‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Season 19: What Fans Need to Know

Grey's Anatomy Season 19

Few TV show fans are quite as dedicated as Grey’s Anatomy admirers. That’s why ABC greenlit Grey’s Anatomy Season 19 before Season 18 even finished airing.

As the longest-running primetime medical drama of all time, you need to continuously offer engaging plotlines to keep fans hooked. So what will Shonda Rhimes and her talented cast and crew bring to the table for the next season?

Here’s everything we know so far about the future of America’s favorite medical drama, including whether or not Season 19 will be their last.

Grey’s Anatomy Season 18 Recap

Grey’s Anatomy Season 18 is still being released, so we can’t do a full season recap. But here’s what’s happened up to the midseason finale.

You can’t have a medical drama post-2020 without mentioning COVID. COVID-19 played a large role in Season 17 of Grey’s Anatomy, as Meredith Grey tests positive and almost dies from complications. She has an afterlife vision where she sees her late husband, Derek Shepherd, on a beach. They talk as she fades in and out, but he eventually convinces her that it isn’t her time just yet.

Season 18: The Beginning

So when we begin Grey’s Anatomy Season 18, Meredith wonders what she should do with her life after surviving such a deadly virus. Her near-death experience weighs on her heart as she visits Minnesota. She goes to attend a library opening dedicated in her mother’s name and while there, visits the Mayo Clinic. She meets with Dr. Nick Marsh (played by Scott Speedman), a man she treated many years (or seasons) ago. Her mother’s former colleague, Dr. David Hamilton (played by Peter Gallagher), tells her of his idea to open a research center for curing Parkinson’s disease, which he suffers from. He wants Meredith as the face of the project so that he can get the talent he needs to sign on.

When she can’t decide what to do, Meredith flies Amelia (played by Caterina Scorsone) to Minnesota so she can get her advice and guidance. Even though Amelia immediately thinks it’s a good idea, Meredith confides in Nick on their date that she thinks the project might fail. Despite her doubts, she agrees to join the project as long as she can continue to work at Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital.

We were treated to a returning star when Addison Montgomery (played by Kate Walsh) comes to Grey Sloan to perform a uterus transplant while mentoring residents. Meredith has Addison meet her and Derek’s children after they mourn Derek’s death together. It was the first time since his death that Addison had been back in Seattle.

Midseason Finale

The Christmas episode and midseason finale came with a whole host of dramatics. Cormac (played by Richard Flood), Teddy (played by Kim Raver), and Owen (played by Kevin McKidd) go to retrieve a donor heart together. On their way back to Grey Sloan, the driver of their car experiences a stroke, careening the car onto the edge of a ravine.

Teddy escapes with the heart and runs for help. Owen admits to Cormac that he had been giving terminally ill veterans medication to die with dignity, and he urges Cormac to continue to offer it to the patients if he doesn’t make it out of the car alive. We won’t know until the next episode airs in February if he survived after the car continued its descent down the slope.

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Is Grey’s Anatomy Season 19 the Final Season? 

19 seasons is a long run for any show. However, Shonda Rhimes’s announcement of the renewal wasn’t a huge shock. “I couldn’t be more excited that we get to keep telling the stories of Meredith, Bailey, Richard and all of the other doctors at Grey Sloan Memorial for another season,” she said.

It’s because of the dedicated fanbase that the creators can continue to tell those stories. 

Grey’s Anatomy has beat out E.R. and House as the longest-running medical drama ever, and it is ABC’s longest running scripted primetime show of all time. Those titles come with perks, and the most influential perk of all? Profit.

Grey’s Anatomy rakes in quite a bit of cash for ABC, and Craig Erwich, the president of ABC and Hulu Originals, admitted in May 2021 that as long as it remained a success, there would be no stopping Grey’s Anatomy. He said of the show, “Grey’s Anatomy continues to be a ratings juggernaut. The fans loved this season. I thought Grey’s Anatomy did a really incredible job this year telling the stories of all the frontline heroes who are fighting the good fight (against) COVID. We will take Grey’s Anatomy for as long as we can.”

He continued, “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 believe the current season is remarkable. We are diving into characters and stories in a deeper way than we have ever before. Shonda will ultimately make the decisions regarding the franchise…We will have as much Grey’s as we can have, it’s one of the things we are most proud of at ABC.”

Grey’s Anatomy Isn’t Going Anywhere Anytime Soon

Translation: as long as Grey’s Anatomy continues to bring in the ratings and the ad revenue, they’ll continue to bring viewers the show they can’t get enough of. 

While the execs are more than happy to continue milking Grey’s Anatomy for every dime it’s got, Meredith Grey openly admits that she’s been ready for the show to end for quite some time now.

Ellen Pompeo, the actress behind the titular character, said in an interview with Insider, “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?’” she continued. “And everyone’s like, ‘Who cares, Ellen? It makes a gazillion dollars.’”

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Grey’s Anatomy Season 19 Cast

And getting her part of that gazillion dollars was enough to get her to sign on. Even though she’s admitted that she’d like her character’s story to end, Ellen Pompeo has signed a contract to return for her 19th season. The other two remaining cast remembers from the original season, Chandra Wilson (playing Miranda Bailey) and James Pickins Jr (playing Richard Webber), are also contracted for a 19th season. They had signed multiple seasons in their contract that includes Grey’s Anatomy Season 19, while Pompeo plays it by ear and signs one season of contracts at a time.

Kim Raver, Camilla Luddington, and Kevin McKidd also signed contracts for Season 19 as Teddy Altman, Jo Wilson, and Owen Hunt, respectively.

As Season 18 has not yet finished airing, there’s still time for more cast members to sign on for the next Season.

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Grey’s Anatomy Season 19 Release Date News

We’re only halfway through Season 18, so there’s no release date for Grey’s Anatomy Season 19 yet. If you need to catch up on Season 18, stream it on Hulu, Disney+, Star+, or a variety of other streaming services. 

Stay tuned for more updates on Season 19, we’ll update this article as more details become available!

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