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‘Grey’s Anatomy’: Shonda Rhimes Has Mixed Feelings About

‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Creator Shonda Rhimes Has Mixed Feelings About the Medical Drama’s Legacy
Grey’s Anatomy is currently in the midst of its eighteenth season on air, so it goes without saying that ABC’s medical drama has left its mark. Fans have been tuning in to watch Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo) and her colleagues since the series premiered back in 2005. Many are just as passionate as ever about the show, and that alone is impressive. But when it comes to Grey’s Anatomy‘s legacy, series creator Shonda Rhimes has mixed feelings.

Shonda Rhimes knows what she’d like ‘Grey’s Anatomy’s impact to be

There’s no denying Grey’s Anatomy has had a positive impact on television, as well as the world off-screen. The show’s depiction of the medical community has undoubtedly sparked more interest in the field, even if it can be a little unrealistic at times.

Fans have even told Rhimes that Grey’s is responsible for their career decisions. And during an interview for Variety’s Show Woman of the Year issue, Rhimes admitted she’d like the show’s legacy to be all the people it got interested in medicine:

Those are certainly powerful things to hear from the fanbase. They also prove storytelling affects more than just the characters on-screen. But although Rhimes wants to think of that as Grey’s Anatomy‘s legacy, she believes its impact might be something else.

While Rhimes wants to believe Grey’s Anatomy’s biggest impact involves the medical community, she admitted that’s probably not the case. Rhimes believes its legacy will probably be something a bit different. She told Variety that the show normalized seeing more actors of color on the small screen:

Grey’s Anatomy is well known for having a diverse cast. And Rhimes could be right that it paved the way for other series to follow suit. Although that’s a positive effect to have on the industry, it’s understandable Rhimes might feel bittersweet about it. After all, television shouldn’t have needed Grey’s Anatomy to pave the way in terms of diversity. That should have been a given.

As for whether or not Grey’s Anatomy still has time to cement its legacy, that’s anyone’s guess. Season 18 of the medical drama is chugging along without an ending in sight. And though fans have wondered for years when Rhimes and Pompeo would decide to wrap things up, they’ve yet to receive a clear answer.

With Rhimes no longer serving as showrunner, it’s unclear how much say she’ll have in the show’s ending. Since her production company, Shondaland, still produces the show, she’ll likely dictate when it ends. How is another story.

With no news of Grey’s Anatomy Season 18 being the last, hopefully, fans won’t need to worry about that just yet. New episodes of Grey’s air on Thursdays on ABC

‘Grey’s Anatomy’: Shonda Rhimes Has Written the Ending ‘a Good 8 Times,’ But It’s Still Up in the Air

Grey’s Anatomy is currently in the midst of its eighteenth season, and fans have spent years wondering when the ABC medical drama might end. Of course, when isn’t the only question on their minds; many are equally as curious to see how the show will wrap things up. They aren’t the only ones asking that question either. Although she’s gone through a number of possible endings, even Grey’s Anatomy creator Shonda Rhimes isn’t certain how the series will conclude.

According to Shonda Rhimes, ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ will end when Ellen Pompeo leaves

Grey’s fans often wonder if the next season will be the last, but so far, both ABC and Rhimes have yet to offer insight on whether or not they have a certain timeline in mind. In fact, they seem happy to keep cranking out episodes so long as there are new stories to tell. Craig Erwich, President of ABC Entertainment and Hulu Originals, told Deadline that the network plans to hang onto the series as long as possible:

“Grey’s Anatomy continues to be a ratings juggernaut,” Erwich said at the time. “The fans loved this season. I thought Grey’s Anatomy did a really incredible job this year telling the stories of all the frontline heroes who are fighting the good fight (ageist) Covid. We will take Grey’s Anatomy for as long as we can.”

On the topic of Grey’s Anatomy ending, Rhimes once said she and Pompeo would decide when the time was right. During a conversation with E! News, she revealed that the series ends when Pompeo leaves:

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.”

Of course, Rhimes has already stepped back from actually overseeing the show. In 2017, she passed the reins to showrunner Krista Vernoff before pursuing a deal with Netflix. Her production company, Shondaland, is still behind the ABC series, so she’ll likely have some input regarding when it ends. With Pompeo playing such a big role, though, it seems like it’s largely up to her.

Shonda Rhimes is still unsure about the show’s ending

Pompeo hasn’t said anything about leaving Grey’s just yet, but the actor behind Meredith Grey did open up about foregoing acting once she’s done. Does that mean she’s considering leaving? As of this writing, no official announcement has been made. And it doesn’t seem like the creators behind Grey’s Anatomy have a plan for how the show will end yet either.

During an interview with Variety, Rhimes admitted she’s written numerous endings for Grey’s Anatomy — except they never actually wind up being the end:

Could ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ be ending soon?

Judging by how much remains up in the air, Grey’s Anatomy doesn’t seem likely to end with season 18. After all, the show is already working its way through its current outing. And it seems like the network would make a bigger deal about bidding farewell to Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital and all the doctors fans have grown so attached to.

That said, ABC hasn’t officially renewed the series for season 19 either — and Pompeo’s words do raise questions about how long she plans to stick around. For now, we’ll have to wait and see what the future holds for Grey’s. At least the writers will have more time to map out an ending in the meantime.

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