'Grey's Anatomy' Season 17 Cast: Who's New, Who's Leaving and Who's Returning

Grey's Anatomy Season 17 returns this November on ABC, and the cast is more stable than it has been in recent years. No big names have suddenly announced that they are leaving as Justin Chambers did last year, and only one new cast member has been announced so far. However, the showrunner has hinted that some previous stars may return for the 17th season.

Who is joining the cast of Grey's Anatomy for Season 17?

Grey's Anatomy Season 17 will feature a new face in Mackenzie Marsh, who is playing a new character called Val Ashton, described in a Deadline article as, "intelligent, has a fun-loving sense of humor and works in publishing but is extremely lonely."

Previously, the actor has appeared in shows like Charmed, Will & Grace, American Housewife and The Following.

Who is returning for Grey's Anatomy Season 17?

Among those confirmed to be back for another season of the ABC medical drama are the following:

  • Ellen Pompeo - Meredith Grey
  • Giacomo Gianniotti - Andrew DeLuca
  • Jesse Williams - Jackson Avery
  • Kelly McCreary - Maggie Pierce
  • Chandra Wilson - Miranda Bailey
  • Caterina Scorsone - Amelia Shepherd
  • James Picken Jr. - Richard Webber
  • Kim Raver - Teddy Altman
  • Camilla Luddington - Jo Karev
  • Kevin McKidd - Owen Hunt
greys anatomy season 17 cast
'Grey's Anatomy' returns for Season 17 this fall on ABC. ABC

Grey's Anatomy fans will also get to see more of Anthony Hill as Winston Ndugu and Richard Flood as Cormac Hayes, as both have been upped to the role of series regulars.

Showrunner Krista Vernoff has also hinted that a former cast member like Sandra Oh, Sarah Drew or Kate Walsh could follow Katherine Heigl last season and make a surprise reappearance in the latest season.

She told Entertainment Tonight: "It's an ongoing effort and if I can make it happen, it'll be exciting...And if I can't make it happen, we have other exciting things happening."

Who is leaving Grey's Anatomy?

Season 17 will be the first season of Grey's Anatomy without Justin Chambers as Dr. Alex Karev. The actor unexpectedly left the show in January 2020, after releasing a statement that he "hoped to diversify my acting roles and career choices."

This clearly caused some problems for the show. Showrunner Krista Vernoff was asked by The Hollywood Reporter about what had happened and how much notice she was given and said "I decline comment" and "I don't want to talk about it."

In the Season 16 finale, Dr. Karev was revealed to have been reunited with ex-partner Izzie Stevens (Katherine Heigl, making a surprise return to Grey's).

This means that only three original main cast members remain: James Pickens Jr. as Dr. Richard Webber), Chandra Wilson as Dr. Miranda Bailey and Ellen Pompeo as Dr. Meredith Grey. Pompeo has previously given a number of statements saying she was close to leaving the show—and creator Shonda Rhimes has said that if Pompeo leaves, that is the end of the show.

As such, it remains to be seen whether Season 17 will be the last season of Grey's Anatomy.

Grey's Anatomy Season 17 starts on Thursday, November 12 at 9 p.m. ET / 8 p.m. CT on ABC.