On Thursday night, Grey’s Anatomy is going to make television history, and you don’t want to miss it. Thursday, Feb. 28 is the day the 332nd episode will air, making Grey’s Anatomy the longest-running primetime medical drama in American television history, surpassing ER’s longstanding record of 331 episodes during its 15-year run. With Grey’s poised to make history, you know that Shonda Rhimes has something special up her sleeve.
Not surprisingly, none of the Grey’s cast seems ready to walk away just yet. “From a historical standpoint, would love to be able to say I was a starter and a finisher,” cast member Chandra Wilson told E! News when the outlet visited the Grey’s set ahead of Thursday’s historic episode. “Actors don’t get the opportunity to do that. I’d love to have the opportunity to put that personal star to put on my wall. I still enjoy Bailey immensely, I still learn from her. Until the wheels fall off, I guess.”
Grey‘s actor James Pickens feels similarly grateful to have such rare job stability in the industry, telling E!, “To be at this point in my career and still have a job, [it’s] hard to say maybe it’s time to hang up. I’d love it when it is time, I want to come in and turn off the OR light for the last time and have the show end there.”
It isn’t just the original stars who are blown away by this milestone. Kelly McCreary, who plays Meredith Grey’s half-sister Maggie Pierce, joined only five seasons ago and is amazed by how well the show continues to perform.
“It’s mind-boggling,” she told TV Line. “When I first started in season 10, I had no idea it would continue this long. You can’t assume. So to be here and not only be in our 15th season and going strong but to be making television history… it feels huge and very humbling.” Debbie Allen, the show’s executive producer and sometimes guest star, agrees that working on the series “means I am part of a legacy that will stand the test of time because Shonda Rhimes created a show that helped the world see themselves as they could be and should be and as we are.”
So, what can we expect from tonight’s big episode?
Grey’s showrunner Krista Vernoff teased TVLine with one of the historic episode’s most surprising plotlines ever: It will be “our first-ever no-medicine episode.”
That’s right, fans, it looks like we’ll get one whole hour of Grey’s with no actual medical procedures happening on-screen. Here’s how it will shake out. According to Vernoff via TV Line, Jackson will be throwing a party meant to celebrate Catherine’s successful surgery and the doctors who performed it. This means Amelia, Owen, Teddy and Tom will obviously all be forced to comingle in a social setting. For the MerLuca ‘shippers, Meredith and DeLuca will be “coming to the party as a couple. It is in many ways their coming out,” Vernoff confirms. Plus, since Alex is chief, Meredith must break the news of her new relationship to him.
Whew, that’s a lot to take in… and hopefully, there’s plenty more still to come. After this record-breaking episode, Grey’s will be roughly halfway to the record for the longest-running primetime drama ever, currently held by Gunsmoke, which ran for 635 episodes. While it’s unlikely the series will make it that far, it’s a nice thought for us fans, no?