Shonda Rhimes Teases the Future of Grey’s Anatomy

Grey’s Anatomy creator Shonda Rhimes exclusively told E! News that she sees the hit ABC series—which is in it's 19th season—lasting for a very long time: "The world really belongs to the fans."

By Alexandra Bellusci May 09, 2023 12:27 AMTags
Watch: Shonda Rhimes Reveals SHOCKING Method Behind Her Creative Process

Grey's Anatomy isn't flatlining anytime soon.

The longtime medical drama's creator, Shonda Rhimes, recently revealed the future of the hit ABC show, crediting the fandom for always scrubbing into the show season after season.

"I might be a very old lady by the time we reach it's last season because it doesn't seem to be stopping," the screenwriter exclusively told E! News' Francesca Amiker, "which is wonderful and I feel the world really belongs to the fans and the fans have been really clear about what they want."

Shonda added that when it comes to the series—which is currently in its 19th season—she's following the golden rule of: If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

"It's such an amazing show and it's doing so well as it's moving forward," the 53-year-old explained. "I'm going to leaver it alone and see where it goes, and we're going to stay a show as long as everybody wants to be there and as long as the fans want to be there."

Grey's Anatomy: Epic Romances

As for how Shonda felt saying goodbye to Ellen Pompeo, who departed from the show in Feb. 2023 after eighteen years? As she put it, "Having Ellen leave was heartbreaking for everybody, but also knowing that she could come back anytime was also important for me."

Shonda noted that she wanted to "make sure everybody understood that the door's always open—for any of our past characters" by leaving Meredith Grey's exit open-ended.

"Ellen's an amazing person and she and I have been having conversations the whole time, discussing when it was time and what it was feeling like," Shonda said of the actress' departure. "We've always been having those discussions because I've always wanted her to be excited and invested and enjoying herself as much as she was at the beginning."

The Queen Charlotte showrunner added that it was time for Meredith to move on so that Ellen can "explore new creative things."

"It was a little of a heartbreaking moment, but it was also a moment—for me—that she's not gone because she's coming back," she said. "I don't think of her as gone from the show, she's still doing the voiceovers, she's still there."

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But Grey's Anatomy isn't the only fan-favorite show up Shonda's sleeve. After the success of Bridgerton, the Netflix series got the spinoff treatment with a prequel titled Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story.

"For me, Queen Charlotte was a fan favorite of mine from the moment we saw her in that first episode where the young ladies are presenting themselves to the Queen," she told E! News. "Even that first image of her on the throne, with all the ladies in waiting and that sense of power and glory and divaness was really interesting to me and I began to really wonder, 'How did she get this way?'"

Shonda also shared insight into her creative process when it comes to creating television gold. "I act out loud with the tears and the drama every scene as I'm writing it," she confessed. "I know it's weird but it works. People in my office often think, 'What's going on in there?' But it's important to my process."

Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story is now out on Netflix.

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