‘Grey’s Anatomy’s’ Krista Vernoff Hints at a Returning Alum – Here Are Some Potential Candidates

ABC’s hit show Grey’s Anatomy has its share of beloved characters that have left the show whether it be through a job change or meeting an early demise. Obviously, only characters that were still breathing upon there exit could be written back in the show, which still leaves plenty of options.

“Grey’s Anatomy’s” Kevin McKidd, Sarah Drew, Ellen Pompeo, Sandra Oh, Jesse Williams, Sara Ramirez, and James Pickens Jr. | Ron Tom/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images

Recently, Grey’s showrunner Krista Vernoff just hinted at the return of a show alum, but didn’t give any names. “I’m trying to get someone back,” she said, according to IMDb. “There’s someone I’m hoping will make an appearance this year, [but] it’s a real maybe. I’m trying.” Though Vernoff didn’t give specifics, there are some signs pointing to a few likely suspects.

Sara Ramirez

Playing the role of Dr. Callie Torres from 2006 to 2016, Sara Ramirez left Grey’s Anatomy in season 12 under the plot of moving to New York to be with her girlfriend Penny, (played by Samantha Sloyan). Though she was leaving the hit show, Ramirez said she looked forward to “always being part of the Shondaland (referring to creator Shonda Rhimes) family,” according to Hollywood Reporter. Ramirez went on to join the CBS show Madame Secretary in season four as political strategist Kat Sandoval.

A return for Ramirez was hinted at in season 14 when her onscreen ex-wife Arizona Robbins, played by Jessica Capshaw, was being written out of the show. Fans were hoping to see an Arizona-Callie reunion, walking off happily into the sunset as a reconciled couple, but it never panned out. Rhimes claimed the effort was made to get Ramirez back for the season 14 finale but couldn’t due to Ramirez’ commitment to her role on CBS’ Madame Secretary, as reported by Hollywood Reporter. “We tried. CBS has a hold of her. Because she is on another show, and we can’t get her. But we love her … Come home Callie,” Rhimes said.

But Ramirez said she would’ve been free to do the finale, “For the record @CBS has been nothing but gracious and generous to me. They are open to Callie coming back! The ball is in @ABCNetwork’s court,” Ramirez tweeted last September.

Regardless of what happened then, there may be more of an opportunity now. Deadline recently reported that Ramirez will not be back on Madame Secretary when it returns for its final season. Perhaps she is looking for something new … or rather something familiar? With the absence of Madame Secretary, her schedule now seems to have room for a Grey’s return, making a Callie revival more in the realm of reality.

Sarah Drew

Dr. April Kempner was a fan favorite for her optimistic, down-to-earth demeanor while also kicking butt as a trauma surgeon. Portrayed by Sarah Drew from 2009 to 2018, fans were devastated when April was written off the show at the end of season 14. She spoke to Entertainment Tonight last year about her character’s exit from the series. “I’ve loved her and I’ve said thank you to her and I’ve enjoyed my journey being with her,” Drew said.

When asked if she would ever consider returning to the iconic medical drama, Drew was on the fence. “I think saying hello again would be hard,” she told Entertainment Tonight. “I’ll never say never because they are my family. I still love everyone over there. But … because of how it went down, I really had to part ways with April. But again, I’ll never say never.”

Drew may be seeing things differently at the moment. Since leaving Grey’s, she’s shot two pilots for CBS – Cagney & Lacey and The Republic of Sarah – both which have been rejected for pickup. Since there are no reports of her appearing on any other series for the upcoming fall season, Drew could be a prime candidate for reprising a fan favorite role on Grey’s.

Sandra Oh

Ok, this one may be more of a long shot, but oh we can hope. Everyone knows Sandra Oh is killing it on her new BBC America show, earning high ratings and critical accolades on her series Killing Eveaccording to People. But there has been an outcry for Oh’s return to Grey’s to resume her iconic character, Dr. Cristina Yang, since her departure in season 10. She portrayed the fearless female cardio surgeon for 10 seasons beginning in 2005. Though the medical drama is still a ratings-grabber for ABC, the absence of Oh’s strong-willed Cristina is still felt five years later.

Oh has consistently been very vague about the chances of making a return appearance. “I just got to tell you, creatively I have moved on … I deeply appreciate it, because I can feel it from the fans how much they love Cristina and that the show also still keeps Cristina alive, for me, [Killing Eve] is my home now,” Oh told People.

Since many fans still consider Cristina their person, they are still holding out hope that just maybe, Oh will be wooed back, even if only for one episode.

Viewers will find out when Grey’s Anatomy returns in the fall on ABC!