'Grey's Anatomy' Renewed for Season 18 With Ellen Pompeo, Chandra Wilson and James Pickens Jr. Returning
By Desiree Murphy
Get excited, Grey's Anatomy fans... the show has been renewed for season 18!
ABC made the exciting announcement on Monday, and ET has learned that Ellen Pompeo, Chandra Wilson and James Pickens, Jr. (the OG stars of Grey’s) will all be back for the new season. Additionally, its spinoff, Station 19, has been renewed for season 5, with executive producer and showrunner Krista Vernoff helming both series.
"Station 19 and Grey’s Anatomy have done an incredible job of honoring real-life heroes by giving audiences an unflinching look at one of the biggest medical stories of our time," Craig Erwich, president, Hulu Originals & ABC Entertainment, said in a statement. "Krista and her team of writers have continued to deliver the compelling and compassionate storytelling that is a hallmark of these shows, and created some of the year’s most-talked-about moments in television. We’re so grateful to our talented casts and crews for their extraordinary work that connects with viewers everywhere, and we look forward to sharing even more defining moments with our fans next season."
"The writers, directors, casts and crews of Grey’s Anatomy and Station 19 worked so hard to bring these shows to life this past season," added Vernoff. "Keeping each other safe on set while paying tribute to the front-line heroes and first responders has been a challenge and a privilege. I've been truly blown away -- particularly by our tireless crews -- as they reinvented the TV-making wheel. Thank you to ABC and ABC Signature for the support and extraordinary partnership through this unprecedented season. We are so grateful for the opportunity to tell more stories."
Back in December, Wilson teased to ET that Grey's Anatomy would not be ending with season 17, which saw its central hero, Meredith Grey (Pompeo), in and out of consciousness as she was battling COVID-19.
"I know from a creative standpoint there have been many 'This is how the season would end' conversations and then they all end up [not happening] because of a myriad of reasons," Wilson said. "Because the network's not ready, the studio's not ready, the fanbase isn't ready, the numbers are too good, all of those things. Collectively, they've decided we're not going to put an end on it. We're just going to wait and see."
"Especially in light of what's happening right now, it's like, do we want the last season to be about COVID? Or do we want us to be able to put some nice ribbons around it with rainbows and balloons and things?" she continued. "I know on the creative end, the conversation comes up, but on our end, on the actor end, we're like, look, whatever it is that you want us to do. Whatever life you see for these characters, as actors, we're ready to bring that to life. So greater powers have those conversations than us."
Just a few weeks later, in an interview for CBS Sunday Morning, Pompeo admitted at the time that both her character's fate and that of the show were still up in the air.
"I can't say," Pompeo said of if the show will continue after its 17th season, which is the last year of her contract. "We honestly have not decided. We're really trying to figure it out right now."
Both ABC and Grey's creator Shonda Rhimes have previously said that the show will end when Pompeo exits. In making such a massive decision, Pompeo said that she and the others involved are asking themselves, "What story do we tell? To end a show this iconic, how do we do it?"