The fate of long-running medical drama Grey's Anatomy has been precarious at best lately, as the show is deep in its 17th season. There have been rumors that Grey's could come to an end with this season, rumors fueled by showrunner Krista Vernoff's explanation of the behind-the-scenes dealings. However, Vernoff just got some professional news that could mean good things for Grey's and its spinoff, Station 19.
On Thursday, it was announced that Vernhoff renewed her multi-year contract with ABC. Not only does Vernoff run the show for Grey's and Station 19, but her third show, the Katey Segal starring Rebel, debuts on April 8, which means that the producing maven is in charge of the entire Thursday night drama line up at the network.
"Krista Vernoff is a superstar who makes the almost impossible task of running three shows seem like a reasonable amount of work," Dana Walden, chairman of entertainment for Walt Disney Television, said in a statement. "I am honestly in awe of her. Everyone at the studio and network is grateful for the tremendous job she’s done on the amazing Shondaland shows, and we are proud to be launching Krista’s first creation, Rebel, on ABC in two weeks. The optimism, intellectual curiosity, and quest for social justice embodied in its title character are traits that could easily apply to Krista herself, and those are just a few of the qualities that make us feel lucky to work with her every day."
Vernoff has worked on Grey's since its premiere in 2005, taking over as showrunner in 2007 until 2011, and then returning to the series in 2017. Rebel will be her first show that she launches herself under the Shondaland umbrella. While this contract renewal doesn't necessarily guarantee an 18th season for Grey's, it does imply that ABC is deeply invested in continuing its partnership with Vernoff, whether that is with established work or new projects.
"I'm planning a season and a finale that could function as either a season finale or a series finale," Vernoff told The Hollywood Reporter about the end of season 17. "I'm planning for both contingencies and it's hard and it's not ideal. It's not where I wish we were."
"I've told them [ABC executives] that I have to know before I'm making the finale what we're making," Vernhoff continued. "Because there are a couple of character threads that will change. I've got plans for both contingencies. Either there will be closure or I will build something in that allows me to have a bit of a cliffhanger and a thread for next season."