Grey's Anatomy, Season 19
Credit: ABC via Getty Images

With Meredith Grey leaving Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital (and other characters’ roles still uncertain), there are a lot of questions fans have about Grey’s Anatomy‘s future. Most importantly: Will there be a Grey’s Anatomy season 20 or is the series ending almost two decades on television?

Grey’s Anatomy premiered on ABC in 2005 as a medical drama following the personal and professional lives of surgical interns, residents and attendings at Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital (previously known as Seattle Grace Hospital and Seattle Grace Mercy West) in Seattle, Washington. Since its premiere, Grey’s Anatomy has become an international phenomenon, with more than 38 Primetime Emmy nominations (including two for Outstanding Drama Series) and more than a decade on the air.

“We really attribute it to our fan base, our ever-changing fan base,” Chandra Wilson, who has played Dr. Miranda Bailey on Grey’s Anatomy since season 1, told WABC in 2016. “People continue to be really interested in these characters, and all of our new babies that come along and joined us.” Wilson also credits the increase of streaming services for introducing Grey’s Anatomy to younger generations and keeping the show popular. “I think it’s been helpful because a whole generation of folks that maybe had heard about the show or maybe stopped watching for awhile, it made them want to go back and catch up,” Wilson said.

So what is Grey’s Anatomy’s future? Read on for what we know about Grey’s Anatomy season 20 and the massive shakeup the series will have its next season.

Will there be a Grey’s Anatomy season 20?

Grey's Anatomy, Season 19

Will there be a Grey’s Anatomy season 20? The answer is yes. Variety confirmed on March 24, 2023, that Grey’s Anatomy was renewed for a 20th season by ABC. The magazine also reported that Meg Marinis, who has been an executive producer on Grey’s Anatomy 2016, will take over as the series’ new showrunner after the drama’s previous showrunner, Krista Vernoff, stepped down from the role in January 2023. Marinis started as a researcher on Grey’s Anatomy in 2009. She became a writer in 2010, a story editor in 2014, and a producer in 2016.

Vernoff announced her exit from Grey’s Anatomy and its spinoff, Station 19, in a statement January 2023. “It has been the privilege of a lifetime to be entrusted to run Grey’s Anatomy for the past six years and Station 19 for the last four,” Vernoff said in a statement. “The passion of the dedicated fandoms and the impact that these shows have on hearts and minds cannot be overstated. The amount of talent in these two extraordinary casts and these two brilliant writers rooms is beyond measure — and these crews work magic week after week. I will be forever grateful to Shonda Rhimes for her trust and to Disney and ABC for their support. The last time I left ‘Grey’s Anatomy,’ I was gone for seven seasons and the show was still going when Shonda called me to run it. So I’m not saying goodbye because that would be too bitter sweet. I’m saying ‘See you in seven seasons.’”

When does Grey’s Anatomy season 20 come out?

Grey's Anatomy

When does Grey’s Anatomy season 20 come out? A release date for Grey’s Anatomy season 20 hasn’t been announced yet, but previous seasons have premiered around late September, which would be four months after the finale of Grey’s Anatomy season 19 airs on March 18, 2023.

Who’s in the Grey’s Anatomy season 20 cast?

Grey's Anatomy, Season 19

Who’s in the Grey’s Anatomy season 20 cast? Deadline reported in May 2023 that salary negotiations for the upcoming season wrapped pretty quickly, and many of your favorites are slated to return for the upcoming season.

The last two remaining original cast members, James Pickens Jr, and Chandra Wilson, will return for Season 20, as well as Kim Raver, Kevin McKidd, Camilla Luddington and Caterina Scorsone. Our sister site couldn’t confirm negotiations for the new intern class, but said that they are all expected to return, including Harry Shum Jr., Adelaide Kane, Alexis Floyd, Niko Terho, and Midori Francis.

The two cast members who are confirmed to not return are Ellen Pompeo (Dr. Meredith Grey) and Kelly McCreary (Dr. Maggie Pierce), who both left Grey’s Anatomy in season 19. (We do suspect that Pompeo will come back in a guest role in future seasons of the show.)

