After 12 seasons of being on the air, Grey’s Anatomy is set to be ABC’s top-rated show for the current TV season, according to The Hollywood Reporter. What’s amazing about this feat is that the show is in its 12th season and still has strong ratings, something that is rare in the television world.
The original ShondaLand drama is experiencing new life, a feat many didn’t think would happen when male lead Patrick Dempsey left the show almost a year ago.
The show, according to The Hollywood Reporter, is averaging a 3.9 rating in the key 18 to 49 demographic and is currently the second highest rated drama on air, only behind Fox’s Empire. The show is doing better than other ShondaLand dramas, as Scandal‘s ratings are down 17 percent and How To Get Away With Murder, whose second season ended on March 17, fell by 30 percent.
Even worse, the newest ShondaLand drama, The Catch, premiered to a mere 1.2 rating in the live and same day numbers.
To put the numbers into perspective, Empire‘s fall finale had a 4.4 rating and had 11.2 million viewers, according to The Hollywood Reporter. When the show returned on March 30, the show scored a 4.8 rating with 12.46 million viewers watching the episode live and on the same day, according to TV by the Numbers.
As a way to keep fans watching the medical drama, the show has been bringing up its past, something show creator Shonda Rhimes started doing after Sandra Oh (Cristina Yang) left at the end of the 10th season.
And even though fans were upset that the show killed off Patrick Dempsey’s Derek “McDreamy” Shepherd towards the end of the last season, viewers are still tuning in to find out what drama is going down at Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital.
Rhimes credits the identification with Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo) as part of the reason people are still tuning in to watch the show, saying, “The audience truly identifies with Ellen Pompeo, We are following this woman’s journey and the journey of all these people with her. It’s not about a lot of tricks; it’s about watching people evolve.”
And while there’s only four original characters remaining (Meredith Grey, Alex Karev, Miranda Bailey and Richard Webber) still on the show, the cast is ever-changing, featuring a new batch of interns every few seasons.
March 27, 2016 even marked the show’s 11th anniversary of being on the air.
Grey’s Anatomy, along with many other ABC shows, was renewed for its 13th season on March 3. The show airs Thursday nights at 8 p.m. as part of the network’s TGIT lineup. Past seasons of the show are streaming on Netflix and all of the episode from this season so far are available to stream on Hulu.