Eighteen years ago Shonda Rhimes had her first big hit with Grey’s Anatomy. Other Rhimes shows have come and gone, but her breakthrough isn’t going anywhere anytime soon: As per Variety, the show has perhaps improbably been renewed for a 20th season, despite its longtime lead and namesake, Ellen Pompeo, peacing out earlier this year.
The news means Grey’s Anatomy holds its record as the longest running primetime medical drama in TV history, a milestone it achieved long ago. ER “only” lasted 15 seasons. Grey’s Anatomy passed that long ago, but the achievement is made even sweeter by the fact that it’s chooglin’ on without the character that gave it its name.
Back in February, Ellen Pompeo finally surrendered her role as Dr. Meredith Grey, who started as a surgical intern at Seattle’s fictional Grace Hospital (later Grey+Sloan Memorial) and eventually graduated to Chief of General Surgery. Meredith decided to move to Boston (read: Pompeo decided she’d had enough), but the show didn’t go with her, staying in Seattle with whoever is still hanging around the hospital at this point. Of course, that means Pompeo can always come back for the occasional episode. It’s unclear currently if her voiceover will continue to open each new episode.
So congrats to Grey’s Anatomy, a show that may never, ever leave the television airwaves, much like The Simpsons will probably never stop creating new episodes.