For several seasons now, the question on every Grey’s Anatomy fan’s mind has been: “Is the show ending?” The long-running medical drama—we’re currently in season 17—is a TV staple for many, and it’s currently ABC’s number one drama series.
But despite its success, creator Shonda Rhimes has said that the show will end whenever Ellen Pompeo (Dr. Meredith Grey) is ready to stop filming. Pompeo admitted last month that writers and producers (she’s also an executive producer) “haven’t decided” when they’re ending the show.
However, current showrunner Krista Vernoff tells The Hollywood Reporter in a new interview that the current season could very well be the last…sigh. “I’m planning a season and a finale that could function as either a season finale or a series finale,” Vernoff says. “I’m planning for both contingencies, and it’s hard and it’s not ideal. It’s not where I wish we were.”
She continues, “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 cliff-hanger and a thread for next season.”
The season finales of Grey’s have a tendency to end with a bang, literally, at times. We’ve seen plane crashes, shootings, cheating ex-wives—if it’s dramatic, then Grey’s has tackled it. So it’s hard to imagine how the show could end this season. We’ve seen old characters like Dr. Derek Shepherd (Patrick Dempsey) and Dr. George O’Malley (T.R. Knight) brought back via dream sequences, which has led fans to really believe this could be the end.
Talks of a possible Grey’s Anatomy spin-off are also on hold, for now. “It’s been so complicated and so difficult to come back to production during the pandemic,” Vernoff says. “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. Once I know if this is the final season or not, I can start to try to imagine other things.”
So the answer to our initial question of whether or not Grey’s Anatomy is ending is just that we’ll have to wait and see.