Has Grey's Anatomy Been Renewed For Season 21?!

Two things in life are certain — death and taxes — but based on how long it's endured already, the existence of "Grey's Anatomy" might be a third thing. Introduced into ABC's schedule as a humble mid-season replacement in 2005, Shonda Rhimes' medical drama centers around the surgical residency of Dr. Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo) and has, throughout the years, become the longest-running medical drama in television history and catapulted its cast to stardom. (This is to say nothing of Rhimes herself, who became one of the most sought-after showrunners in Hollywood thanks to the show's overwhelming success). So will "Grey's Anatomy" really just... keep going forever?

It's not impossible, but as of this writing, the show hasn't been renewed for a 21st season just yet. Season 19 ended in the spring of 2023 and with the ongoing double strike pitting actors and writers against major studios, there's not currently any word on when Season 20 might actually air. In March of 2023, ABC officially renewed the series for a landmark 20th season, but beyond that, there's no word about another year at Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital, though it certainly seems likely that the show will continue as long as its actors and crew want to stick around. So what's the fate of "Grey's Anatomy" going forward? Is Pompeo coming back? Can the show really just keep going and going and going?

This piece was written during the 2023 WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes. To learn more about why writers and actors are currently on strike, click here for an up-to-date explainer from our Looper team.

How does the cast feel about staying on Grey's Anatomy for the long term?

So how do the show's longest-running cast members feel about "Grey's Anatomy" potentially being renewed into perpetuity? Pompeo left the show in February 2023 after 19 seasons as the show's main character, Meredith Grey, but her supporting players have carried on in her stead... and there's a whole new group of interns to liven up the proceedings. In an interview with Today that also included Caterina Scorsone and Kevin McKidd — who play Dr. Amelia Shepherd and Dr. Owen Hunt, respectively — two of the show's original actors, Chandra Wilson and James Pickens Jr., said they're in it for the long haul.

Wilson, who plays the pioneering, powerful Dr. Miranda Bailey, is definitely planning on sticking around: "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 Jr., who frequently shares the screen with Wilson as Dr. Richard Webber, her long-time colleague and mentor, agreed with her. "I might be in a wheelchair by the time they decide to call it quits," he said. "I have no idea." 

Not only that, but the actor recognizes the show's enduring popularity has to do with its presence on streaming services like Netflix and Hulu: "Now with all these platforms and stuff shows come and go after 10 episodes or a couple of seasons and then they forget them. This show, we won't forget — even with the ups and downs."