See below for the main Grey’s Anatomy season 20 cast, including who has been confirmed:

  • Chandra Wilson as Dr. Miranda Bailey (confirmed)
  • James Pickens Jr. as Dr. Richard Webber (confirmed)
  • Kevin McKidd as Dr. Owen Hunt (confirmed)
  • Caterina Scorsone as Dr. Amelia Shepherd (confirmed)
  • Camilla Luddington as Dr. Jo Wilson (confirmed)
  • Kim Raver as Dr. Teddy Altman (confirmed)
  • Jake Borelli as Dr. Levi Schmitt
  • Chris Carmack as Dr. Atticus “Link” Lincoln
  • Anthony Hill as Dr. Winston Ndugu 
  • Alexis Floyd as Dr. Simone Griffith
  • Harry Shum Jr. as Dr. Benson “Blue” Kwan
  • Adelaide Kane as Dr. Jules Millin
  • Midori Francis as Dr. Mika Yasuda
  • Niko Terho as Dr. Lucas Adams
  • Scott Speedman as Dr. Nick Marsh

Pompeo, who has played Meredith since season 1 of Grey’s Anatomy in 2005, announced she was leaving the series in an Instagram post in November 2022. “I am eternally grateful and humbled by the love and support you have all shown me, Meredith GREY and the show for 19 seasons!” she wrote at the time. “Through it all….none of it …would have been possible without the best fans in the world. You all are RIDERS and you all have made the ride so fun and ICONIC!! I love you madly and appreciate you right back. This isn’t your first time on the rollercoaster… you know the show must go on and I’ll definitely be back to visit. With a lot of love and immense gratitude XoE”

Pompeo’s announcement came three months after Variety reported that she was taking a reduced role on Grey’s Anatomy season 19 due to filming for her upcoming Hulu miniseries. The miniseries, which is still untitled, follows a midwestern couple who adopts a child they believe to be an 8-year-old girl with a rare form of dwarfism. As the couple raise the girl alongside their three biological children, they start to realize she may not be who she says she is. The series — which Pompeo stars in and executive produces — is based on the case of Natalia Grace Barnett, a six-year-old girl whose adoptive parents, Kristine and Michael Barnett, claim was really a woman in her late 20s.

McCreary, who joined Grey’s Anatomy in season 10, announced she was leaving the series in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter in March 2023. “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. “I will always be grateful to Shonda Rhimes, Krista Vernoff and ABC for the opportunity, and to the incredible fans for their passionate support.”

She continued, “To spend nine years exploring a character inside and out, while reaching a global audience with impactful stories, is a rare gift. 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. 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.”

McCreary also confirmed her exit in an Instagram post at the time. “9 seasons, 200 episodes, scores of heroic surgeries, countless brave patients, dozens of delightful sister house scenes, 1 episode with my real-life sister, some loss and some grief, a few ghostly visitations from mothers, a handful of boyfriends,” she captioned a still of Maggie on Grey’s Anatomy. “2 gorgeous weddings, a bunch of drunken emotional breakdowns, 1 high-speed chase, several awkward dinner parties, 1 punch taken (1 punch thrown), at least 1 pratfall, buckets of tears, innumerable fits of laughter, all the medical jargon mastered, a slew of friends for life, myriad collaborators who grew me as an artist, 1 grateful heart and 1 massive THANK YOU. What a ride!”

In an interview with Variety in October 2022, Grey’s Anatomy‘s showrunner at the time, Krista Vernoff, explained Pompeo’s decision to take a reduced role. “She has so many projects in development as a producer, and the Hulu project as an actress,” Vernoff said. “And she’s really excited to spread her wings, and we want to support her in that — while she will always be in the fabric of our show.” Vernoff told Variety that she learned in the spring of 2022 that Pompeo wanted to take a reduced role for Grey’s Anatomy season 19, which resulted in the writers casting five new series regulars — played by Harry Shum Jr., Adelaide Kane, Alexis Floyd, Midori Francis and Niko Terho — to take “a big, bold swing” and add fresh blood to the series amid Pompeo’s absence. “The blood of the show — the lifeblood, the early success — was about the impact of trying to become a surgeon when you have no idea what you’re doing,” Vernoff said. “And there was a reason for that. We needed them to be green. We needed them to be new at this, and to be able to make mistakes that were profound and impactful — not just on their own lives, but on the lives of their patients. And adding five new series regular interns does that for us.”

Vernoff also confirmed that ABC still plans to continue Grey’s Anatomy even after Pompeo leaves. “I think that this show has legs,” she said. “I think that Ellen is extraordinary, and she’s been an extraordinary center of this show for a really long time. And if her career takes her in another direction, I believe that we’ve got a show here with a lot of amazing characters that our fans love. And this new class of interns is really exciting.”

Grey’s Anatomy airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. on ABC.

Check out the real-life partners of your favorite Grey’s Anatomy stars in the gallery below