Why Has Greys Anatomy Lasted For So Long? 19 Gripping Seasons Later

There are hardly many aspects of pop culture that remain the same from the mid-aughts. However, one of the most-watched television shows in the US, Greys Anatomy, is still broadcast on Thursday nights on ABC. It is currently the last of a vanishing breed of broadcast TV dramas and will continue for at least another year.

According to Variety, ABC has picked up the popular medical drama for a 19th season. Ellen Pompeo, the highest-paid actress in broadcast television, will reprise her role as the titular Dr. Meredith Grey. Grey’s Anatomy was established by Shonda Rhimes in 2005, and she wrote for it up until her departure for Netflix in 2017, and she has stated that the program will probably continue as long as Pompeo is willing with why has Greys Anatomy lasted as an enduring question.

That is most likely due to the fact that ABC would be content to prolong the situation. Despite being one of the longest-running scripted dramas ever, it continues to be one of the most-watched series on US television. Because they are canceled due to low ratings, the great majority of shows never endure 19 seasons—or anything close to that. However, even when taking into consideration the decline in viewers for broadcast television as a whole over the past two decades, Grey’s Anatomy has remained impressively steady despite many asking why has Greys Anatomy lasted.


Why Has Greys Anatomy Lasted

The name Shonda Rhimes is synonymous with success. She created popular television programs like How to Get Away With Murder, Bridgerton, the brand-new Netflix No. 1 Inventing Anna, and others with her production firm Shondaland. Currently, Netflix has a $100 million contract with the producer. Grey’s Anatomy, Shonda Rhimes’ debut television program, has just been renewed for a 19th season though many ask why has Greys Anatomy lasted.

The iconic doctor Meredith Grey will be back in the upcoming season, according to actress Ellen Pompeo, who has played her in all 18 episodes. Grey’s Anatomy is more than just a popular TV program with 383 episodes. It’s important to give the medical drama the credit it merits for being able to survive in a world where new television programs are being created every day though many ask why has Greys Anatomy lasted.

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Why Has Greys Anatomy Lasted? The Numbers

Why Has Greys Anatomy Lasted

It has the highest TV ratings in the crucial 18-to-49 age range. Over 15 million people watch each episode of the current season on TV and online on average. In terms of the number of minutes streamed (39 billion) on Netflix in 2020, Grey’s Anatomy is the second most watched streaming show in the world, just after The Office as people have wondered why has Greys Anatomy lasted.

The majority of commentators highlight Pompeo’s complex main character, diversified supporting cast, and deft blending of soap opera aspects with romantic comedy. In a time when many television programs struggle to last longer than one or two seasons, it also uses the conventions of the conventional medical drama to produce a consistently popular series.

Media firms have followed the shift in viewing patterns toward online platforms by shifting their financial resources from broadcast and cable TV production to streaming. Even Rhimes, one of TV’s most sought-after producers (for her work on Grey’s Anatomy and other shows), now exclusively produces content for Netflix though many ask why has Greys Anatomy lasted. As a result, there is an abundance of new content available on streaming platforms, while traditional TV networks find it difficult to match the success of their programs like Grey’s Anatomy in the 1990s and 2000s. Streaming is the future focus for Disney, the parent corporation of ABC, as well as for the majority of other entertainment giants.

Executives are therefore more than happy to ride a broadcast drama if it occasionally succeeds for a number of years as long as that is still the case. Even though Grey’s Anatomy’s TV ratings have declined since its 2005 premiere, they are still extraordinarily high when compared to the rest of television. It shared second place among TV’s scripted series last year, behind NBC’s This Is Us, with Fox’s 911 as people ask why has Greys Anatomy lasted. Only reality TV shows and National Football League games received higher ratings than other TV programs.

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More than the Medicine

Why Has Greys Anatomy Lasted

The program was never about medicine, according to Rhimes, who discussed this in her Masterclass, Shonda Rhimes Teaches Writing for Television. The show does not primarily focus on the operations and difficulties the doctors confront on a daily basis though many ask why has Greys Anatomy lasted. How the protagonists handle difficulties in their personal lives while performing their occupations is the central plot device. Due to the straightforward explanations of the challenging techniques, watching the series is a breeze.

The development of the characters and the medical aspects are both very well-balanced. The series is more interesting to watch because the two parts complement one another. The audience isn’t worn out by Meredith and Derek’s arguments since they don’t occur for 40 minutes straight; instead, a case involving a cancer patient interrupts the action preventing questions of why has Greys Anatomy lasted.

There is always something fresh and fascinating going on thanks to the characters’ drama and the medical problems. That doesn’t stop the doctors’ dramatic development; rather, it only provides the audience a moment to catch their breath and reflect on these problems as the characters do. It does help that the situations they are working on in most episodes need the doctor to think or act in a different way.

