Grey’s Anatomy Season 20: Premiere date, Ellen Pompeo’s return, and more

Meredith in the Grey's Anatomy Season 20 trailer.
Meredith is back, but for how long? Pic credit: ABC

It’s hard to believe Grey’s Anatomy has been on the air for almost 20 years.

As a midseason replacement back in 2005, the show wasn’t expected to break out in the way it has done.

Despite big casting shake-ups, it remains one of ABC’s most popular dramas and will likely be on the air for countless more years.

With Grey’s Anatomy Season 20 just around the corner, it’s time to take a look at everything we know about the milestone season.

We even have an update on Ellen Pompeo’s return as Meredith Grey.

Get all the details below.

Grey’s Anatomy Season 20: when will it premiere?

The medical drama will return from an extended hiatus on Thursday, March 14, at 9/8c.

Unlike previous years, it will air out of 9-1-1, which is moving from FOX.

The first responders drama’s arrival on ABC has found Station 19 banished to 10/9c for its last-ever episodes.

It will be interesting to see how Thursdays will look with the three powerhouse dramas going up against the Law & Order trifecta on NBC.

How many episodes have been ordered for Grey’s Anatomy Season 20?

Grey’s Anatomy Season 20 will clock in at just 10 episodes, marking the smallest season for the show since 2005.

The news isn’t a sign that the show is headed for a conclusion.

There wasn’t enough time to craft a more significant season, thanks to the dual Hollywood strikes.

But hey, at least we’re getting some episodes.

The most exciting part will be how the creatives craft the storylines for such a big cast with so few episodes.

It won’t be an easy task, but it may be one of the best seasons in narrative structure.

A fast-paced season after years of meandering storylines could be just what the — forgive the pun — doctor ordered to get the show back on the right track.

Is Ellen Pompeo returning for Grey’s Anatomy Season 20?

After exiting as a series regular in 2023, there were some big questions about whether Ellen Pompeo would ever return as Meredith Grey again.

Thankfully, Pompeo will be back as a recurring player for Grey’s Anatomy Season 20.

An exact episode count hasn’t been determined, but as with Grey’s Anatomy Season 19, she’ll continue to narrate every single episode.

It would be strange to change that, but the hope is that Meredith will never be too far from the action.

She’s embarking on this new phase of her career in Boston, but that doesn’t mean she won’t be back in Seattle to nurture the connections she’s built over the years.

If anything, it’s interesting that the writers are giving her less somber material to work with.

Who else is returning for Grey’s Anatomy Season 20?

For a show to go as long as Grey’s Anatomy, it’s a miracle that some original series regulars are left in the mix.

Chandra Wilson and James Pickens, Jr. will return as Miranda Bailey and Richard Webber, respectively.

Additional cast members include Kevin McKidd as Owen Hunt, Caterina Scorsone as Amelia Shepherd, Camilla Luddington as Jo Wilson, Kim Raver as Teddy Altman, Jake Borelli as Levi Schmitt, and Chris Carmack as Dr. Atticus Lincoln.

The main cast is rounded out by Anthony Hill as Winston Ndugu, Alexis Floyd as Simone Griffith, Harry Shum Jr. as Blue Kwan, Adelaide Kane as Jules Millin, Midori Francis as Mika Yasuda, and Niko Terho as Lucas Adams.

The recurring players for Grey’s Anatomy Season 20 include Pompeo, Debbie Allen as Catherine Fox, Alex Landi as Nico Kim, Jaicy Elliot as Taryn Helm, and Scott Speedman as Nick Marsh.

It wouldn’t be Grey’s Anatomy without some surprise returns, so don’t rule out some more familiar faces scrubbing back in for more drama.

Grey’s Anatomy Season 20 plot: What’s about to go down?

There’s never a dull moment at Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital, as evidenced by the first promo released by ABC.

In it, we see Meredith back in Seattle and questioning her next move while Bailey clues her about some issues with the interns.

We then cut to the complicated dynamic between them as Nick returns and asks which one of them he’s firing.

Are there layoffs coming to the hospital? It’s unclear, but the more likely scenario is that one of the interns has done something that throws the whole program into question again.

We also see Richard questioning whether to pick up the drink we saw him order at the end of Grey’s Anatomy Season 19.

One of the most intense moments comes in the form of Teddy collapsing while performing an important medical procedure.

What could be wrong with her? We have no idea, but we’re sure it’ll be dramatic because this is Grey’s Anatomy.

Will Grey’s Anatomy Season 20 be the final season?

With ABC canceling Station 19 and The Good Doctor after their upcoming seasons, there have been concerns that a similar fate could await Grey’s Anatomy.

However, given that the show is filming the final episodes of its current season, it’s hard to imagine ABC letting it go without a pre-planned series ender befitting of such a long-running show.

As always, we’ll keep you updated on that.

Grey’s Anatomy Season 20 premieres on Thursday, March 14 at 9/8c on ABC.

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