'Grey's Anatomy' Possibly Ending Sooner Rather Than Later

Grey's Anatomy could possibly be ending at the end of the upcoming Season 17, according to a new interview with series showrunner Krista Vernoff. While speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, Vernoff revealed her approach to Season 17 of the hit medical drama, saying, "I'm planning a season and a finale that could function as either a season finale or a series finale. I'm planning for both contingencies and it's hard and it's not ideal. It's not where I wish we were."

Vernoff also told THR that she has asked ABC executives about the series' fate prior to going into production on the last episode of Season 17. "I've told them that I have to know before I'm making the finale what we're making," she said. "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." Additionally, THR stated that renewal talks have been underway for months, and that lead actress Ellen Pompeo would receive a pay increase as part of the deal if it goes through.

Grey's Anatomy already has one spinoff, Station 19, and there were talks of another, but Vernoff says the Covid-19 pandemic has put halt to those discussions. "It's been so complicated and so difficult to come back to production during the pandemic," she said. "We are on fumes. I don't really have creative space for imaginings of what might happen next year; I'm trying to get through this season."

She continued, "Once I know if this is the final season or not, I can start to try to imagine other things. But trying to simultaneously plan for the end of the series and the end of the season — if it's not the end of the series — it's like breaking two shows. That's what I've got bandwidth for. That, Station 19 and [Vernoff's upcoming show] Rebel. That's enough."

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Grey's Anatomy has been a valuable asset to ABC for years, and it continues to deliver in Season 17. It ranks at No. 1 among the network's dramas in total viewers and the adults 18-49 demographic. Grey's Anatomy returns Thursday, March 11, at 9 p.m. ET.