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It’s a beautiful day to find out when Grey’s Anatomy returns with new episodes for season 18 on ABC. The network recently set its schedule for fall 2021, and the Shondaland drama is coming back sooner than you might think. So when does Grey’s Anatomy Season 18 start? Here’s everything we know about the premiere date so far.

‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Season 18 premiere air date and start time in fall 2021

Headshot of Ellen Pompeo as Meredith Grey for ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Season 17
Ellen Pompeo (Dr. Meredith Grey) from ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ | Mike Rosenthal via Getty Images

On July 15, ABC confirmed its fall primetime schedule for 2021. Both Grey’s Anatomy and the firefighter spinoff, Station 19, will start airing new episodes on Thursday, Sept. 30. So we have 11 weeks to prepare for the premiere as of this write-up.

Meanwhile, the Shondaland shows will keep their usual time slots. Station 19 will return with season 5 at 8 p.m. ET. Then the Grey’s Anatomy Season 18 premiere will be released at 9 p.m. ET. New episodes of Big Sky will also air after the hit medical drama at 10:01 p.m. ET.

Who will return to the ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Season 18 cast

Following Grey’s Anatomy Season 17, many fans have been wondering which cast members will return for season 18. Previously, Jesse Williams (Dr. Jackson Avery), Giacomo Gianniotti (Dr. Andrew DeLuca), and Greg Germann (Dr. Tom Koracick) left as series regulars. That said, showrunner Krista Vernoff hinted that fans may see Germann again in a guest role.

Meanwhile, Kim Raver (Dr. Teddy Altman), Kevin McKidd (Dr. Owen Hunt), and Camilla Luddington (Dr. Jo Wilson) signed new three-year deals back in July 2020. Then when ABC renewed Grey’s Anatomy for season 18, the network revealed original cast members Ellen Pompeo (Dr. Meredith Grey), Chandra Wilson (Dr. Miranda Bailey), and James Pickens Jr. (Dr. Richard Webber) will come back next season.

How the ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Season 17 finale sets up new stories for next season

Will ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ End After Season 18? ABC Weighs In

Whatever happens in the Grey’s Anatomy Season 18 premiere, we already know we’re in for some excitement next season. The recent finale teased multiple storylines we’re bound to see when the show returns.

Meredith is finally back at Grey Sloan Memorial, and she’s now head of the residency program. But Meredith isn’t the only one who shook things up at work. Jo is now an OB/GYN resident. She also adopted baby Luna and moved into Jackson’s old apartment.

Meanwhile, Grey’s Anatomy fans watched Dr. Maggie Pierce (Kelly McCreary) and Dr. Winston Ndugu (Anthony Hill) get married in season 17. Currently, Teddy and Owen are also engaged.

That said, Grey’s Anatomy Season 17 didn’t leave everyone with a happy ending. In the finale, Dr. Atticus “Link” Lincoln (Chris Carmack) proposed to Dr. Amelia Shepherd (Caterina Scorsone). But Amelia turned him down, leaving Link — and fans at home — truly heartbroken. 

So what’s next for these characters in Grey’s Anatomy Season 18? We’ll have to wait and see. But we know it’s going to be extraordinary. Get ready. We only have 11 weeks.

Grey’s Anatomy Season 18 will be released on Thursday, Sept. 30, after the season premiere of Station 19.