Grey’s Anatomy Prepares To Lose Jake Borelli And More, But Looks Like The Show Is Picking Up A New Cast Member

Grey’s Anatomy Prepares To Lose Jake Borelli And More, But Looks Like The Show Is Picking Up A New Cast Member

The landscape of Grey’s Anatomy has changed quite a few times since its 2005 premiere, and headed into its 21st season, it looks like fans can expect quite a few more. For one thing, the medical drama is shifting to a later timeslot on ABC, and amid budget cuts, series regulars are expected to see a reduction in the number of episodes they appear in. There will also be casting changeups, and after Jake Borelli announced his exit, Grey’s Anatomy has announced a new Grey Sloan Memorial staffer.

TVLine reports that a new chaplain will join the crew for Grey’s Anatomy Season 21. No actor has been announced for the role, but the recurring character will reportedly be openly gay and a superhero fanboy. 

The specific addition of an LGBTQ+ character comes after Jake Borelli and Midori Francis — who play two of Grey’s Anatomy’s most iconic queer characters — each announced that they will only appear on the new season long enough to wrap up their storylines. Borelli plays longtime fan favorite doctor Levi Schmitt, who is gay, and Francis plays Mika Yasuda, who is bisexual and was involved in a relationship with Jaicy Elliot’s Taryn Helm.

It’s been frustrating for longtime fans to keep losing such beloved cast members, so we’ll have to see how the new character fits in. In addition to the as-yet-uncast chaplain, Grey’s Anatomy has announced that Ellen Pompeo is coming back to a more regular role on the show. Since she announced that she was stepping away as a series regular, Pompeo has continued to recur as Meredith Grey, appearing in half of Season 19 and the majority of Season 20, which was shortened to 10 episodes due to industry strikes.

Eighteen episodes have been ordered for Grey’s Anatomy’s 21st season on ABC’s fall schedule, with Ellen Pompeo expected to appear in at least seven and as many as 14 of them. We’ll also see the return of Jason George, as his character Ben Warren is headed back to the hospital to finish his residency after Station 19 was canceled this year.

It’s not unusual for Grey’s Anatomy to see plenty of arrivals, departures and returns, but this season specifically, it seems a shakeup is in store for all of the cast members. The show’s actors across the board are expected to take a reduction in episode guarantees for the upcoming season, as ABC’s budget was reallocated to give more money to new series. 

However, according to Disney TV Group President Craig Erwich, that’s not a sign that Grey’s Anatomy faces cancellation, as it will remain on Thursday nights — albeit an hour later —  where it has been historically successful.

While there seem to be a lot of moving parts on the longtime medical drama, I’m excited to see who they cast in the role of Grey Sloan Memorial’s chaplain. In the meantime, you can catch up on the best Grey’s Anatomy episodes or rewatch your favorite Grey’s eras, with all 20 seasons streaming on both Netflix and Hulu, two of the best streaming services