The doctors are in — and they’re staying put for another year.
In the wake of Grey’s Anatomy leading lady Ellen Pompeo inking a new contract to continue playing Meredith Grey for at least another year, ABC has renewed the top-rated medical drama for an 18th season (sans longtime cast member Jesse Williams). Additionally, the network on Monday announced a renewal for sibling series Station 19, which will return this fall for its fifth season. Showrunner Krista Vernoff, meanwhile, will remain at the helm of both shows.
Grey’s continues to reign as ABC’s highest rated and most watched scripted series, averaging a 1.1 demo rating and 5.3 million weekly viewers (in Live+Same Day numbers). Station 19 ranks No. 2 in both measures.
Last fall, Pompeo — whose contract was set to expire this summer — added fuel to the “Is Grey’s nearing the finish line?!” fire when she said the show’s current 17th season “very well could” be the end, adding, “We don’t know when the show is really ending yet. But the truth is, this year could be it. I mean, this is the last year of my contract right now… I don’t know that this is the last year? But it could very well could be.”
It was in May 2019 that Pompeo inked her current headline-making contract that reportedly paid her north of $550,000 per episode. The actress reportedly received another significant salary increase for Season 18. Our sister pub THR also reports that fellow OG cast members Chandra Wilson and James Pickens Jr. have closed lucrative new deals for Season 18.
“The writers, directors, casts and crews of Grey’s Anatomy and Station 19 worked so hard to bring these shows to life this past season,” said Vernoff in a statement. “Keeping each other safe on set while paying tribute to the front-line heroes and first responders has been a challenge and a privilege. I’ve been truly blown away — particularly by our tireless crews — as they reinvented the TV-making wheel. Thank you to ABC and ABC Signature for the support and extraordinary partnership through this unprecedented season. We are so grateful for the opportunity to tell more stories.”
Added Craig Erwich, president of ABC Entertainment: “Station 19 and Grey’s Anatomy have done an incredible job of honoring real-life heroes by giving audiences an unflinching look at one of the biggest medical stories of our time. Krista and her team of writers have continued to deliver the compelling and compassionate storytelling that is a hallmark of these shows, and created some of the year’s most-talked-about moments in television. We’re so grateful to our talented casts and crews for their extraordinary work that connects with viewers everywhere, and we look forward to sharing even more defining moments with our fans next season.”
TVLine’s 2021 Renewal Scorecard has been updated to reflect the pickups for Grey’s and Station 19.