The future of ABC's Grey's Anatomy has been in doubt ever since it was announced that Ellen Pompeo would scale back her duties on the series.
Now, Simran Sethi, ABC's Entertainment EVP of Programming and Content, is speaking out about the future in a new interview with Deadline.
“No decisions have been made at this time, but we hope to be in business with Shondaland for a really long time," the exec shared.
"And I think when you’re looking at this next season, I’m excited for this Thursday and for audiences to see this new class of interns, which does feel really reminiscent of nostalgic early Grey’s, but they’re absolutely their own characters."
As previously reported, Grey's Anatomy Season 19 will fill the void left by Meredith's exit by throwing it all the way back to the beginning of the series.
Harry Shum Jr., Adelaide Kane, Alexis Floyd, Niko Terho, and Midori Francis have landed series regular roles as the new interns.
“This is a show that is in its 19th season. It was a long time ago that we saw that first class of interns and the world has changed, the culture has changed,” Sethi said.
“And I think that Krista [Vernoff], Shonda [Rhimes] and the team at Grey’s Anatomy has done an incredible job at creating a new class of interns that speaks to 2022, but also have the same hallmarks of those early years, which is that camaraderie, the pace, the energy of all that stress that those interns have.”
Understandably, there is an element of mystery surrounding the future of the series because adding five new series regulars and losing Meredith will shake up the show like never before.
The network is probably taking a wait-and-see approach to consider whether the new characters resonate with fans in a way that will allow the show to continue.
Showrunner Krista Vernoff previously stressed the importance of new characters in an interview with EW.
"We haven't brought in a cast of five series regular interns since the beginning, so this is a big deal and it feels really exciting and it's breathing a lot of new life into the show," Vernoff shared.
"It's allowing us to get back to the early model of teaching and learning."
"To have five series regulars with the talent and chops and resumes that this group brings allows for storytelling focused on what it is to be a brand new surgeon again and how everything feels life and death and every mistake that you make could kill someone," the showrunner continues.
"And it just felt like the right moment."
"Ellen [Pompeo] is having less of a role in the show this year, and this felt like the right moment to come at it fresh with a bunch [of new characters]."
What are your thoughts on the show forging ahead without Meredith as a regular?
Hit the comments below.
Grey's Anatomy returns Thursday, October 6 at 9 p.m. on ABC.
Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.