For most of the history of television, the barrier to syndication—and to profitability—has been 100 episodes. The shows that have made it to that mark are an unusual group. Many were big hits. Some found small cult audiences. Still others just hung on as best they could and never posted numbers quite low enough to be canceled. In 100 Episodes, we examine shows that made it to that number, considering both how they advanced or reflected the medium and what contributed to their popularity.
Hey, remember Grey’s Anatomy?
Yeah, it’s still on the air, heading into its 10th season this fall. It hasn’t just cruised past 100 episodes; it will surpass 200 episodes shortly after that 10th season debuts, with no signs of slowing. By some measures—and particularly once DVR viewing is taken into account—it’s still the biggest drama on the air among 18- to 49-year-old viewers, and it seems every season of the show carries with it an Entertainment Weekly or TV Guide piece that breathlessly intones that Grey’s Anatomy is back. To be sure, the show’s audience has shrunk from the highs it reached in its second, third, and fourth seasons—when a post-Super Bowl airing took a hit show and turned it into a phenomenon—but that audience is still reliably hooked into what the show is doing, and the core fan base is just as invested in some of the new characters the series has introduced as it ever was in the many who have departed from the original cast.
Here’s the thing: Grey’s debuted in the now-storied 2004-05 TV season, perhaps the last, great gasp of the network TV machine. It was a season that brought with it successes like Desperate Housewives and Lost as well as cult favorites like Veronica Mars. Grey’s wasn’t even the only medical drama to debut and hit big in that season. Over on Fox, House started slowly but gained momentum as the network placed it after American Idol, with star Hugh Laurie becoming the face of his network and showrunner David Shore winning an Emmy for writing. Yet if anyone were to have picked the medical drama that would run the longest—even at the height of Grey’s run—the choice would almost certainly have been House, which had a medical-procedural premise designed to run for over a dozen seasons and the less convoluted soap operatics. Instead, House bowed out after eight years, and Grey’s is entering year 10.
Even though “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Scandal” may be extremely different when it comes to content, they do at least share one thing in common: Executive producer Shonda Rhimes and her Shondaland company. Thanks to this, the two do at least share a few similarities when it comes to their production schedules.
In a new post on her official Twitter account Friday, Rhimes confirmed that the writers room for both shows have been shut down temporarily in order to give the writers a much-needed break leading up to the start of production in over a month. After all, a break is certainly something that they will need. Working on a serialized drama, especially one that runs 22, or in the case of “Grey’s Anatomy” 24, episode is not an easy task: It’s long hours, constant stress, and you have to be at the top of your creative game just about every day.
Just in case you want a vague and very-general tease at what is coming up for at least one of these shows, check out what writer / producer / director Tony Phelan had to say:
“Grey’s Writers Room shuts down for hiatus. Get ready – cause there’s a whole mess of drama coming in Ep. 1001-1003 & then … the 200th ep!”
When you think for a second about how few shows manage to make it to the 200-episode threshold, you know that this is an accomplishment that is really worth of a very big (and very dramatic) episode. Hopefully, “Grey’s Anatomy” will have something for us that checks off both boxes, and makes us excited for the rest of the season ahead.
Hey Grey’s Anatomy fans!
So, I’ve been in a little bit of an icon making craze lately and it got me thinking maybe we should have a fanart section on the site! I’m looking to see if you guys would like to see this sort of thing, so please vote in the poll in the sidebar.
If we had the section in a section on the site, I would use Icon Sort and the icons would be displayed within WordPress. If we put the fanart section in the gallery, it would be much easier to set up, and most visitors spend there time there anyway :P
What do you guys think?
For the rest of the summer, we’re going to have to live in a world without Meredith, Derek, and everyone else from within the “Grey’s Anatomy” family. So how do we think about the show in the months ahead?
Should season 10 be the end of the show? Everyone typically has a firm opinion as to when a good show should say goodbye, and this seems like a very appropriate place to start.
