‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Renewed For Season 21 By ABC

Grey’s Anatomy continues to be in a league of its own, landing a renewal for a 21st season. The pickup, which comes three episodes into Grey’s Anatomy‘s landmark 20th season, extends its record as the longest-running primetime medical drama, which it initially set in 2019, and the longest-running ABC primetime scripted series. I hear Season 21 is expected to consist of 18 episodes, up from the 10-episode strike-impacted 20th season.

The early renewal is a testament to the show’s ability to reinvent itself and stay relevant even with its lead, Ellen Pompeo, not being on-screen full-time as a new group of interns was introduced last season. Pompeo continues to recur in addition to serving as an executive producer and providing the voiceover that opens and closes each episode.

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The pickup also is a vote of confidence to Grey’s Anatomy veteran Meg Marinis, who took the reins as new showrunner of the Shonda Rhimes-created series for Season 20.

“The loyalty and love of Grey’s Anatomy fans has propelled us into a historic 21st season, and I could not be more grateful,” Rhimes said. “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.”

Like is the case with any long-running series, the next step after the renewal is securing veteran cast members with new deals. I hear the contracts of virtually all longtime Grey’s Anatomy actors are up this season. The group includes the two remaining original cast members, Chandra Wilson (Bailey), who is also a co-executive producer, and James Pickens Jr. (Richard) as well as Kevin McKidd (Owen), Kim Raver (Teddy), Camilla Luddington (Jo) and Caterina Scorsone (Amelia).

Twenty seasons in, Grey’s Anatomy, produced by Shondaland and ABC Signature, part of Disney Television Studios, is the #1 most social scripted series on broadcast year-to-date. The medical drama has been enjoying a streaming resurgence, regularly ranking in the Top 5 weekly Nielsen ratings.

“I think the show is as creatively strong as it’s ever been,” Craig Erwich, President of Disney Television Group, said in February. “Not just the live [episodes] you are watching today, but it’s fueling growth for our streaming platform.”

Underlining Grey’s Anatomy‘ importance to the Disney brand, the series’ library became the centerpiece of the company’s recent launch of its one-app experience, with Hulu as the only streamer to offer the entire run of the medical drama, including exclusive next-day availability of all episodes from the current 20th season alongside the 19 prior seasons, shared with Netflix.

“We still have stories to tell,” Marinis told Deadline last month when asked whether Grey’s could go beyond Season 20. “We receive a tremendous amount of support from the studio and the network and from Shondaland. So I’m going to keep going until they tell me to put that pen down.”

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