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When Does 'Grey's Anatomy' Season 16 Return? It's Getting A New Time Slot

The mid-season finale of Grey's Anatomy Season 16 aired Nov. 21, leaving fans in major suspense over the holiday season. Luckily, though, viewers won't have to wait too long to find out what happens after the episode's multiple cliffhangers. Grey's Anatomy Season 16 will return to screens in early 2020, and with the new year comes at least one big change: The beloved medical drama is getting a new time slot.

When Grey's returns on Jan. 23, 2020, viewers will need to tune in an hour later than they're used to because the series is moving from ABC's 8 p.m. ET slot to its 9 p.m. one. For viewers confused by the time change, there are a few possible explanations. First of all, it presents an opportunity for the show to explore new, more risqué plot points. “There are different rules for a 9 p.m. show than there are for an 8 p.m. show, and we hope to take advantage of those rules,” showrunner Krista Vernoff said to Deadline. Specifically, the later the time slot, the more steamy the show is allowed to be. For viewers wanting to see Grey's Anatomy characters in a few more sexy scenes, this time change could be good news for you.

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Originally, Grey's held ABC's 10 p.m. ET time slot for its first two seasons; it moved to 9 p.m. in Season 3 and then 8 p.m. in Season 11. So, if you've noticed a difference in steam-factor between early and more recent seasons, that could be why.

The time change also makes room for the latest season of the Grey's Anatomy spinoff show Station 19. The firefighter drama previously occupied ABC's 9 p.m. slot, but is swapping places with the medical juggernaut this time around.

Both shows' returns on Jan. 23 will be marked by a two-hour crossover, with the Season 3 premiere of Station 19 leading directly into the Season 16 mid-season resumption of Grey's. And if you tuned in to the Grey's Nov. 21 mid-season finale, you know the new episode will be a big one. Check out the crossover's teaser for further proof:

Season 16 of Grey's Anatomy will return to ABC on Jan. 23 in a two-hour crossover event starting at 8 p.m. ET.