Will ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ End After Season 17? ABC Is ‘Hopeful’ for More Episodes

There’s no denying the influence of Grey’s Anatomy. The hit ABC show is the longest-running primetime medical drama with well over 350 episodes and more on the way. But as time goes on, fans are growing curious about the last episode. So will Grey’s Anatomy end after season 17? Viewers may think the carousel will stop turning soon, but the network hopes there will be new episodes beyond the upcoming cycle.

ABC renewed ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ through season 17

Ellen Pompeo as Meredith Grey on ABC's "Grey's Anatomy" - Season Fifteen
Ellen Pompeo as Meredith Grey on ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ | Eric McCandless/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images

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Grey’s Anatomy was renewed through season 17 back in May 2019. The two-season pickup means the Shondaland series won’t end until Spring 2021 at the earliest. 

Even so, we don’t know when Grey’s Anatomy Season 17 will be released on ABC. The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic cut the 16th season short by a few episodes. Then when speaking with TVLine in May, showrunner Krista Vernoff shared production typically starts in July. She also revealed the team will wait and see how things play out. So fans will have to do the same. 

Will there be a season 18 of ‘Grey’s Anatomy’?

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Whenever Grey’s Anatomy returns for its 17th season, it appears ABC is already hopeful the Shondaland series will continue through season 18. 

“I’m hopeful that Grey’s Anatomy stays a part of our schedule,” ABC Entertainment President Karey Burke told Deadline in June 2020. “They certainly know that we’d like it to be part of our schedule for as long as they are interested in making more episodes.”

Meanwhile, Burke confirmed the team has “gone back into the writers’ room” for Grey’s Anatomy Season 17. She also shared the network is currently in conversations with producers, as the decision to end a longstanding series such as Grey’s is typically done in advance. However, a decision from production may be delayed due to the current crisis.

“It’s an unusual year,” Burke said. “No conversations are happening in any traditional way. Everyone is being very thoughtful to hold off on predictions and try to have as thoughtful and informed a conversation around a show’s ability to keep going or not based on such a fluid production environment.”

When will ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ end?

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For now, we don’t know whether Grey’s Anatomy Season 18 will happen. Back in 2017, creator Shonda Rhimes revealed she made a pact about the show’s end with Ellen Pompeo, who plays Meredith Grey.

“Ellen and I have a pact that I’m going to do the show as long as she’s going to do the show,” Rhimes told E! News. “So the show will exist as long as both of us want to do it. If she wants to stop, we’re stopping.”

She continued, “So I don’t know if we’ll see 600, but I want to keep it feeling fresh. As long as there are fresh stories to tell and as long as we’re both excited about the stories being told, we’re in. So, we’ll see where that takes us.”

Then in an interview with Deadline after the early Grey’s Anatomy Season 16 finale, Vernoff confirmed the pact is still in place. 

“I will not start planning the end of Grey’s Anatomy until Shonda and Ellen and ABC all sit down together, [and] tell me that this really [is] the end this time,” the current showrunner said. 

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