After Grey's Anatomy was renewed for season 20 back in March 2023, details about a potential release date, the cast, and story details have slowly been released. First airing in 2005, Grey's Anatomy initially followed the lives of Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo) and her intern class as they began their residency at Seattle Grace Hospital (currently known as Grey-Sloan Memorial). While many of the subplots revolved around them solving complex medical cases or mysteries, the drama also explored the personal lives of the surgeons and allowed viewers to witness several iconic friendships and romances blossom between them all (such as Meredith and Derek's and Jackson and April's).
With the show currently in its nineteenth season, it's not surprising that many of the main characters have left Grey's Anatomy. Still, that doesn't mean that the show has ever lost momentum. The writers have constantly experimented with new romances and storylines to keep Grey's Anatomy as engaging and unpredictable as possible. Season 19 even included a new and refreshing intern class, who have been a big hit with audiences thanks to their amazing chemistry. However, thanks to the gripping cliffhanger in the two-hour season 19 finale, "Wedding Bell Blues/Happily Ever After," everyone is desperate to know what is in store for season 20.
After it was announced that Ellen Pompeo was leaving Grey's Anatomy after season 19 (via Parade), there was some speculation about whether the show would continue without her since her story and life were at the heart of the medical drama. However, these issues were resolved quickly by March 24, 2023, when ABC officially renewed Grey's Anatomy for season 20 (via Variety).
While season 20 will likely see new actors added to the Grey's Anatomy cast, the series will also be changing behind-the-scenes as well since Krista Vernoff announced she was stepping down as Grey's Anatomy's head showrunner. Taking over her role is Meg Marinis, who has been part of the crew for many years, helping with producing, research, and editing. She has also written a few episodes herself, including season 6, episode 20 "Hook Line and Sinker" and season 10, episode 21, "Change of Heart"
With the season 19 finale of Grey's Anatomy aired on May 18th, 2023, there will be a long time till season 20 will premiere. However, based on when the other seasons were released, it's likely that season 20 will premiere in Fall 2023 (around late September/early October).
After Ellen Pompeo announced her departure from Grey's Anatomy (which resulted in her character moving to Boston to find a cure for Alzheimer's), fans also had to goodbye to another favorite character as Kelly McCreary announced that she was leaving the show after season 19 as well. After playing the talented cardiothoracic surgeon for nine years, McCreary decided to leave the hospital drama behind her in to pursue other opportunities (via Deadline). However, that doesn't mean that her character can't return as the writers did leave the door open for her to come back if she wished.
While Kate Walsh returned in season 19 for a brief stint, it does look like she may have also left again since there aren't any more storylines for her. However, like McCreary, that doesn't mean she won't ever appear in any more episodes. It'll likely depend on Walsh's schedule and the writers' plans.
Immediately after the season 19 finale ended, there were reports about how several longtime Grey's Anatomy cast members were returning for season 20. So far, Chandra Wilson (who plays Miranda Bailey), James Pickens Jr. (Richard Webber), Camilla Luddington (Jo Wilson), Kevin McKidd (Owen Hunt), and Caterina Scorsone (Amelia Shepherd) have all chosen to renew their contracts. According to TV Line, Kim Raver (Teddy Altman) is also set to appear in season 20 as well.
Although they haven't been confirmed just yet, it is likely that Harry Shum Jr. (Benson "Blue" Kwan), Adelaide Kane (Jules Millin), Niko Terho (Lucas Adams), Alexis Floyd (Simone Griffith), and Midori Francis (Mika Yasuda) will reprise their roles as Grey-Sloan Memorial's impressionable interns as they played a pivotal part in season 19 and the finale. Chris Cormack (Atticus Lincoln) and Jaicy Elliot (Taryn Helm) are also likely to return now that they have just started blossoming romances with Jo and Mika. There's a high possibility that Debby Allen will also reprise her role as Catherine Fox given how important she is to the hospital and is married to Richard.