“Grey’s Anatomy” is a series constantly in flux, punctuated by the departures of various characters. The lucky ones leave for Zurich; the less fortunate are the namesakes for the hospital formerly known as Seattle Grace.
Season 19 was perhaps the most transitional season yet. Series star Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo) left Seattle for Boston, and the series in turn introduced a new crop of plucky young interns, reminding fans of the show’s origins. Even with Dr. Grey’s exit, the series feels like it’s experiencing a rebirth, and in March, “Grey’s Anatomy” was renewed for Season 20. For the veteran cast members, “Grey’s” is showing no signs of slowing.
When Kevin McKidd joined the series as Dr. Owen Hunt in Season 5, he didn’t envision becoming part of the show’s old guard.”Apart from Jim [Pickens Jr.] and Chandra [Wilson], I am the longest running cast member still on the show,” McKidd told Today. “Which is crazy to me.” He called his involvement a “blessing every single day of [my] life the last 14 years,” and added that he could see the show carrying on for “maybe at least 10 more years … I don’t see any reason why we would stop anytime soon.”
Caterina Scorsone, who made her “Grey’s” debut as Amelia Shepherd in Season 7, is even more optimistic about the show’s longevity. “As long as the audience is there, we have story,” she said. “You really want to see these people move through life. And so that could be you know, 80, 90, 100 years. We’ll see!”
Chandra Wilson and James Pickens Jr. are in it for the long haul
“Grey’s Anatomy” first premiered in 2005, making it one of the longest-running primetime shows on television. Chandra Wilson and James Pickens Jr. — who play Dr. Miranda Bailey and Dr. Richard Webber, respectively — have the unique honor of having been there since the beginning. Moreover, they are emphatically returning for Season 20 and beyond.
In the same interview for Today, Wilson confirmed that she wants to stick around until the bitter end. “I feel like, ‘Hey, as long as Bailey still has something to get out there, a lesson to teach, new babies to bring in, why not?’” she said. “While we’re here, let’s make the most of it.”
Pickens similarly has no plans to leave anytime soon. “I might be in a wheelchair by the time they decide to call it quits,” the actor quipped. “I have no idea.” He also credits the series with surviving the advent of streaming. “Now with all these platforms and stuff shows come and go after 10 episodes or a couple of seasons and then they forget them,” he continued. “This show, we won’t forget — even with the ups and downs.”
Grey’S Anatomy Star Richard Flood On Downside Of Show Filming
Grey’s Anatomy actor Richard Flood has opened up about the parts of filming the ABC medical drama that he didn’t enjoy.
The Irish actor played Dr Cormac Hayes for three seasons until last year. He’s since left Los Angeles to split his time between his homeland and Rome, where his wife Gabriella has a career.
Speaking to RTÉ Guide about his new show for the channel, The Gone, Flood admitted that the work schedule (or lack thereof) and the LA life made him content to leave Grey’s.
“I don’t miss it, to be honest. It was a great opportunity, and I met some lovely people, but The Gone is really the kind of stuff I’m looking for: in every day, long hours, some difficult scenes,” he said (via Irish Mirror).
“I want that challenge. With Grey’s, there’s such a big cast, you’re only in two or three days a week. I also like being on location, as we were in New Zealand. With Grey’s, you’re in LA, and everybody has their lives, so after work, everybody goes home, and there’s not that interaction you’d have on location in a tiny town in New Zealand.”
He added: “I like that aspect of the acting industry where you get to collaborate and get to know others. Grey’s didn’t feel like that to me.”
When he left the show last year, Flood said that he felt like his character’s storyline had come to a natural end, which culminated in a plot about him deciding whether to report Dr Owen Hunt or not.