin McKidd's Owen Hunt was seen in Season 18’s finale boarding a plane with his family in hopes of evading the authorities. The actor spoke about what fans can expect when the ABC moneymaker returns in October, with five “gorgeous” actors joining Season 19's main cast as first-year residents at Grey Sloan Memorial. McKidd told People that this new group will be part of a “sort of reignition of the show.” He said:

We have this amazing group of new interns, brilliant, young, vibrant actors who are really passionate. So it's making room for that. It's almost like we're going back to the beginning, if that makes sense. We're not really rebooting, but it's definitely that pilot episode when Sandra Oh and T.R. Knight first kind of walked into the hospital. We're kind of doing that again. And it's very exciting to feel that we're all part of that.

(A moment of silence, please, for the mention of the OG actors who played Cristina Yang and George O’Malley. OK, moving on ...) 

This is far from the first season that will see rookies enter the mix at the teaching hospital. Many fan favorites have started as part of a “new class” and worked their way up the ranks, including Jackson Avery (Jesse Williams), April Kepner (Sarah Drew) and Levi Schmitt (Jake Borelli). However, this is the first time we’ve seen Grey’s Anatomy introduce new smiling and optimistic interns who have the potential to become the main characters after the mass exodus that occurred in the season finale.

After already losing series regular Cormac Hayes (Richard Flood) earlier in Season 18, the finale saw Richard Webber (James Pickens Jr.) and Catherine Fox (Debbie Allen) going on sabbatical, Miranda Bailey (Chandra Wilson) prioritizing her health by retiring and Teddy Altman (Kim Raver) and Owen on the lam. And the of course, there was the twist that spelled the loss of all of the residents due to the teaching program being shut down. 

With many of the Grey's actors under contract through Season 19, it still seems safe to assume that a lot of these characters will be written back into the show when the new season kicks off. Butut after Kevin McKidd’s comments, should we possibly expect to mainly follow the stories featuring Alexis Floyd, Niko Terho, Harry Shum Jr., Adelaide Kane and Midori Francis? Is this group of five really our new Meredith, Cristina, Izzie, George and Alex?

We’ve got another month or so before we know the answer, but this new information has me more intrigued and excited than before. Grey’s Anatomy Season 19 will premiere at 9 p.m. ET Thursday, October 6, on ABC, following the Season 6 premiere of its Seattle spinoff Station 19, which will see its own increase in series regulars. In the meantime, all 18 seasons of Grey’s can be streamed with a Netflix subscription, and be sure to check out our 2022 TV Schedule to see when all your favorite shows are returning.

Heidi Venable
Content Producer

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.