Few shows on television today have as loyal a fan base as Grey’s Anatomy. The medical drama is entering its 17th season, and it’s still one of the most-watched series on ABC.
Although fans love the show, they sometimes criticize the lack of realism in the way the hospital is run. No television drama is entirely true-to-life, but the fans feel that Grey’s Anatomy could stand to pay a little more attention to some characteristics that would make it more believable.
Is ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ the most popular medical series of all time?
In 2019, Grey’s Anatomy made history by surpassing ER as the longest-running medical drama on prime-time television, according to Vulture. ER aired 331 episodes during its 15 season run–the 332nd episode of Grey’s Anatomy aired on February 28, 2019.
When that episode aired, the series was still ABC’s most popular show among viewers under the age of 50.
The iconic medical drama isn’t just an ABC hit–in, 2019, it was the second most popular series on all of prime-time television, coming in right after NBC’s This Is Us.
When ER was in its 15th season, it was ranked at No. 12 among prime-time shows. So while ER lasted for a long time, it wasn’t nearly as popular as Grey’s Anatomy.
Where are all the other doctors at Grey Sloan?
A recent Reddit thread asks an interesting question–where are all the other doctors at Grey Sloan Memorial? Sure, we see the main cast all the time, but it’s a bit odd that we rarely see any of the other hospital employees. Aside from a few episodes where a lecture is taking place, the busy Seattle hospital seems to be pretty sparsely staffed.
Of course, we shouldn’t really expect a medical drama to be very true-to-life. In addition to the lack of doctors, Redditors are annoyed with other unrealistic parts of the show.
Like the fact that surgical interns are working in the free clinic and surgeons are interacting with patients so much. “Of course, when the show decided that the chief surgical resident runs the ER for some reason, we never see an ER doctor again. But what’s even worse is when they staff the free clinic with surgical interns for some reason.”
Some fans defend these weak spots in the plot with the fact that it’s a teaching hospital, so the interns should be all over the place. However, most feel that after the first season, the series stopped worrying about realistic settings–“Yeah I can concede this. At some point they just stopped even trying to be somewhat realistic.”
Is season 17 the end of ‘Grey’s Anatomy’?
In 2017, per CNN, Grey’s Anatomy creator Shonda Rhimes said the series will run as long as Ellen Pompeo is willing to play Meredith Grey. Once she’s done, the show will likely be done too.
Karey Burke, ABC president, confirmed as much. “Grey’s Anatomy will live as long as Ellen is interested in playing Meredith Grey. We will let her lead the pace on [any conversations].”
When Pompeo’s contract was originally up and she signed on for two more seasons, she did mention that she’s not a fan of frequent traveling when she has three children. It seems like the star might be getting tired of always being away from her family, so it’s entirely possible that the next season may be her last.
According to Glamour, season 17 will premiere on November 12 with a two-hour episode. Meredith’s storyline is rumored to be worth the wait, and the show has reported that no major cast changes are happening.
Viewers won’t get to see the four episodes that weren’t able to air in season 16 due to the pandemic, but show creators say they will work a lot of the ideas from those episodes into the new season.
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