There really is no end in sight for the Grey’s Anatomy franchise.
Showrunner Krista Vernoff is said to be working with creator Shonda Rhimes on some ideas for a new spinoff.
The series has already spawned spinoffs in Private Practice and Station 19, and discussions are now underway to expand the franchise some more.
"Krista and the team are really digging deep and finding out what that looks like," ABC signature president Jonnie Davis told Deadline.
“They are noodling ideas, and I can't wait to, when we land on what that is, to introduce the next phase of Grey's Anatomy.
"We will find the next version that will take it to the next 18 years. We're working on for right now, and there's no better brains to figure it out than Krista and Shonda.”
The good news is that the new iteration will not purely be made for the sake of it, with Davis stating that it is "important that not just for commerce, it has to be the right idea that meets the moment.”
"The show has just had so much appeal and people who love it already, people who are just finding it. Look, we want that show to go on for another 18 years,” he added. The announcement is somewhat surprising, especially when you consider that Grey’s Anatomy’s renewal for Season 18 came down the wire as contract negotiations threatened to derail the future of the parent series.
As things stand, Grey’s Anatomy remains ABC’s highest-rated and most-watched scripted series, notching 5.2 million total viewers and a 1.1 rating among adults 18-49 in its current season.
Like many shows, there has been some slippage year-to-year, but Grey’s Anatomy remains a beast in delayed viewing.
Spinoff Station 19 is the second most-watched and second-highest-rated scripted series on the network, so it makes sense that there would be a desire to keep the franchise alive.
Every single time we count Grey’s Anatomy out, it manages to be renewed year after year, and it’s down to the fact that fans are still very much invested in the lives of Meredith and everyone else at Grey Sloan Memorial.
The series has said goodbye to Giacomo Gianniotti, Jesse Williams, and Greg Germann in its current season.
As for what shape the next spinoff could take, we have no idea, and given that ideas are being worked on at the moment, we may not know for some time yet.
Davis called Vernoff the best showrunner in town and voiced his displeasure at the cancellation of her other ABC series, Rebel.
"There's no better showrunner in town – and a creator by the way – and we were gut-punched about Rebel," he said.
"We hoped that was going to get more time to fully find the audience, and if you're reading the blogs right now, people love that show. We're still licking our wounds on that one."
What are your thoughts on a third Grey’s Anatomy spinoff coming to fruition?
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Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.