Tonight (November 9) marks the 300th episode of “Grey’s Anatomy.” That’s amazing. Showrunner Shonda Rhimes talked to The Hollywood Reporter about the future of the series, which is currently in its 14th season.
One thing keeping the show alive is Netflix. Disney-ABC Television Group president Ben Sherwood said two million people watch the “Grey’s Anatomy” pilot on Netflix every month. Rhimes told THR, “The beauty of Netflix is it continues to make new audiences for us. Our fans can give birth to our fans. Grey’s has this universal, global thing to it. It works all over the world.”
And that’s why The End isn’t really in sight at this point.
Here’s part of her THR Q&A:
THR: Do you have an ultimate goal of what the end of Grey’s Anatomy is? Is that something you think about?
RHIMES: No, not anymore. When we realized that Netflix was reinfusing the show with a whole new audience and that it didn’t seem to be going anywhere — and the ratings were going up and not down — that’s when I had to get really Zen with myself and say, “What do we want? How do I feel about this?” It’s been maddening and amazing to discover that you can reinvent it every year and it still works. I heard Ben Sherwood said something about [Grey’s running for 40 years like] General Hospital. That’s not the plan. But the idea that we are going to go until it feels like we’re done is great.
Will that decision ultimately be yours to make?
RHIMES: Yes. I don’t know why the end of Grey’s wouldn’t be my decision. Who would close the chocolate factory but me?
True. However, it sounds like stars Ellen Pompeo also has a strong voice on the subject. Here’s another part of the Q&A:
Does Grey’s Anatomy exist without Ellen?
RHIMES: Not as far as I’m concerned.
Have there been any talks about how much longer Ellen is interested in doing the show?
RHIMES: No comment.
Pompeo — who turns 48 this Friday, Nov. 10 — has a lot of influence on the show that bears her character’s name. Last year, she said her decision to stay on “Grey’s” was based on her age and figuring it would be hard for her to find other roles as she aged into her 40s. So her contract must be a big consideration going forward, along with Rhimes’ plan, the overall audience/ratings, and their ability to keep stories fresh.
This year, Krista Vernoff was brought back as co-showrunner, bringing with her a lighter more old school tone. Since she’s there to hold down the fort, even Shonda’s new Netflix deal doesn’t seem like foreshadowing of The End for “Greys.” The show can go on. And, yes, they can still reinvent the show or recycle the same plots and we’ll still tune in. We love Mer. We love Alex. We love the newbies. We even love to complain about what we don’t love.
“Grey’s Anatomy” Season 14 is airing Thursdays at 8 p.m. on ABC.
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