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Ellen Pompeo as Meredith Grey in Grey's Anatomy Season 18

You're Gonna Have To Wait A While To See The Next Grey's Anatomy Episode

It's going to be agonizing.

ABC/Eric McCandless

After Grey’s Anatomy Season 17 was beset by filming delays, shutdowns, and long stretches without episodes, fans were deeply relieved when the show turned up on time for Season 18. That there was a Season 18 at all was a relief — behind-the-scenes issues kept the renewal from being a done deal for months. But the show still has a few hiatuses to contend with this season. Here’s why Grey’s Anatomy isn’t airing on Oct. 28 or Nov. 4, 2021.

This isn’t the first time Grey’s Anatomy has taken an October break. Since the show’s second season (its first to debut in September), it has taken a mid-fall hiatus a handful of times. But usually, this involved skipping the second Thursday in October for various ABC-related programming reasons. Also, up until now, it’s only been a one-week break.

For the show to take not one, but two weeks off after airing only four episodes so far this season is an unusual step. But not to worry: The break does not seem to be due to an issue with Grey’s filming or any additional Hollywood shutdowns. Like those other breaks, Grey’s Anatomy appears to be taking time off simply because ABC has other programming lined up.

The Oct. 28 break comes right before the Halloween holiday, and this year, ABC’s parent company Disney has been going all out on spooky szn. Not only is there a Disney+ Halloween lineup and a Freeform 31 Days of Halloween movie fest, but ABC will bring back Toy Story Of Terror at 8 p.m. ET on Thursday, followed by the broadcast debut of Toy Story 4 at 8:30. With Pixar gearing up for Lightyear’s arrival in theaters next year, this is almost certain to help promote the upcoming film as well as celebrate Halloween.

And on the Nov. 4 break, ABC is celebrating Queens of all stripes. The 8 p.m. ET hour will be dedicated to The Queen Family Singalong, honoring the music of the late Freddie Mercury and marking the band’s 50th anniversary. That will be followed by ABC’s new hit show Queens, the Brandy-led musical drama, which will air two episodes back to back starting at 9 p.m. ET.

But Grey’s Anatomy fans can take heart, as once both those celebrations have passed, it will be back to your regularly scheduled programming. Grey’s Anatomy Season 18 will return with Episode 5 on Thursday, Nov. 11, 2021, at 8 p.m. ET, followed by a new episode of Station 19.