Grey’s Anatomy season 20 will happen, as ABC officially confirms a renewal, but with one change to the long-running medical drama series.
Grey’s Anatomy season 20 will happen but with one major change. The long-running hospital drama has experienced some major changes in recent months. Ellen Pompeo has taken on a reduced role as Meredith Grey, with the actor focusing on other projects. It was also announced that showrunner Krista Vernoff is stepping away from the show, and its spinoff Station 19, once the current installment ends. More recently, Grey’s Anatomy will see the character Maggie Pierce exit as actor Kelly McCreary also announced that she’d be leaving the show after nine seasons.
Now, per The Hollywood Reporter, it’s been confirmed that ABC has renewed Grey’s Anatomy for season 20. Meg Marinis, who has been with the series since season 3, will take over the role of showrunner from Krista Vernoff. Grey’s Anatomy is the first ABC scripted drama to receive a renewal. It joins the popular sitcom Abbott Elementary as the first of ABC’s programs to be confirmed for a return.
What Marinis As Showrunner Means For Grey’s Anatomy
As expected, Grey’s Anatomy season 20 chose from within its ranks in terms of its next showrunner. Marinis has a long history with the medical drama series, beginning as a writer’s production assistant before working her way up as a writers’ assistant and medical researcher. She then was promoted to the position of executive producer, a role she’s had for the past four years. In addition to these roles, Marinis is an experienced writer on Grey’s Anatomy.
She’s credited with 35 episodes of the show. Her first credit came with the season 6 episode, “Hook, Line, and Sinner,” which saw the characters work on a captain that was stabbed with a giant shark hook. More recently, she wrote the second episode of Grey’s Anatomy season 19, which continues to slowly set Meredith’s overall exit into motion and focuses on her relationship with Nick.
In more than one way, the ascent of Marinis as the showrunner of Grey’s Anatomy ensures continuity for the series. The show continues to deliver strong ratings, both in a traditional sense and on streaming. If that success holds, there can certainly be a future with less Meredith Grey.
Everything to Know About ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Season 20
From the returning cast to the release date, here’s everything to know about season 20 of ‘Grey’s Anatomy’
After nearly two decades of medical marvels and twists and turns, Grey’s Anatomy is returning for its 20th season.
The long-running medical drama, which was renewed for a 20th season in March 2023 after wrapping its 19th season in May 2023, will see some major changes.
Season 20 will be the first not to feature Meredith Grey, portrayed by Ellen Pompeo, as a series regular. The actress already had a scaled-back role in season 19, but will remain as an executive producer on the series moving forward, in addition to providing the opening and closing voiceover for each episode.
In an installment of Variety’s Actors on Actors series, the actress opened up to her former Grey’s costar Katherine Heigl about the future of her character.
“I will be making some appearances hopefully next year, if I can find some time,” she said. “It’s not a complete goodbye. And I think we’ve got an interesting story to tell.”
Read ahead for everything to know about Grey’s Anatomy season 20.
Who is in the cast of Grey’s Anatomy season 20?
Many cast members from earlier seasons are expected to return for season 20, including the final two original cast members, James Pickens Jr. as Richard Webber and Chandra Wilson as Miranda Bailey, who says she has no plans to depart the show until the very end, no matter how long it takes.
“I used to say, ‘I’m there until the wheels fall off until the very, very end, and it can’t last that much longer, right?’ And then we keep going,” Wilson told PEOPLE exclusively at a Grey’s Anatomy PaleyFest event in April 2023. “For now, I’m challenging myself to be there until the very last episode, the very last day, the very last scene.”
She added, “I said it, so now I’ve got to get there.”
Who is leaving the cast of Grey’s Anatomy in season 20?
As for who is leaving the show, both of Ellis Grey’s daughters will not be returning as series regulars in season 20 of Grey’s Anatomy. In addition to Ellen Pompeo stepping back from her longtime role of Meredith Grey, her on-screen half-sister Maggie Pierce (Kelly McCreary) who became a series regular in season 11, will also exit the show.
“After nine seasons, I am saying goodbye to Maggie Pierce and her Grey Sloan family. It has been a tremendous honor to be a part of such a legendary television institution as Grey’s Anatomy,” she said in a statement. “I will always be grateful to Shonda Rhimes, Krista Vernoff and ABC for the opportunity, and to the incredible fans for their passionate support.”
“To spend nine years exploring a character inside and out, while reaching a global audience with impactful stories, is a rare gift,” McCreary continued. “It has afforded me an opportunity to collaborate with, learn from, and be inspired by countless brilliant artists both in front of and behind the camera.”
She added: “Playing Maggie Pierce has been one of the true joys of my life and I leave with profound gratitude for every step of this journey. I am excited for this next chapter, and what the future holds.”
How did Grey’s Anatomy season 19 leave off?
While information about season 20’s plot has not yet been shared yet, there were a few big moments and cliffhangers at the end of season 19 that fans are waiting to see resolved.
Teddy Altman’s fate, and the fate of her patient, is uncertain after she suddenly collapsed. She complained of a toothache throughout the finale, but pushed through the pain since the hospital was short-staffed.
Teddy collapsed on the OR floor while preparing to operate on Sam Sutton (Sam Page) and was unresponsive to defibrillation shock at the hands of her husband, Owen Hunt. As the chaos unfolded with Teddy, Sam went into cardiac arrest and was bleeding out on the table.
Fans were also left with a cliffhanger after Jo and Link (Chris Carmack) shared a kiss. Despite initially denying his feelings for her and blaming his frustration on the doctor-patient relationship between her and Sam Sutton, he finally admitted how he truly feels.
He said, “I love you, and I’m gonna love you forever.”
“You unbelievable dummy. I love you too,” she responded, before they kissed in the rain.
Meredith and Nick Marsh (Scott Speedman) also shared a kiss of their own. She admitted that she pretended to not hear him say he loved her before she left for Boston, stating, “I was tired and scared and overwhelmed. And I know that sounds stupid, but I thought what I should do in that moment was to focus on the children so that’s what I did … but I miss you.”
He had wrongly assumed that Michael, Zola’s tutor, was her boyfriend and shared, “I wasted years of my life trying to avoid pain and I went to your house to say that I never shouldn’t have let you walk away and say I want to live a whole life with love and mess and pain with you.”
Before they shared a kiss, she responded: “Well, okay then.”
Other standout moments from the two-part season 19 finale include Miranda Bailey receiving the Catherine Fox Award for her work in reproductive care and estranged couple Maggie and Winston Ndugu (Anthony Hill) hooking up.
When did Grey’s Anatomy season 20 film?
How many episodes will Grey’s Anatomy season 20 be?
It has not been confirmed how many episodes season 20 of Grey’s Anatomy will be. Aside from season 1 which had just 9 episodes, previous seasons have ranged between 17 and 27 episodes in length. Seasons 18 and 19 were 20 episodes each.
Has ABC released a first look at Grey’s Anatomy season 20?
A trailer for season 20 of Grey’s Anatomy has not been released yet. In the meantime, check out this touching moment from the season 19 finale.
Where can I watch Grey’s Anatomy?
When will Grey’s Anatomy season 20 release?
A release date for season 20 of Grey’s Anatomy has not been provided yet by ABC. In May, ABC shared that timing for renewals of their scripted series “will be announced at a later date,” with the network restructuring the fall 2023 primetime lineup due to the writers strike.