ABC has renewed “Grey’s Anatomy” for Season 19, and yes, star Ellen Pompeo will return as Meredith Grey.
The 19th season will “explore the ever-expanding world of modern medicine through the eyes of beloved returning and new characters,” ABC said in a statement on Monday. Krista Vernoff will continue as showrunner.
“Grey’s Anatomy” is currently tied (with NBC’s “Chicago P.D.” and “Chicago Fire”) as the fourth highest-rated non-football primetime series on broadcast TV, averaging a 1.3 rating among adults 18-49. That number includes one week of delayed viewing. “Grey’s” and those “Chicago” shows only trail Fox’s “9-1-1” and “The Masked Singer” and CBS’ “Survivor,” which each have a 1.4 rating in the key demo.
“Grey’s” has not been nearly as strong in terms of total viewers, however. The medical procedural ranks 25th by that Nielsen metric, averaging 6.7 million total viewers per episode. That’s still good, it’s just not excellent.
We seem to do this dance every year, and the outcome has (to this point) been the same. Pompeo, who plays titular star Dr. Meredith Grey, has been publicly playing with the notion of leaving the show for a while now. Well, she won’t scrub out in Season 18.
“‘Grey’s Anatomy’ is a true phenomenon, beloved by audiences around the world. Whether they catch it live on ABC, or stream it on Hulu or globally on Disney+ or Star+, it’s clear that fans can’t get enough of Shonda Rhimes’ brilliant creation,” Dana Walden, chairman of Entertainment at Walt Disney Television, said on Monday. “We have enormous faith in Shonda, Krista Vernoff, Ellen Pompeo and the entire creative team to unlock new, untold stories that will continue to focus on modern medicine, tackle the issues that shape the world around us, and resonate deeply with loyal fans for years to come.”
“Grey’s Anatomy,” which was created by Shonda Rhimes, premiered in 2005 on ABC.
“I couldn’t be more excited that we get to keep telling the stories of Meredith, Bailey, Richard and all of the other doctors at Grey Sloan Memorial for another season,” Rhimes said. “This is a true testament to Krista Vernoff, the cast, the crew and all the writers who keep the audience on the edge of their seat week after week. And it would not be possible without the generations of incredible fans who have supported ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ for so many years.”
“‘Grey’s Anatomy’ has a global impact that can’t be overstated. ‘Grey’s’ touches, and sometimes changes, hearts and minds worldwide through the depth of connection people feel with these characters,” Vernoff added. “I’m excited to work with our extraordinary writers to dream up where we go from here, and I’m always grateful to our partners at Disney and ABC for letting us tell bold stories with real impact.”
Vernoff was head writer and executive producer of “Grey’s Anatomy” for the first seven seasons of the show and returned as showrunner in season 14.
“Grey’s Anatomy” stars Pompeo as Meredith Grey, Chandra Wilson as Miranda Bailey, James Pickens Jr. as Richard Webber, Kevin McKidd as Owen Hunt, Kim Raver as Teddy Altman, Camilla Luddington as Jo Wilson, Caterina Scorsone as Amelia Shepherd, Kelly McCreary as Maggie Pierce, Chris Carmack as Atticus “Link” Lincoln, Jake Borelli as Levi Schmitt, Richard Flood as Cormac Hayes and Anthony Hill as Winston Ndugu.
In addition to Rhimes and Vernoff, Betsy Beers, Debbie Allen, Meg Marinis and Mark Gordon are executive producers, along with Pompeo for Season 19. Zoanne Clack serves as medical advisor and executive producer. “Grey’s Anatomy” is produced by ABC Signature, a part of Disney Television Studios.
“Grey’s Anatomy” Season 18 returns Thursday, Feb. 24 at 9 p.m. in a crossover with spinoff “Station 19.”