Grey's Anatomy has somehow been able to capture audiences' attention since 2011. Now, as Season 16 airs on ABC, some may wonder just how much longer the show can keep up the gripping storylines. Fans already know the doctor has ordered a Season 17, but thinking more short-term, how many episodes will Grey's Anatomy Season 16 have?
While ABC hasn't officially announced the number of episodes in Season 16 of Grey's, a bit of research can provide a starting point for a good guess. Since 12 of the 15 seasons completed thus far received 24 or 25 episodes in total, it's very likely Season 16 will do the same. The show's renewal for a Season 17 also makes it seem like the medial drama isn't losing popular appeal, which also provides evidence Season 16 will be as long as the others. The only seasons that have aired fewer than 24 episodes are Season 1 (9 episodes), Season 4 (17 episodes) and Season 7 (22 episodes). Meaning Grey's has stuck with the 24-25 episode season since 2011.
With such lengthy seasons under its belt, Grey's hit its whopping 350th episode mark in November 2019, and with at least one and a half more seasons to go, the show could approach 400 by the end of 2021.
But how many episodes will the show rack up before it leaves TV for good? According to creator Shonda Rhimes, she'll keep making Grey's for as long as Ellen Pompeo wants to keep acting in it. “Ellen and I have a pact that I’m going to do the show as long as she’s going to do the show. So the show will exist as long as both of us want to do it. If she wants to stop, we’re stopping. So I don’t know if we’ll see 600, but I want to keep it feeling fresh,” Rhimes told E! News.
Even ABC's entertainment chief, Karey Burke, is on board with Pompeo and Rhimes deciding the fate of the show. "It will be up to them whether or not they want to continue the show,” Burke said, according to Deadline, adding: “I hope I’m watching with my grandchildren.”
Season 16 of Grey's Anatomy continues on Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET on ABC.