For nearly 20 seasons, "Grey's Anatomy" has captured the hearts and minds of viewers across the country. Renewed for its 20th season in March, the juggernaut doesn't seem to be slowing down any time soon.
Despite the show's titular character — Meredith Grey, famously played by Ellen Pompeo — taking a major step back and moving to Boston in the most recent season, current cast members told TODAY.com that the show will go on (and on and on).
TODAY.com caught up with longtime cast members Chandra Wilson, James Pickens, Kevin McKidd and Caterina Scorsone about where they envision the show going from here, how their characters end up and what keeps them invested in the current longest running shows on television.
Wilson has been on "Grey's" since the very beginning. Her character Miranda Bailey captured hearts starting in the show's first season. Wilson says she intends to see things through to the end.
"I feel like, 'Hey, as long as Bailey still has something to get out there, a lesson to teach, new babies to bring in, why not?'" she told TODAY.com at the "Grey's Anatomy" Paleyfest panel on April 2 in Hollywood. "While we're here, let's make the most of it."
She said that the show feels like "comfort food" to her and that she hopes people keep watching and can identify with the characters.
"Every human being that we bring in gets a chance to find their own way as a character and somebody out there gets to point and say, 'Oh yeah, that's my person,'" she said. "And we continue to give people to point to and say, 'That's my person.'"
McKidd joined the show as Owen Hunt in the show's fifth season. Three marriages and a medical license suspension later, he's still there.
McKidd told TODAY.com James Pickens Jr., who plays Richard Webber, told him this season that he and Wilson consider McKidd an "OG character" now.
"Apart from Jim (Pickens Jr.) and Chandra (Wilson), I am the longest running cast member still on the show," he said. "Which is crazy to me."
He said the show has been a "blessing every single day of (his) life the last 14 years," and that he's also directed 37 episodes since joining the cast in 2008.
When asked how he envisions the show ending, if ever, he said he thinks "Grey's" has "maybe at least 10 more years."
"I think the writers write incredible work. I think a hospital show has legs because you're gonna have new stories every single week," he said. To McKidd, the audience is still "so invested" in the characters and their stories. "So I don't see any reason why we would stop anytime soon," he said.
When pressed if he plans to see things through to the end, he said he does. "If I still feel proud of the work I'm doing and the work the show is doing, absolutely," he said.
Scorsone, who has played Amelia Shepherd since 2010 and joined the "Grey's Anatomy" cast full time in 2014, said something similar to McKidd.
"As long as the audience is there, we have story. The thing that makes our show so successful is not the plot necessarily, but the depth of the characters," she told TODAY.com. "The audience has deep relationships with each of the characters. Just like a friend or a family member, you're not like, 'Oh, it's been five seasons. I think we're done.' You really want to see these people move through life. And so that could be you know, 80, 90, 100 years. We'll see!"
James Pickens Jr.
Pickens Jr. said he is really excited about the "talented" new blood brought onto the show in the most recent season, referring to several new underdog interns who joined the cast.
To Pickens Jr., "Grey's Anatomy" has a magic that is impossible to recreate in a new TV landscape, with more streaming platforms and fewer network TV shows.
"Now with all these platforms and stuff shows come and go after 10 episodes or a couple of seasons and then they forget them," he told TODAY.com. "This show ("Grey's), we won't forget — even with the ups and downs."
He said despite folks leaving the cast and new ones joining, they're so happy the audience has stuck with them over the years. "They still want to take this journey with (us)," he said.
When asked how many seasons he thinks are left in the show he said the following: "Oh my gosh, I might be in a wheelchair by the time they decide to call it quits. I have no idea."