‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Fans Predict Which Character Will Exit the Show in Season 17

After 16 seasons, Grey’s Anatomy fans expect characters to come and go. The long-running medical drama lost Alex Karev (Justin Chambers) last season. Now, fans are predicting who will leave in the upcoming season 17 of the show. 

'Grey's Anatomy' Chandra Wilson, Ellen Pompeo, Jesse Williams, James Pickens Jr., and Kevin McKidd
‘Grey’s Anatomy’ stars Chandra Wilson, Ellen Pompeo, Jesse Williams, James Pickens Jr., and Kevin McKidd | Ali Goldstein/ABC via Getty Images

Why did Justin Chambers leave ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ in season 17?

“Life, family, love, friendships,” are the things Chambers told Page Six he was looking forward to after leaving Grey’s Anatomy.

The actor is married to Keisha Chambers and has five children; Isabella, twins Maya and Kaila, Eva, and Jackson. They also have two adopted rescue dogs and a beagle. His first reason for leaving the series was to spend more time with his family.

However, he also wanted to branch out and work on something other than starring in a television series. The actor wants to direct and produce films.

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“I’m producing documentaries,” he said when asked if he had any ideal roles in mind. 

Chambers added that he is “taking things one day at a time.” 

Fans believe the most likely character to leave ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ is Jackson Avery

“Owen and Teddy currently have a storyline that I personally would like to see through,” explained one fan on Reddit. “Catherine needs closure with Richard whether that be with a breakup or getting back together. Maggie I really like lately, and I want to see where she and that guy goes. Amelia and Link are my favorite couple since Slexie. Jackson doesn’t really have anything going on. So my best bet would be jackson.”

Although actor Jesse Williams has signed on for Grey’s Anatomy Season 17, fans point out that he might leave to pursue a career on Broadway.

RELATED: ‘Grey’s Anatomy’: Ellen Pompeo Hints at the Show’s Ending — ‘I’m Not Trying to Stay on the Show Forever’

Williams is starring in a Broadway revival of Richard Greenberg’s Take Me Out, which is set to begin performances in March 2021, according to Deadline. This news means that the actor will be part of filming Grey’s Anatomy for at least the first half of the season. After that, fans might be right. He could be the character to depart the show.

Would the writers kill off Jackson in season 17?

“Can you imagine how much Catherine drama it would be to have Jackson dead?” asked one fan in another Reddit thread. “The entire show would be about her losing her only child and her grieving. Richard would probably end up coming back and supporting her.”

When fans took a vote asking who they wanted to exit the show, Catherine (Debbie Allen) was at the top of the list. They don’t like how she treats Richard (James Pickens Jr.), but because she is an executive producer on the long-running medical drama, it’s not likely she would leave.

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Since her character already went through a large spinal tumor, fans aren’t sure if they would kill of her son as well. 

“Jackson can’t die,” another fan wrote. “If Jesse leaves Grey’s, Jackson has to live somewhere, because I CANNOT deal with Catherine after losing a kid.”

Since the writers sent Alex Karev to live with his ex-wife, Izzie Stevens (Katherine Heigl), it’s possible that Jackson ends up leaving instead of dying. Some speculate he could even end up with April Kepner (Sarah Drew).