Is Grey’s Anatomy Bracing for a Mass Cast Exodus Ahead of Season 21?

Although Grey’s Anatomy will return for Season 21, which of its long-running cast members will still be scrubbing in remains a big ol’ question mark.

greys anatomy season 20 cast
greys anatomy season 20 cast

Grey’s Anatomy Season 20: Which Cast Members Are Back — and Which Aren’t

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As our sister site Deadline first reported and TVLine has confirmed, the contracts of almost all of the ABC drama’s vets expire this season. So new deals will have to be hammered out for not only OGs Chandra Wilson (Bailey) and James Pickens Jr. (Richard) but Kevin McKidd (Owen), Kim Raver (Teddy), Caterina Scorsone (Amelia) and Camilla Luddington (Jo).

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Wilson, who also serves as a co-executive producer, is almost certain to re-up. “I’m challenging myself to be there until the very last episode, the very last day, the very last scene,” she told People a year ago. Pickens, too, is likely to stick around. “They’ll probably wheel me out in a wheelchair,” he cracked to Entertainment Tonight in 2023.

The others? Mm, TBD.

McKidd and Raver, whose characters tied the knot in Season 18, are currently playing the aftermath of Teddy’s brush with death in the Season 19 finale (recapped here). Luddington’s Jo remains in the honeymoon period with old friend/new love Link (Chris Carmack). And Scorsone’s Amelia, who debuted on spinoff Private Practice in 2010, is working in secret to cure Alzheimer’s with sister-in-law Meredith (Ellen Pompeo).

Pompeo bowed out as a series regular in Season 19 but has continued to recur as well as provide each episode’s voiceovers. That is unlikely to change in Season 21 and could be a way for the powers that be to go, should one vet or another not want to commit to a full season’s work. They could also simply guest-star, as past cast members Jesse Williams (Jackson), Sarah Drew (April), Kate Walsh (Addison) and Greg Germann (Koracick) have, and Jessica Capshaw (Arizona) is about to.

greys anatomy season 16 pictures
greys anatomy season 16 pictures

As news of the series’ renewal broke, creator Shonda Rhimes marveled that “the loyalty and love of Grey’s Anatomy fans has propelled us into a historic 21st season, and I could not be more grateful. [New showrunner] Meg Marinis’ storytelling is a gift that continues to keep the show vibrant, compelling and alive, and I can’t wait to see what she has in store for next season.”

Grey’s Anatomy is the longest-running primetime medical drama in (U.S.) TV history, a milestone it reached in 2019. It also is the longest-running primetime series in ABC’s history.

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