‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Season 17: Is This the Final Season? Krista Vernoff Says She’s Prepared ‘What Could Be a Series Finale’

As Meredith Grey’s (Ellen Pompeo) life hangs in the balance on Grey’s Anatomy Season 17, fans are seriously wondering whether this could be the ABC medical drama’s final season. So what does showrunner Krista Vernoff have to say about the show’s end? It seems she’s already planned a potential series finale. But that doesn’t necessarily mean Grey’s Anatomy is currently airing its last season — here’s why.

Why ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ fans think season 17 will be the final season

Ellen Pompeo as Meredith Grey at the beach on 'Grey's Anatomy' Season 17 in 2020
Ellen Pompeo as Meredith Grey on ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ | ABC

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Back in 2017, creator Shonda Rhimes revealed she made a pact with Pompeo to determine the final season of Grey’s Anatomy

“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 at the time. “So the show will exist as long as both of us want to do it. If she wants to stop, we’re stopping.”

Then recently, Pompeo hinted Grey’s Anatomy could end soon. 

“We don’t know when the show is really ending yet,” Pompeo told Variety in November 2020. “But the truth is, this year could be it. … This is the last year of my contract right now. I don’t know that this is the last year? But it very well could be.”

‘Grey’s Anatomy’ showrunner answers whether the show will end with season 17 as its last

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When speaking with Variety in December 2020, Vernoff confirmed she doesn’t know when the final season of Grey’s Anatomy will air on ABC. 

“‘I don’t know’ is the honest answer,” Vernoff said when asked about the end of Grey’s Anatomy. “I never really believe it’s really over until everybody sits me down — they’re all going to have to come together and sit me down and tell me it’s really over.”

Nevertheless, it’s clear the show’s creative team wants to keep their bases covered. Vernoff revealed she’s already planned for the series finale, given all of the uncertainty about the future. However, the showrunner pointed out that anything can happen between now and the end of Grey’s Anatomy Season 17.

“I planned a phenomenal season, and I’ve planned what can be a season finale or what could be a series finale,” Vernoff said. “You always have to plan for both contingencies. We have a plan for how the season is going to end, and I feel really good about that plan.”

She continued, “But I will say that at this point in any given season, we usually have a plan for where the season is going to end and it doesn’t always end where we think it will. So, you never know.”

What to expect from ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Season 17

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Whether Grey’s Anatomy Season 17 turns out to be the last season, members of the cast and crew seem confident in the current cycle. In an interview with TV Guide from December 2020, Kelly McCreary (who plays Maggie Pierce) revealed the 17th season is her favorite thus far. She also hinted the show will continue to impress.

“I think that the richness with which we are exploring every single one of the characters on the show right now is so fun to watch,” McCreary said. “That continues, and it continues to be incredibly moving.”

Meanwhile, when speaking with Access in November, Giacomo Gianniotti (who plays Andrew DeLuca) admitted Grey’s Anatomy Season 17 feels like the show’s final run. But even if the current season is the last, the actor believes fans will be satisfied with the end.

“I think this is a really special season,” Gianniotti said. “And it if does end up ending on this season, I think it’ll be very satisfying for the fans.”

Grey’s Anatomy Season 17 returns to ABC on March 4, 2021.

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