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The network halted production earlier this month amid the spread of the coronavirus

By Aurelie Corinthios
March 27, 2020 03:42 PM
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ELLEN POMPEO
Ellen Pompeo as Meredith Grey on Grey's Anatomy
| Credit: Kelsey McNeal/ABC

Grey’s Anatomy, one of the first TV shows to halt production earlier this month amid the coronavirus pandemic, will end season 16 early.

ABC announced on Friday that the season finale — originally set to air on May 14 — is now scheduled for April 9. The finale episode, the 21st of what was planned to be a 25-episode season, is titled “Put on a Happy Face.”

The network is not planning to resume production to complete filming on additional episodes.

As previously announced, the long-running show has already been renewed for season 17, though it remains unclear when production on next season will be safe to resume.

The programming shift does not affect the May 14 finale airdate for Station 19 and How to Get Away with Murder, ABC said, presumably because production has already been completed for those seasons.

On March 12, ABC released the letter from Grey’s executive producers Krista Vernoff, Debbie Allen and James D. Parriott that was sent to cast and crew announcing that “out of an abundance of caution,” production on the hit series would be postponed, effective immediately, for “at least two weeks.”

California was the first state to issue a stay at home order on March 19 in order to slow down the spread of the virus. Under most stay at home orders, people with essential jobs — such as doctors, firefighters, police and grocery store employees — are permitted to go to work. Everyone else must stay at home and work remotely if possible. Residents are allowed to leave to get groceries and other essentials, and in most, can go outside for walks or exercise, but must stay six feet apart from other people.

Grey’s Anatomy was amongst the medical TV dramas that have donated supplies from the show, including gowns, masks and gloves, to help protect healthcare workers fighting the pandemic as hospitals across the country face a shortage of supplies.

Grey’s Anatomy airs Thursdays (9 p.m. ET) on ABC.