We are hope you are sitting down for this, television viewers.
The day that we never thought would ever arrive may actually be here a lot sooner than we previously believed.
And we’re not sure if we’re gonna be able to handle it.
In a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Grey’s Anatomy executive producer and showrunner Krista Vernoff revealed the long-running ABC drama may come to an end — this spring!
To be clear, no decision has been made… Vernoff is busy plotting out two finales: one for the season, and one for the series as a whole.
“I’m planning a season and a finale that could function as either a season finale or a series finale,” she explained.
“I’m planning for both contingencies and it’s hard and it’s not ideal. It’s not where I wish we were.”
As has been the case for nearly every broadcast network show, Grey’s Anatomy started its production far later than usual in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
It then leaned into this deadly virus probably more so than any other series on TV, considering it actually gave its lead character the disease.
With Meredith in a coma as a result of COVID-19, the program than stunned pretty much every American by bringing back Patrick Dempsey in the role of Derek Shepherd… via a lovely and unexpected dream sequence.
We’re still stunned this happened.
For her part, Grey’s Anatomy creator Shonda Rhimes has said forever now that the show would end when actress Ellen Pompeo no longer wants to do it.
The star’s latest two-year contract expires this year, which is yet another reason why there may not be a Season 18.
ABC has not yet announced a renewal, but ratings remain fairly strong (the series remains this network’s most-watched scripted show) and it’s safe to assume the network would welcome its Thursday night anchor in 2022.
If all involved with the show are up for it, that is.
Vernoff says she has stories in place for a farewell and for renewal — she just wants to know which it will be before cameras start rolling.
“I’ve told [ABC] that I have to know before I’m making the finale what we’re making,” she told The Hollywood Reporter.
“Because there are a couple of character threads that will change. I’ve got plans for both contingencies.
“Either there will be closure or I will build something in that allows me to have a bit of a cliffhanger and a thread for next season.”
If this is it for Grey’s Anatomy, Vernoff says fans shouldn’t expect a spinoff.
“We are on fumes. I don’t really have creative space for imaginings of what might happen next year; I’m trying to get through this season,” she admits.
“Once I know if this is the final season or not, I can start to try to imagine other things.
“But trying to simultaneously plan for the end of the series and the end of the season — if it’s not the end of the series — it’s like breaking two shows. That’s what I’ve got bandwidth for.
“That, Station 19 and Rebel. That’s enough.”