Grey’s Anatomy season 18: next episode and everything we know about the latest season of the medical drama

James Pickens Jr, Ellen Pompeo and E.R. Fightmaster as Richard, Meredith and Kai on Grey's Anatomy
James Pickens Jr, Ellen Pompeo and E.R. Fightmaster as Richard, Meredith and Kai on Grey's Anatomy (Image credit: Sky)

Want to feel old? For how long Grey’s Anatomy has been on TV there are kids entering their final year of high school who have not lived in a world where the ABC medical drama wasn’t around, as the current season marks number 18 for the show.

Grey’s Anatomy, which was created by TV super-producer Shonda Rhimes, is adding to its lead as U.S. broadcast’s longest-running primetime medical drama, having already bested ER’s previous record of 15 seasons. It's not slowing down yet, as season 19 has already been confirmed.

Here are the facts on everything you need to know for Grey’s Anatomy season 18.

When is the next Grey’s Anatomy episode? 

The two-hour Grey’s Anatomy season finale is here, and we have so many questions. Will Meredith leave? Will the residency program be shut down? And what are two  Grey's anatomy vets doing back?  (We've made our predictions about the answer to these questions in case you're wondering.)

The season 18 finale of Grey’s Anatomy happens to be split into two parts. The first episode titled "Out for Blood" airs Thursday, May 26, at 8 pm ET/PT, and here is the synopsis: 

"Due to a blood shortage, Grey Sloan Memorial sets up a voluntary donation center. Nick asks Meredith for help with his patient. Winston is hung up on his relationship with his brother."

The second episode airs at 9 pm ET/PT and is titled "You Are My Blood." Here is the episode synopsis:

"The blood shortage continues. Meredith makes a risky decision regarding a patient. Owen's actions to help his fellow veterans come to light."

Can't watch Grey’s Anatomy live? The latest episodes will be available the next day (Fridays) on both ABC.com and streaming on Hulu.

When is the Grey's Anatomy season 18 finale? 

The two-hour Grey’s Anatomy season 18 finale airs on Thursday, May 26.  

Who’s in the Grey’s Anatomy cast?

As season 17 was winding down, so was series lead Ellen Pompeo’s contract. It was unsure whether or not she would sign up for another season as Meredith Grey, so showrunner Krista Vernoff said in interviews (opens in new tab) that she had two versions of the season 17 finale ready to go depending on if Pompeo would not return and it needed to serve as a series finale.

Pompeo did come to an agreement to return, so that crisis was averted and she is back for Grey’s Anatomy season 18. However, her contract is only for one year; it’s possible that whole song and dance will happen once again.

Other original cast members that signed new contracts to return include Chandra Wilson and James Pickens Jr. Another longtime cast member, Jesse Williams, opted to not return for season 18 after 12 seasons on the show.

Kevin McKidd, Camilla Luddington and Kim Raver are also confirmed to return for the new season.

We've also gotten news of new cast members joining Grey’s Anatomy. Deadline (opens in new tab) has reported that Peter Gallagher (The O.C., Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist) will join the show in a recurring role as Dr. Alan Hamilton. His character has a connection with Kate Burton's Ellis Grey, Meredith's late mother; Burton is also expected to appear in multiple episodes in season 18.

Some former cast members are set to return to the series for a multi-episode arc as well, with Deadline (opens in new tab) separately reporting that Kate Walsh has signed on for season 18 to once again play the character of Addison Forbes Montgomery, while Abigail Spencer (opens in new tab) will return as her character Megan Hunt.

UPDATE 3/3: Variety (opens in new tab) has reported that Pitch Perfect and Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist star Skylar Astin will join Grey's Anatomy in a recurring role starting with the episode on March 24. Astin is set to play Todd Eames, who will serve as a potential love interest for Camilla Luddington's Jo Wilson.

How to watch Grey's Anatomy

With Grey’s Anatomy airing on ABC, it is pretty simple for anyone to watch if they have access to live TV channels. One of the four major networks, ABC is available in all U.S. TV markets and offered as part of essentially all traditional cable/satellite pay-TV providers. In addition, TV signals from local ABC stations can be received by consumers using a TV antenna. The network is also available via live TV streaming services like Fubo TVHulu with Live TV and YouTube TV.

Subscribers to either a traditional pay-TV service or one of the compatible live TV streaming services will also have the ability to watch the latest episode of Grey's Anatomy on-demand via ABC.com, where episodes are made available the day after they air on TV.

Similarly, Hulu streams the latest episodes of Grey’s Anatomy next-day, in addition to having previous season episodes available to watch.

One other option that is available to consumers is a virtual private network. A VPN is a tool that enables consumers from anywhere in the world to watch content from other countries by accessing servers from the country of origin. Essentially, a VPN routes network traffic through a specific set of servers in a specific country, allowing viewers to watch content on an encrypted feed over a computer.

ExpressVPN (opens in new tab)

ExpressVPN (opens in new tab) is one of the easiest and affordable ways to watch what you want from anywhere you want to watch it. Plus it'll help keep your network traffic away from any prying eyes on public networks.

And it's a great way to keep up with action from anywhere in the world.

Was Grey's Anatomy renewed for another season? 

Don't worry, Grey’s Anatomy has been renewed for another season, extending its record as the longest-running medical drama on primetime television. 

Michael Balderston is a DC-based entertainment and assistant managing editor for What to Watch, who has previously written about the TV and movies with TV Technology, Awards Circuit and regional publications. Spending most of his time watching new movies at the theater or classics on TCM, some of Michael's favorite movies include Casablanca, Moulin Rouge!, Silence of the Lambs, Children of Men, One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest and Star Wars. On the TV side he enjoys Peaky Blinders, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Saturday Night Live, Only Murders in the Building and is always up for a Seinfeld rerun. Follow on Letterboxd (opens in new tab).