Grey's Anatomy has been on the air for 15 seasons and counting, tying the record with the original long-lived hospital drama, E.R. When a show has reached this kind of longevity, and still routinely makes the Top 10 Most Watched Shows every week, some leniency begins to apply. For instance, the show doesn't have to start airing until the end of September, can leave before Thanksgiving, and doesn't need to mosey on back until it's nearly February. This is the kind of leisurely schedule Grey Anatomy follows. So when does Grey's Anatomy return in 2019?
At this point, all Shondaland shows follow the Grey's Anatomy model, since it's the flagship series anchoring the 8 p.m. ET hour on ABC's Thursday night block. So even though Station 19 didn't start airing until a week after Grey's Anatomy this past fall, it ended before Thanksgiving along with everything else. The assumption is when Grey's Anatomy returns for 2019, all three shows, including How To Get Away With Murder, will premiere as a block.
But here's the problem: At this point, all fans have are theories about when the show will return. It's possible that the premiere date for 2019 is so far away, ABC hasn't bothered to announce it yet. The trailer for the show's return has no information whatsoever for fans to glean when the show comes back. (And no spoilers either.)
Last year, all three shows in the Shondaland block (including the now-ended Scandal) returned on Thursday, Jan. 18, 2018. The announcement confirming the return date arrived on Jan. 3, just as soon as the New Year's holiday was firmly over.
It's a good guess ABC will follow the same schedule for announcing the return of Shondaland this year. If it does, viewers can expect to find out when the show officially returns during the first week of January. If the show comes back in the same spot as it did last year, fans can expect it to arrive on Thursday, Jan. 17, 2019. The worse-case scenario is for ABC to wait an extra week, and the shows all come back on Jan. 24, 2019, instead.
The big question is if Station 19 will be held over again by a week. Unlike Grey's Anatomy and How To Get Away With Murder, it only has 22 episodes in the season order. (The other two have 24.) My personal theory is Station 19 will return with everyone else, especially since the storyline both Grey's Anatomy and Station 19 ended on were in sync with each other during a huge disastrous windstorm.
If so, this would put Station 19 on track to end a week earlier than the other two series, affording Grey's Anatomy the space to do a two-hour finale for Season 15 during the May sweeps period, followed by a one-hour season finale for How To Get Away With Murder.
Unfortunately, until then, fans will just have to daydream about what's going down in not one, but three stalled elevators in Grey Sloan, as the wind finally knocks out the hospital's power. The wait continues...