When Will Grey’s Anatomy End? Creator Shonda Rhimes Responds

The stars of Grey's Anatomy, including Meredith Grey, Miranda Bailye and Richard Webber

Grey’s Anatomy creator Shonda Rhimes says it’s up to the fans when the award-winning medical drama will finally flatline as the series nears the end of Season 19.

Speaking with E! News, Rhimes spoke about the shelf-life of the popular ABC show and when it will come to an end. According to the acclaimed showrunner, the viewers will decide when it’s time for Grey’s Anatomy to air its final episode. “I might be a very old lady by the time we reach its last season because it doesn’t seem to be stopping which is wonderful and I feel the world really belongs to the fans and the fans have been really clear about what they want,” she said.


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The fan response to Season 19 has been solid, with 3.8 million people tuning into its opening episode and its viewership numbers remaining steady throughout. Also boasting a 72% average audience score on Rotten Tomatoes, Grey’s Anatomy continues to boast a loyalty that leaves Rhimes encouraged about the show’s future. Despite this, the ongoing season saw an immediate ratings drop after the departure of its central character, Ellen Pompeo’s Meredith Grey, who left during Season 19, Episode 7, “I’ll Follow the Sun.” Rhimes described Pompeo’s exit as “heartbreaking” for all involved. However, the actor, who’s also served as an executive producer on the series, will make her return in the Season 19 finale, “Wedding Bell Blues,” later this month and is still doing voiceovers. Pompeo wasn’t the only major exit as Kelly McCreary’s Maggie Pierce also departed following her nine-season run as she opts to pursue fresh opportunities.

Grey’s Remains in Charge

Grey’s Anatomy is the longest-running scripted series in ABC history and one of the ten longest primetime shows ever on American television. Debuting as a mid-season replacement in 2005, the series immediately became a hit amongst audiences, with its peak viewership coming the following year when an average of over 19 million people watched Season 3. The series has won four Primetime Emmy Awards and three Screen Actors Guild Awards, as well as several People’s Choice and NAACP Image Awards. Additionally, Grey’s Anatomy spawned two spinoff shows, Private Practice and Station 19.

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Star and director of Grey’s Anatomy, Kevin McKidd, insisted fans are in for a “shocking” Season 19 finale, promising that the two-hour episode will leave many celebrating but surprised with its outcome. Meanwhile, the drama was renewed this past March for a 20th season, with executive producer Meg Marinis taking over from Krista Vernoff as the showrunner.

Grey’s Anatomy airs its Season 19 finale via ABC on May 18 at 8 p.m. EST.

Source: E! News via Deadline


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