Why it’s time to go – This is not to say that the show’s quality has diminished in any way, since it really feels like this is the same “Grey’s Anatomy” that we’ve had for the past few years. The truth is just that ten years is a long time for a TV show to be on the air, especially with a good chunk of the same cast intact. The contracts for Ellen Pompeo, Patrick Dempsey, and many others are going to be up at the end of this year, so trying to renew the show could end up being a very expensive endeavor.
Plus, there is something to be said for having a show go out on a reasonably high note. We know that “Grey’s Anatomy” is strong, so why not keep it that way? There’s time to plan a great send-off with guest stars, tributes, and the like.
Why it still has life – If a show is not tanking, why end it? When you factor in DVR figures, this remains the network’s most-watched drama on television. Not only that, it’s still stronger than almost anything else in the genre (at least on broadcast) in the 18-49 demographic. While “Scandal” has become almost on equal footing, the one-two punch is working wonders.
It is also feasible that you could extend the show with a new or different cast, and just tell more stories within the Grey-Sloan Memorial Hospital. There would probably be some revolts at first, but it could change once people grew accustomed to the change.
What do you think: Is it time for “Grey’s Anatomy” to close up shop or would you rather see this show go on forever?
Callie Torres may be experiencing a case of deja vu on Grey’s Anatomy.
During the ABC medical drama’s ninth season finale, Callie (Sara Ramirez) learned that her wife, Arizona (Jessica Capshaw), not only cheated on her in an on-call room with Lauren (Hilarie Burton), but also hadn’t forgiven her for cutting her leg off in a (successful) attempt to save her life.
The reveal came after a season that seemingly saw the couple overcome both the physical injuries Arizona sustained in the plane crash that claimed the lives of Mark and Lexie as well as the emotional scars that lingered after the peds surgeon had her leg amputated.
PHOTOS: The Couples of Shondaland: ‘Grey’s Anatomy,’ ‘Private Practice,’ ‘Scandal’
But all was not well between the couple after Arizona painstakingly confessed that she hadn’t forgiven Callie for breaking her promise that she would ensure her wife kept her leg and lashing out at the woman who has spent the better part of the season acting as if she were on the doomed plane.
“Arizona made a move and did some things, and certainly that argument revealed a ton about who she is and how she feels about what’s going on,” Grey’s Anatomy showrunner Shonda Rhimes told reporters at a TV Academy event honoring Scandal. “How Arizona is going to figure out what she did means it’s going to be interesting.”
After noting that it feels as if she’s already “lost” Arizona, Callie is now in a position that she’s sadly all too familiar with: being on the other end of a cheating spouse.
“What the bigger question is, is what’s Callie going to do next?” Rhimes ponders of season 10. “Callie isn’t a victim; she’s never really been a victim, and she’s been cheated on before with George. So how she’s going to take this and what she’s going to do next is going to be the bigger issue.”
STORY: ‘Grey’s Anatomy’s’ Jessica Capshaw: ‘Arizona Does Not Forgive Callie’
Capshaw, meanwhile, recently told The Hollywood Reporter that by the end of the season nine finale, viewers understand that “something for Arizona is permanently damaged and lost.”
“Arizona does not forgive Callie for promising her that she would not amputate her leg and then amputating her leg. … I do think that with any kind of infidelity, on some level — unless you’re dealing with a sociopath — there’s always a reason. There will be an exploration of what that reason was and that will give the Grey’s writers fertile ground to play with next season.”
For her part in Arizona’s affair, Lauren made it very clear that she hoped their romp wouldn’t be a one-time thing after revealing how much she likes Arizona. As for whether Burton (who’s married to former Grey’s heartbreaker Jeffrey Dean Morgan) would be back, Rhimes remained tight-lipped. (Worth noting: Burton does seem to be available after her Fox pilot The List was passed over at the network.)
Should Burton return for season 10? How would you like to see Arizona and Callie’s storyline play out next season? Hit the comments below with your thoughts.