When Does ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Return in 2021? The Season 17 Episode 7 Release Date Is Coming Back This Spring

The Grey’s Anatomy Season 17 winter finale left fans on the edge of their seats on Thursday, Dec. 17. Now, viewers are itching to find out what’s next for Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo) and the rest of the Grey Sloan staff. So when will Grey’s Anatomy return in 2021 with season 17 episode 7? Here’s what you need to know about the upcoming release date.

‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Season 17 Episode 7 release date and time (Updated)

Ellen Pompeo as Meredith Grey in the 'Grey's Anatomy' Season 17 (2020,2021) premiere
Ellen Pompeo as Meredith Grey on the ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ | ABC

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Grey’s Anatomy fans will have plenty of time to recover from the winter finale, which originally aired on Dec. 17. According to ABC, the Shondaland medical drama was expected to return with its midseason premiere after 11 weeks. Then on Jan. 25 ABC confirmed the release date for Grey’s Anatomy Season 17 Episode 7 would be pushed back by a week. So, the ABC medical drama will return on Thursday, March 11, 2021. The new episode will be followed by the firefighter spinoff, Station 19

According to ABC, Station 19 Season 4 Episode 6 is expected to start airing at 8:20 p.m. EST. Then Grey’s Anatomy Season 17 Episode 7 is expected air at 9:20 p.m. EST and end at 10:21 p.m. EST. The network pushed the schedule for President Joe Biden’s first primetime address, which is set to begin at 8 p.m. EST on Thursday night. That said, ABC will air the crossover event once the President is done speaking. So it’s possible the start time for Station 19 and Grey’s Anatomy will shift on March 11.

Of course, the March 2021 release date is less than ideal for some Grey’s Anatomy fans. Viewers will have to wait many weeks before the next new episode is released. But in an interview with Deadline, showrunner Krista Vernoff revealed the shortened episode count is why Grey’s Anatomy Season 17 Episode 7 won’t be back until spring of next year.

“We’re going to wrap production on Friday and we get a couple of weeks off for a Christmas break. The show isn’t back until, I think, March,” Vernoff said. “But that’s because we just have a reduced number of episodes this year because of how late we came back to production.”

What to expect when ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Season 17 returns in 2021

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While Grey’s Anatomy Season 17 might return later than usual with a shorter episode count, it certainly seems like the midseason premiere will be worth the wait. When speaking with Entertainment Tonight after the winter finale, executive producer Andy Reaser teased what Grey’s Anatomy fans can expect when new episodes resume in 2021. And ultimately, it appears viewers are in for the ride of a lifetime.

“It’s Grey’s so it’s the whole spectrum,” Reaser said. “One of the things that has been so great about the show, and this is from the beginning when Shonda [Rhimes] and Krista were there, way before we were, that the show has always done an amazing job of balancing extremes of tone and emotion, instead of just being all one thing.”

The EP continued, “You can go from a moment of being overjoyed to a moment of laughing, to a moment of complete heartbreak, to a moment of being on the edge of your seat. And we’re continuing along that road.”

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Reaser also hinted the Grey’s Anatomy premiere in 2021 will likely be another crossover with Station 19

“The winter finale is a crossover and I think I can say this, the [spring] premiere is also going to be and it’s really thrilling,” Reaser said. “I would say, buy a hat and hang on to it because it’s thrilling and it’s unexpected, and it’s all the things that Grey’s is so great at.”

As for Meredith’s fate, it seems the general surgeon isn’t out of the woods just yet as she continues to battle the coronavirus (COVID-19). The EP revealed the Grey’s Anatomy team didn’t take the situation “lightly.” So at this point, viewers will just have to see what unfolds. 

“The virus keeps everyone guessing and it’s relentless,” Reaser said. “So it’s going to take relentlessness to fight it.”

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