Appearing on the cover story of Variety‘s Power Of Women issue, Elen Pompeo, best known for her role as Meredith Grey, hinted that both the casts and series producers expect ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy ending this year. Pompeo was joined by showrunner Krista Vernoff and director Debbie Allen in discussing the television drama’s legacy.

With the premiere of the show’s seventeenth season on the horizon, Pompeo discussed the show’s groundbreaking legacy of being the longest-running medical drama, having first aired in 2005. “We don’t know when the show is really ending yet. But the truth is, this year could be it,” she said. “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 we can do. 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 true.”

Being with the show from its inception, and through two showrunners, with Vernoff only coming onboard on season 14, Pompeo reflected on the impact the show has had on popular culture. Many of the viewers who watched the show from its 20 million view height were adolescents who had grown up seeing their favorite characters tackling plots they drove. Far from the average medical procedural, the show was clearly ahead of its time with its diverse cast and portrayal of feminine sexuality. Vernoff said, “I was like, ‘Oh, we thought we were making a sweet little medical show — and we’re making a revolution.'”

Season 17 will premiere on November 12 and is set to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic.

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