ABC has ordered three additional episodes of Shonda Rhimes’ Grey’s Anatomy for the current 15th season, bringing the total season order to 25 episodes.
This is a pretty remarkable achievement for a serialized drama series. While 7-10 episodes a year is the norm for such shows on cable and streaming these days, Grey’s Anatomy has aired 24 or more episodes in every full season it has had. That is 13 seasons and counting. (Grey’s only aired fewer episodes in Season 1, when it premiered in midseason, and the writers strike-plagued 2007-2008 season.) As far as I can tell, that is a record for a primetime series in the past couple of decades, even edging procedurals like the venerable Law & Order dramas which have all produced less than 10 24-plus-episode seasons.
What’s more, doing so many episodes has not dented Grey’s Anatomy‘s performance, popularity or longevity. The series currently averages a 3.1 adults 18-49 rating (Live+7) to rank as ABC’s No. 1 TV show of the 2018-2019 season in the demo. It also regularly ranks among the top most binged series on streaming. And this season, Grey’s tied ER as the longest-running primetime medical drama ever at 15 seasons apiece. However, ER produced 22 episodes or less in every season except the first, so later this season Grey’s will surpass ER to become the longest running medical drama in number of episodes.
Created and executive produced by Rhimes, ABC Studios-produced Grey’s Anatomy stars Ellen Pompeo as Meredith Grey, Justin Chambers as Alex Karev, Chandra Wilson as Miranda Bailey, James Pickens Jr as Richard Webber, Kevin McKidd as Owen Hunt, Jesse Williams as Jackson Avery, Caterina Scorsone as Amelia Shepherd, Camilla Luddington as Jo Wilson, Kelly McCreary as Maggie Pierce, Kim Raver as Teddy Altman and Giacomo Gianniotti as Andrew DeLuca.
Betsy Beers, Mark Gordon, showrunner Krista Vernoff, Debbie Allen, Zoanne Clack, Fred Einesman, Andy Reaser and Meg Marinis are executive producers.
Grey’s Anatomy returns for the second half of Season 15 on January 17 at 8 PM on ABC.