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Character Growth

Why Has Greys Anatomy Lasted

Because the characters are the focus, the viewer must develop a strong bond with them in order to be excited to follow their adventure. In Grey’s Anatomy, that took place though many ask why has Greys Anatomy lasted. This show is very personal because of the character growth, the relationships, and the professional and personal accomplishments and failures of the characters.

The supporters want to hang out with them. Compared to movies, television is inherently more private because you can watch a movie at the theater before returning home. With television, you reside in the same house as these characters—in Grey’s Anatomy’s case, for 18 years. The characters must matter for the audience to spend so much time with them, especially if it takes more than 250 hours.

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Risky Plotlines

Why Has Greys Anatomy Lasted

Since the first season, Grey’s Anatomy has welcomed risk-taking in its storytelling. An live bomb inside a patient that might detonate at any moment, a shooter breaking into the facility searching for retaliation for the death of a loved one, a plane carrying medical personnel going down in the middle of nowhere, or the destruction of the entire hospital floor. A new episode’s viewer never knows what to anticipate, especially if it’s the season finale though many ask why has Greys Anatomy lasted.

The program altered the rules of what viewers could anticipate from a medical program. They committed to these decisions, breaking the genre’s predetermined boundaries even if they ran the risk of seeming absurd. What would have been “just another medical show” was given a chance to air because of the tension and excitement of viewing an episode that everyone is talking about why has Greys Anatomy lasted. It deviates from the formula of an episodic series and constantly astounds the spectator with what the characters must deal with.

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Why Has Greys Anatomy Lasted

Shonda left her mark on her debut program, making it immediately a diverse program. The show’s central themes are characters with varied sexual orientations and actors of color in prominent positions in the hospital. The program continues to be innovative and develops narratives for characters who highlight and celebrate diversity. In a more recent season, Casey Parker, a transgender surgical resident, was played by transgender actress Alex Blue Davis preventing questions of why has Greys Anatomy lasted. The first non-binary actor to ever appear in a medical drama, Dr. Kai Bartley, was cast in the show last year. He was E.R. Fightmaster.

Sophia Ali, a Muslim actress, works as an intern for Dr. Quadri. A 14-year-old patient who was injured in an accident and is ready to bleed to death is seen in a season 14 scenario. After removing her hijab, Dr. Quadri creates a tourniquet. Dr. Hunt queries her about why she removed it after saving the young child’s life. According to Quadri, wearing a hijab is a representation of her faith, which stands for compassion and service. She then goes on to re-don the hijab. Due to the scene’s favorable portrayal of a Muslim woman, it gained a ton of support and went viral on Twitter preventing questions of why has Greys Anatomy lasted.

These are just a few instances of how diversity is incorporated into the program. Every one of these characters has a plot that isn’t focused on what made them special because it is just who they are. Grey’s Anatomy continually deviated from what viewers were used to seeing in medical dramas, keeping each new season fresh and attempting to always make them feel heard and noticed.

Emotional Intensity

Why Has Greys Anatomy Lasted

It goes without saying that the show contains a number of scenes that would make a good ugly-cry. It is well known that viewers should brace themselves for an emotional rollercoaster every time an episode starts, with everything from patients passing away after the audience followed their road to recovery for a few episodes to even one of the doctors getting ran over by a bus (RIP 007).

The characters don’t stay unaffected, which is another aspect that makes people enjoy the show even more. The viewer perceives them as typical individuals who must deal with painful experiences including grief, abusive relationships, and sexual assault. Because these characters are seldom portrayed as superheroes or as ideal individuals, it is simpler to relate to them preventing questions of why has Greys Anatomy lasted. Many people’s struggles in real life are validated by watching Meredith sob while yelling that she does not have time to weep after Derek passed away because she is a mother and must be there for her children. The sensitivity these narratives exhibit when tackling heavy issues makes the characters’ feelings seem genuine.

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A Dedicated Fan Base

Why Has Greys Anatomy Lasted

The characters’ daily blunders add to the sense that they are real individuals with whom the audience can identify, even if they do not work in the medical industry. Even though these individuals may come and go, Grey’s Anatomy is still around for us, and we’re here for it.

Despite all that has happened to them, our favorite characters—especially Meredith—keep getting better week after week and season after season. And doing that enables us to confront and contextualize our own inner demons. It all has a poetic quality to it because Meredith’s voiceovers serve as a solacing constant.

Eventually, the show will be canceled, probably when Pompeo and Rhimes agree to discontinue it. Since Pompeo’s Meredith is essential to the show’s survival, it will be time to cancel it when she departs.