'Grey's Anatomy' Season 20 could feature Meredith Grey despite Ellen Pompeo's exit in Season 19.

Grey’s Anatomy Isn’t Dead Yet

Meredith may be gone, but the show is still clinging to life.

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ABC/Liliane Lathan

The last couple of seasons of Grey’s Anatomy have gone down to the wire before being confirmed by Shondaland and ABC. Ever since the series broke ER’s record as the longest-running primetime medical drama, the questions have come up every year: Will this finally be the show’s last run? And how much longer will star Ellen Pompeo continue as the titular Meredith Grey? With the latter question now answered, fans wondered whether Grey’s Anatomy Season 20 would actually happen, but sure enough, ABC picked up a landmark 20th season of Grey’s, ensuring the show would go on even without its main character.

Warning: Spoilers for Grey’s Anatomy Season 19 follow. Not long before Grey’s Anatomy Season 19 debuted, the bomb dropped that Pompeo would only be in a few episodes of the season as the actor takes on other projects. Combined with the premiere that felt like a soft reboot pilot featuring a new cast of interns, viewers wondered if the show was gearing up for a full Pompeo departure.

Then the series burned her house down. And Meredith said her last farewell to Grey Sloan.

With Meredith now moving to the East Coast and severing ties with Grey Sloan Memorial, the show lost its anchor midway through Season 19. However, Pompeo has hinted her exit from the series as Meredith Grey may not be final, and there are signs Season 20 could still see some Meredith appearances.

Here’s what is known so far.

Grey’s Anatomy Season 20 Renewal Updates

ABC announced Grey’s would be back for Season 20 on March 24. The news came with a shake-up, as executive producer Meg Marinis will take over as showrunner from Krista Vernoff. Vernoff announced she would be exiting the series at the end of the season earlier in 2023.

Of course, the biggest question is whether Pompeo will return as Meredith Grey. Despite her character’s exit in Season 19, Pompeo is remaining part of the show as an executive producer, and Deadline reported that there are rumblings she may be open to bringing Mer back in Season 20.

Grey’s Anatomy Season 20 Predicted Cast

ABC/Nino Muñoz

Pompeo’s exit may take up all the headlines, but two other actors on the series have also been with the show since the series debut in 2005: James Pickens Jr. as Dr. Richard Webber and Chandra Wilson as Dr. Miranda Bailey. Although nothing is confirmed, it seems likely they will keep on keeping on for Season 20.

As for the rest of the extensive Grey’s Anatomy cast, many of whom return for cameos or guest spots in several episodes at a time, it’s hard to know which of the old crew would be back for a possible Season 20. Season 19 has featured everyone from the long-awaited return of Kate Walsh as Dr. Addison Montgomery to the recently-exited Jesse Williams as Dr. Jackson Avery.

However, the current ensemble roster should be considered returning until announced otherwise. That includes Kevin McKidd as Dr. Owen Hunt, Caterina Scorsone as Dr. Amelia Shepherd, Camilla Luddington as Dr. Jo Wilson, Kelly McCreary as Dr. Maggie Pierce, Kim Raver as Dr. Teddy Altman, Jake Borelli as Dr. Levi Schmitt, Chris Carmack as Dr. Atticus “Link” Lincoln, and Anthony Hill as Dr. Winston Ndugu.


Also, the newbie roster of characters who joined this season are most likely to return since the show shifted to focus on this new generation. They include Alexis Floyd as Dr. Simone Griffith, Harry Shum Jr. as Dr. Blue Kwan, Adelaide Kane as Dr. Jules Millin, Midori Francis as Dr. Mika Yasuda, and Niko Terho as Dr. Lucas Adams.

Grey’s Anatomy Season 20 Possible Plot

Grey’s Anatomy lasted 19 seasons and can certainly go for 20, even with Pompeo’s exit, because emergency rooms are constantly churning out drama. From everyday car crashes to once-in-a-lifetime events like the 2020 lockdown, there’s no need to worry about the plot. People get injured, come down with random diseases, give birth, and pass away daily. And those who work in Grey Sloan will get up and go to work and do their best to serve episode after episode, no matter what happens in their personal lives.

Grey’s Anatomy Season 20 Trailer And Release Date Predictions

One useful thing about Grey’s Anatomy’s longevity is that ABC is consistent with it. The Season 20 trailer will likely come out the first week of September, as has always been the case with seasons past. The season itself will also almost certainly follow its typical schedule, arriving the last Thursday in September, probably with a two-part premiere, starting at 8 p.m. ET on ABC before shifting to its regular 9 p.m. ET slot the next week to accommodate Station 19’s arrival a week later.

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