Grey's Anatomy Is Shifting Times And Facing Budget Cuts, But ABC Boss Explained Why He's Not Worried About It

 Kate Walsh, Candra Wilson, Camilla Luddington, Stefania Spampinato on Grey's Anatomy.
Kate Walsh, Candra Wilson, Camilla Luddington, Stefania Spampinato on Grey's Anatomy.

Grey’s Anatomy has been one of the biggest shows on ABC for two decades. The network mainstay has found a way to continue throughout 20 seasons, with characters coming in and out of the main cast, and new characters being introduced throughout the run. Despite the show still having a loyal audience, Grey’s Anatomy’s show budget was recently decreased, which will affect the cast significantly, and it's getting a new timeslot when it returns on the 2024 TV schedule next fall. This would normally be worrying when it comes to the future of the series, but one ABC head honcho isn’t concerned.

In a recent interview with Deadline, Disney TV Group President Craig Erwich chatted with the publication about the future of Grey’s Anatomy and network programming in general considering the budget decreases it is facing and the fact that its timeslot is shifting back an hour as the series enters its 21st season. Despite the budget cuts hitting the show, Erwich doubled down in his confidence in the medical drama, and its continued future with the network. He said:

We just celebrated the 20th season of Grey’s, which makes it the longest running medical drama on television, and I think the show is creatively firing on all cylinders and continues to be extraordinarily popular — if not the most popular show in terms of past seasons. We see new generations coming into the show on a monthly basis, so the show’s in great shape.

Erwich is right to celebrate Grey’s and what it’s done for the network. In the age of streaming, the series continues to put out highly watched episodes week after week, and its fanbase is too big to justify ending the show anytime soon. So, the shifting timeslot is not an issue.

However, budget cuts are never a good sign when it comes to the future of a show. While Erwich did admit that the budget change was to make way for other shows on ABC, he did assert that this doesn’t mean the show is facing cancellation. He explained:

[It’s] a great opportunity for ABC to launch a new show, as well as to keep Grey’s on a night where it’s been extraordinarily successful for many years.

Despite Erwich being confident in Grey’s continuation on ABC, there are worrying signs elsewhere. The show notably lost its star in Ellen Pompeo as a series regular back in 2022. While the show is still on despite the loss, it continues to face departures in the Grey’s cast.

The decades-spanning series saw longtime regular Kelly McCreary also depart last year, and it was recently announced that fan favorite Jake Borelli would be leaving too. Whether this has anything to do with the budget cuts is unclear, but it’s safe to assume that more changes will be happening if the show continues to air on ABC and the payday stops being as high for the cast.

The show has faced changes before, like shortening the seasons, which started with Season 20 and will likely continue in Season 21. Also, the departure of Patrick Dempsey in 2015 remains a sore spot for Grey’s Anatomy fans everywhere. However, the show continues to trundle on, exploring weekly medical anomalies and staff drama occurring at Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital.

Even with the kind of worrying signs, ABC seems committed to keeping Grey’s on the network, even as it explores new series and corporate strategy. We will just have to wait to see how the show continues to pivot and surprise while facing change.

You can stream 19 of the 20 seasons of Grey’s Anatomy now with a Netflix subscription, and the 20th season is currently airing on Thursdays at 9:00 p.m. on ABC. Next season, you'll be able to find it on the same day and network but at 10 p.m. ET. As we learn more about the changes Grey's is facing, we'll keep you posted.