ABC announced on Monday that TV's longest-running medical drama, Grey's Anatomy, will return, with lead actress Ellen Pompeo, for a historic Season 19. While Grey's is still a beloved show for many fans, each renewal for the past few years has raised a question: How long can Grey's Anatomy continue?
ABC Entertainment boss Craig Erwich was on hand on Tuesday to answer questions about the show's future for journalists at the Television Critics Association winter press tour. Erwich said that the decision about when Grey's will come to an end will largely be left up to the show's creators and current creative team. "Ultimately, any decisions around that franchise are going to be made by the stewards of the franchise — Shonda [Rhimes, creator], Krista [Vernoff, showrunner], and Ellen [Pompeo]," he said. "And we will have as much Grey's as we can. [The series] is one of the things we're most proud of at ABC."
Erwich went on to explain how valuable Grey's Anatomy is, as it remains one of the network's most popular series.
"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're having is extraordinary," said Erwich. "We're delving into stories and characters in as deep a way as we ever have."
Season 17 of Grey's Anatomy focused on the COVID-19 pandemic and the overwhelming impact it had on the medical community. In the current season, Season 18, the Grey's Anatomy universe has moved on from the pandemic but is still grappling with its long-term effects, like doctor burnout and the increased difficulty in recruiting new talent to such a demanding field. Meredith (Pompeo) has also found new love in a rekindled romance with a transplant surgeon from Minnesota (Scott Speedman). Other doctors in the hospital have also seen a return to romance and personal drama after the taxing emotional toll of Season 17.
With Pompeo agreeing to sign on for at least one more season of the series, it seems like there are a lot more stories left to tell about Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital.
Grey's Anatomy Season 18 returns Thursday, Feb. 24 on ABC.