'Grey's Anatomy' Season 21 could be the end for some main characters.

A Grey's Regular Is Leaving The Show After This Season

And more could follow...

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Two decades into its tenure, Grey’s Anatomy is still going strong. The series cemented its status as the longest-running primetime medical drama a few years ago, and it’s not resting on those laurels. ABC picked up the show for Season 21 shortly after its twentieth season began airing, but the announcement came with some big questions around the main cast. Could some of Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital’s most senior doctors be hanging up their scrubs ahead of this new season? Here’s why fans are concerned.

In recent years, the future of Grey’s has been called into question a few times. Most notably, when Ellen Pompeo announced she was leaving the cast ahead of Season 20, several fans worried the show simply couldn’t survive without Meredith Grey. However, the long-running series soldiered on, and even brought Pompeo back for a few notable cameos and voiceovers. After the first three episodes of Season 20 aired, ABC confirmed Grey’s wasn’t on its deathbed yet by renewing the drama for Season 21.

But will Meredith’s involvement continue into this new season? And even more pressing — will more longtime faves follow Meredith’s lead and say goodbye to Seattle? A detail about the cast’s contracts could lead to a big shake-up.

1 Doctor Is Clocking Out

A couple months after the renewal, reports came out that Jake Borelli will be parting ways with Grey’s Anatomy in the upcoming season. Borelli has starred as Dr. Levi Schmitt in the series for the past seven years, first appearing as an intern in Season 14.


Per the reports, Borelli will appear in a few Season 21 episodes to wrap up Levi’s story before departing for good.

More Stars May Leave The Show, Too

And Borelli might not be the only big exit. Upon the Season 21 renewal, TVLine reported that the contracts for six of Grey’s Anatomy’s lead actors are set to expire before the upcoming season. That means a handful of main characters could be at risk of disappearing by the end of Season 20 — including the show’s only two remaining original stars: Chaundra Wilson as Dr. Miranda Bailey and James Pickens Jr. as Dr. Richard Webber.


Luckily, it doesn’t seem likely that Wilson and Pickens will depart due to the contract renegotiations, given that both actors have recently stated they plan to stay on the series until the very end.

However, four other stars will also have to agree to new contracts if they want to stay scrubbed in: Kevin McKidd (Owen), Kim Raver (Teddy), Caterina Scorsone (Amelia), and Camilla Luddington (Jo). Fans won’t know about these characters’ futures until later in Season 20.

The Season May Arrive In 2024

Season 20 kind of had an awkward start after its premiere was delayed during the Hollywood strikes. Usually, Grey’s follows a stable release routine with new seasons premiering in the fall, but Season 20 began airing in March 2024. However, because it was shortened to only 10 episodes, it looks like production is back on track to drop Season 21 in the fall of 2024.

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