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When Will 'Grey's Anatomy' Season 17 Return In 2021? The Winter Hiatus Is Long

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Winter is here, which means people everywhere are taking a break from the usual grind to relax. Even TV shows take a little time off in the colder months, much to fans' disappointment. Grey's Anatomy is among the shows taking a winter vacation this year, and it turns out, it's a pretty long one that'll last well into the new year. So, when will Grey's Anatomy Season 17 return in 2021? It'll be a while before fans get to spend more time with Meredith and the doctors of Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital.

The winter finale of Grey's Anatomy Season 17 aired Dec. 17 with a two-hour Station 19 crossover episode. Following that, it's a long few months until fans get to watch the next Grey's Anatomy episode. The series will return in 2021 on March 11. (Originally, it was planned to return on March 4, but the mid-season premiere was pushed back another week.)

This season of Grey's Anatomy has been tackling the coronavirus pandemic head-on. Multiple characters and their relatives have contracted COVID-19, including the center of the Grey's Anatomy universe, Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo) herself. Both the season's on-screen storylines and behind-the-scenes production have been affected by the pandemic and the show's writers have taken into account real-life world events as they've been creating this season. Since everyone is currently living through the pandemic, no one knows exactly what life will look like when Grey's Anatomy returns in March, nor how the virus might impact the show's stories.

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Chandra Wilson, who plays Dr. Miranda Bailey, talked to Variety about how this season of Grey's Anatomy is affected in a big way by current events. "I’m not sure how much the current circumstances are changing our overall arc," she said. "Our arc has had to remain very fluid this season, based on even if we’re allowed to work at a certain point, depending on how our national numbers do. The relevance grows episode-by-episode, and I think it makes for an interesting journey for our writers right now to figure out where the arc goes because I think it’s about as fluid as the times are right now."

The winter finale showed Meredith waking up from her beach-dream sleep and feeling better... until she overdid it and was put on a ventilator. Clearly, there's still a long journey ahead for everyone on Grey's Anatomy, one that will continue when Season 17 returns on March 11.

Editor's note: This post was updated on Jan. 26, 2021, to reflect the new mid-season premiere date for Grey's Anatomy.

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