‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Will Have An Early Season Finale Amid Coronavirus Outbreak

Chandra Wilson as Bailey, Kelly McCreary as Maggie, and Ellen Pompeo as Meredith on the set of 'Grey's Anatomy.'
Jessica Brooks / ABC

Grey’s Anatomy will not continue shooting its remaining episodes in light of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Hollywood Reporter shared that Season 16 of the ABC medical drama will be shortened due to the cast and crew currently being under quarantine to protect themselves from the virus. The publication reported that Grey’s was one of the first shows to cut its season short due to the pandemic. Prior to the series suspending production, its team had shot 21 episodes out of the 25 episode season. Episode 21, titled “Put On a Happy Face,” will act as the show’s season finale and will air on April 9.

Grey’s Anatomy‘s showrunner, Krista Vernoff, shared her disappointment about the early season finale on her Twitter. She explained that — while the cast and crew are upset they couldn’t air the final four episodes of the season — she thinks viewers will be pleased with the finale.

“We are disappointed that we don’t get to complete our storytelling this season,” Vernoff wrote. “The good news? 1621 plays like a satisfying finale! It’s not where we planned to end, but it’s beautiful & the questions that linger we will answer next year.”

Grey’s star Ellen Pompeo also added her feelings toward the season wrapping early. The actress shared a throwback photo of her character, Meredith Grey, making a shocked face. Pompeo captioned the tweet by explaining the image represented her feelings toward the early ending. Many of Pompeo’s Twitter followers replied with their own memes to share they were sad to hear about the shortened season as well.

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The news of Grey’s moving up its season finale comes after the show celebrated its 15-year anniversary on Friday, March 27. The drama — which follows Meredith Grey and an ensemble of other doctors at Grey Sloan Memorial — has already been renewed for Season 17. Due to the quarantine, however, the show’s team isn’t sure when they will be able to resume shooting new episodes.

While Grey’s has been on the air since 2005, Season 16 has landed the show in the headlines on several occasions. The season was the final one for Grey’s star Justin Chambers, who had been on the series since it began. The actor’s sudden departure resulted in his character, Alex Karev, being written off the show. The episode, “Leave a Light On,” resulted in Alex leaving Seattle to be with his first wife, Izzie Stevens (Katherine Heigl). The surprise ending left many Grey’s fans disappointed with Alex’s character development.

Although Grey’s will be cut short this season, two of series creator Shonda Rhimes’ other shows will be given proper season finales. Grey’s spinoff, Station 19, will air its season finale in May. That series will join How to Get Away with Murder, as the Viola Davis-led drama will premiere its final season on April 9. That series will air its final episode in May as well.