Grey's Anatomy renewed for season 21

3 April 2024, 10:53

Meredith says goodbye in Grey’s Anatomy’s season 19 episode 7 trailer

By Katie Louise Smith

Season 21 will coincide with Grey's Anatomy's 20th anniversary.

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It's official – Grey's Anatomy has been renewed for season 21 (!), lengthening its lead as the longest running US medical drama, and the longest running primetime series in ABC history.

The renewal now means that season 21 will be airing when the show's 20th anniversary comes around in March 2025. There's been no details shared just yet about what the writers are planning for that landmark anniversary but fans will no doubt be treated to some pretty iconic surprises.

According to Deadline, season 21 will consist of 18 episodes. The strike-impacted season 20 will end with 10 episodes, making it the shortest season since the show began in 2005. (Season 1 consists of 9 episodes.)

READ MORE: Here's how Meredith Grey leaves Grey's Anatomy in Ellen Pompeo's last episode

Grey's Anatomy renewed for season 21
Grey's Anatomy renewed for season 21. Picture: ABC, Richard Cartwright via Getty Images

Responding to the news of the early renewal, creator and executive producer Shonda Rhimes wrote in a post: "Grey’s was something I made up 20+ years ago, and I am so incredibly proud that it’s been picked up for its 21st season. This honestly could not be possible without you guys..caring about the stories I tell, the talented cast, writers, and crew. Wow."

In another statement, issued to The Hollywood Reporter, Shonda added: "The loyalty and love of Grey’s Anatomy fans has propelled us into a historic 21st season, and I could not be more grateful. [Showrunner] Meg Marinis’ storytelling is a gift that continues to keep the show vibrant, compelling and alive, and I can’t wait to see what she has in store for next season."

In early 2023, Ellen Pompeo officially ended her status as a series regular and the show's lead, and Meredith moved away from Seattle to Boston with her children. (She still pops up every now and then, provides the iconic voiceovers that open and close the episodes, and still serves as an executive producer.)

The early renewal is a clear testament to the show's staying power and popularity, even without Meredith and Ellen at the helm. Twenty years on, Grey's still attracts thousands and thousands of new viewers thanks to streaming and viral clips on TikTok.

According to various reports, the contracts for almost all of the show's leads are up for renegotiation at the end of season 20, so it's unclear who will return for season 21 just yet.

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