It looks like this could be the season where everyone hangs up their scrubs for good!
On March 27th, 2005, Meredith Grey walked into the OR at Seattle Grace hospital with other surgical interns for the first time. Now, fifteen years later, as we wait for the 17th season's release, Ellen Pompeo dropped a rather heartbreaking hint, stating that this season might witness everyone hanging up their scrubs for good. According to Us Weekly, Pompeo, who has been portraying the character of Meredith Grey for so long, said that there is a possibility that the show might wrap up after season 17. “We don’t know when the show is really ending yet. But the truth is, this year could be it,” the actress, 50, told Variety during an interview.
Ellen Pompeo Says Season 17 of Grey’s Anatomy May Be the Last: ‘This Year Could Be It’ https://t.co/CUwSsDkf84— People (@people) October 28, 2020
“I’m constantly fighting for the show as a whole to be as good as it can be. As a producer, I feel like I have permission to be able to do that. 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,” she added. Grey's Anatomy has made its way into the hearts of audiences all over the world with their relevant topics and strong characters. Pompeo, who knows of the impact of her quote, said, “There’s your sound bite!” with a laugh during the interview. “There’s your clickbait. ABC’s on the phone!” The show's creator Shonda Rhimes has, meanwhile, said that she is willing to end the show whenever Pompeo wants it to end.
“I don’t take the decision lightly. We employ a lot of people, and we have a huge platform. And I’m very grateful for it. You know, I’m just weighing out creatively what can we do,” the producer told Variety. “I’m really, really, really excited about this season. It’s probably going to be one of our best seasons ever. And I know that sounds nuts to say, but it’s really true.” Pompeo also teased fans with a small teaser as to what to expect in season 17. “I’ll say the pilot episode to this season — girl, hold on,” the Life of the Party actress said. “What nobody thinks we can continue to do, we have done. Hold on. That’s all we’re going to say about that!”
This year could be the year that a giant asteroid hits Seattle Grace Hospital, encapsulating only the OR and incinerating everything else it touches, which causes the team to perform simultaneous open heart and brain surgery while traveling through the galaxy at light speed.— Dr. Sucio🗯 (@Uhhboy) October 28, 2020
The latest season is set to revolve around how the doctors at Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital will tackle the coronavirus pandemic. However, this was not in the original plan, producer Krista Vernoff revealed. Originally, they thought of not including the pandemic because they wanted the show to be an escape from reality. “[The writers] really convinced me that it would be irresponsible to not [cover it],” she told The Hollywood Reporter at the time. “To be kind of the biggest medical show and ignore the biggest medical story of the century felt irresponsible to them to the medical community. These doctors are traumatized. They are not trained or wired to hold the hands of dying people all day who are alone without their families.”
As we reported earlier, during an interview with the Television Academy, Vernoff had revealed that the medical drama was definitely going to address the global coronavirus crisis in season 17. During the "Quaranstreaming: Comfort TV That Keeps Us Going" panel, which Vernoff attended along with Grey's stars Chandra Wilson (Dr. Miranda Bailey) and Kevin McKidd (Dr. Owen Hunt), she mentioned how the writers of the show have already been meeting doctors who have the first-hand experience of the ongoing pandemic.
"Every year, we have doctors come and tell us their stories, and usually they’re telling their funniest or craziest stories," Vernoff explains, adding that this is how the framework of the writing process is. Every year, they listen to doctors and their stories, but this year, it was different for them all. "It has felt more like therapy," she said in the panel interview. "The doctors come in and we’re the first people they’re talking to about these types of experiences they’re having. They are literally shaking and trying not to cry, they’re pale, and they’re talking about it as war — a war that they were not trained for."
"That’s been one of our big conversations about Owen [Hunt], is that he’s actually trained for this in a way that most of the other doctors aren’t," she teases of a storyline they would likely pursue. Vernoff then added that while it was extremely difficult for her and the others to listen to these stories, it is imperative that they tackle this during the show. "I feel like our show has an opportunity and a responsibility to tell some of those stories," she said, according to USA Today. "Our conversations have been constantly about how do we keep alive humor and romance while we tell these really painful stories."