First, Grey’s Anatomy lost its lead.
Now, it has lost its leader.
On Wednesday afternoon, Krista Vernoff announced that she is leaving her post as Grey’s Anatomy executive producer and showrunner, effective this spring when Season 19 wraps up filmimg.
She has been in this role since 2017.
“It has been the privilege of a lifetime to be entrusted to run Grey’s Anatomy for the past six years and Station 19 for the last four,” Vernoff said in a statement to Deadline.
“The passion of the dedicated fandoms and the impact that these shows have on hearts and minds cannot be overstated.
“The amount of talent in these two extraordinary casts and these two brilliant writers rooms is beyond measure — and these crews work magic week after week.”
Concluded Vernoff, referring to the show’s well-known creator:
“I will be forever grateful to Shonda Rhimes for her trust and to Disney and ABC for their support. The last time I left Grey’s Anatomy, I was gone for seven seasons and the show was still going when Shonda called me to run it.
“So I’m not saying goodbye because that would be too bitter sweet. I’m saying ‘See you in seven seasons.’”
Vernoff began as a writer on Grey’s Anatomy during its first seven seasons before departing and coming back on Season 14 as showrunner.
She has served in this capacity on Station 19 — a spinoff of Grey’s Anatomy — since the drama’s third season.
News of Vernoff’s upcoming exit comes a few months after Ellen Pompeo also confirmed she would be leaving as main character Meredith Grey.
ABC has yet to make a decision on the program’s future… and it still draws strong ratings in its Thursday night timeslot… but it’s hard not to wonder if the medical drama will conclude for good in May in the wake of both these women walking away.
“Krista Vernoff has poured her heart and soul into Grey’s Anatomy and Station 19, and her voice has been pivotal to the success of these beloved series,” said Craig Erwich, President, ABC Entertainment, Hulu & Disney Branded Television Streaming Originals.
“It takes a formidable leader to run two shows simultaneously and Krista has done so effortlessly.
“Her creative force has left an indelible mark and thanks to her, our viewers will continue to be invested in these dynamic and cherished characters for many years to come.”
Rhimes, for her part, chimed in on the development as follows:
“Krista’s creativity, vision and dedicated leadership have allowed ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ and ‘Station 19’ to continue to flourish.
“I am incredibly grateful to her for all her hard work. She will always remain part of the Shondaland family.”
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