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Another cast shakeup is on the horizon

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Ellen Pompeo on Grey's Anatomy Season 20.
Ellen Pompeo is back on Grey’s Anatomy, but for how long? Pic credit: ABC

Grey’s Anatomy will continue to chart the lives and loves of the workers of Grey Sloan Memorial. 

ABC has officially picked up Grey’s Anatomy Season 21, keeping the show on the air for the 2024-2025 season. 

The exciting news comes three weeks into Grey’s Anatomy Season 20, allowing fans to watch the rest of the season knowing it won’t be the end. 

The same can’t be said for spinoff Station 19, which got canceled ahead of its current season premiere, so we’ll say goodbye to all those characters very soon. 

Grey’s Anatomy Season 20 continues to have sporadic appearances from one-time lead Ellen Pompeo, who dropped down to a recurring player last season. 



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At the time, it seemed like the show was gearing up for its end, as many attributed the cast changes to its spiraling budget. 

Grey’s Anatomy has survived many cast changes

A show with so many series regulars and 20 years on the air comes with a hefty price tag, but there’s an incentive to keep Grey’s Anatomy going. 

The show is a strong performer, with the current season rising in the ratings vs. last season, likely thanks to the 9-1-1 lead-in. 

The entire Grey’s Anatomy library recently hit Hulu and Disney+. It airs on the latter in international territories and is considered a strong performer. 

With the future being streaming, ABC can take a hit on what the show makes from its linear telecasts because it will make a considerable amount of money from streaming internationally on Disney+.

As we approach Grey’s Anatomy Season 21, the show faces a big hurdle: The cast contracts expire this season, so negotiations about which cast members to keep on the show for next season will be underway. 

Many familiar faces will probably depart before Grey’s Anatomy Season 21

In the past, many beloved cast members have been written out for budgetary reasons, and there’s no reason to expect any different this time. 

Jessica Capshaw was written out several years ago but is set to return for an episode this season. 

Although the show is quite the revolving door as far as its cast is concerned, many familiar faces do tend to pop back up after years away. 

The show feels more like a daytime soap opera at this point, but if the financials work out, the show can thrive for the years to come. 

With Grey’s Anatomy Season 20 having 10 episodes, fans will be glad to know that Grey’s Anatomy Season 21 will have a full season of around 18 episodes. 

Grey’s Anatomy airs Thursdays at 9/8c on ABC. Stream Seasons 1-20 on Disney+ and Hulu.  



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