Grey’s Anatomy is the longest-running scripted series, but that doesn’t mean it’s answered all our burning questions. For example, where is Grey’s Anatomy filmed? The answer is primarily Los Angeles, FYI. When will the ABC show end? And who’s in the cast?
Unfortunately, season 20 has been delayed indefinitely due to the ongoing SAG-AFTRA strike. As a result, the next installment likely won’t premiere until spring 2024 (at the absolute earliest). And since Ellen Pompeo (Meredith Grey) is leaving the show as a series regular, our curiosity is at an all-time high in terms of what’s next.
While we wait for updates on Grey’s Anatomy season 20, we compiled a list of questions you’ve probably asked about the popular ABC series. Keep reading for details.
1. Where Is Grey’s Anatomy Filmed?
While Grey’s Anatomy takes place in Seattle, Washington, you might be surprised to learn that it’s actually filmed in Los Angeles. Almost every location—including the E.R. and patient rooms—is built on a soundstage to ensure total control over the acoustics and lighting.
Of course, there are a few exceptions. For example, Meredith’s house is actually located in Seattle’s Queen Anne neighborhood. The cast will occasionally travel to shoot these scenes, along with other exterior shots (like the famous helipad with the Space Needle in the background). While some B-roll footage is shot in Vancouver, the cast rarely travels to Canada.
Other buildings—like Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital—are real locations in Los Angeles. The exterior shots of the hospital are filmed at the VA (Veterans Administration) Sepulveda Ambulatory Care Center, while the interior is reimagined on a soundstage.
2. How Many Seasons Are There?
Grey’s Anatomy is preparing to release season 20, but there’s no premiere date in sight. Most seasons consist of 24 episodes and the entire show is now streaming on Netflix (with the exception of new installments, which can be found on ABC).
While discussing the show’s future, series creator Shonda Rhimes revealed that she doesn’t have a specific number of seasons in mind.“I do spend a lot of time thinking about where it’s going and where I would like it to end up,” she told Oprah. “At the time when I really thought I knew how it was going to end, I think we thought we were going to be on for a lot less episodes. It’s been great to sort of have success, but I have to stretch out where I think it’s going to end.”
3. When Will Grey’s Anatomy End?
ABC hasn’t revealed when Grey’s Anatomy will air its final season. However, many believe it will end soon—especially since fan-favorite characters (like Pompeo) are no longer series regulars. “There is an end, and it’s nearing,” she told Us Weekly.
During an interview with Variety, Pompeo admitted that ending a long-running show is easier said than done. “Everything is really important to me—that the show is good, and that all the characters’ storylines are good,” she said. “Even though it’s not my place necessarily to fight for other people’s characters, I care very much about the integrity of the show, and the stories that we tell, and the quality.”
4. What Is Grey’s Anatomy About?
Grey’s Anatomy follows a group of doctors working at Grey-Sloan Memorial Hospital (previously called Seattle Grace). In particular, the series focuses on Dr. Meredith Grey, whose dream is to become a famous surgeon like her mother. From family drama to fraternization among co-workers, the show offers a dramatized glimpse into the lives of doctors and soon-to-be doctors.
Rhimes revealed that fans don’t need to worry about the show suddenly ending—well, unless they lose interest. “I might be a very old lady by the time we reach its last season because it doesn’t seem to be stopping, which is wonderful and I feel the world really belongs to the fans and the fans have been really clear about what they want,” she told E! News. “It’s such an amazing show, and it’s doing so well as it’s moving forward. I’m going to leave it alone and see where it goes, and we’re going to stay a show as long as everybody wants to be there and as long as the fans want to be there.”
5. Who Stars In Grey’s Anatomy?
It’s changed over the past 20 seasons, but the main cast members are Pompeo (Meredith Grey), Chandra Wilson (Miranda Bailey), James Pickens Jr. (Richard Webber), Justin Chambers (Alex Karev), Kevin McKidd (Owen Hunt), Jesse Williams, (Jackson Avery), Camilla Luddington (Jo Wilson), Caterina Scorsone (Amelia Shepherd) and Kelly McCreary (Maggie Pierce).
Other stars include Patrick Dempsey (Derek Shepherd), Sara Ramirez (Callie Torres), Jessica Capshaw (Arizona Robbins), Sandra Oh (Cristina Yang) and Sarah Drew (April Kepner).
Recent seasons also feature several new faces, like Harry Shum Jr. (Daniel “Blue” Kwan), Adelaide Kane (Jules Millin), Niko Terho (Lucas Adams), Alexis Floyd (Simone Griffin) and Midori Francis (Mika Yasuda).
6. Did Ellen Pompeo Leave Grey’s Anatomy?
Well, not really. The actress is no longer a series regular as of season 20, but that doesn’t mean she’s leaving the show entirely. Her character will likely appear in random episodes, flashbacks and voiceover sequences, but she won’t be the main focus of the plot anymore.
“I mean 19 years, that’s more than people keep their kids in their house,” Pompeo said on The Drew Barrymore Show. “People keep their kids in their house until they’re 18 and then they send them off to college, so this is like me like going away to college.”
Pompeo revealed that she’s looking forward to spending more time with her children. “I have a lot that I’m doing,” she added. “I have three kids, so I take care of them. It’s really important for me to be around for them and be more present for them.”
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