After a months-long hiatus, Grey's Anatomy season 17 is back with some cast changes. Overall, most of the faces are familiar, but there is one new character and there are a couple of recurring ones who have been promoted. Plus, one other fave fave is leaving for the Grey's spinoff Station 19.
Fans are lucky that the changes this season are minimal. According to TV Line, it was rumored that the season 16 finale was going to reveal a major character death, but those plans seemingly changed when the pandemic cut the season short.
The show already lost longtime character Alex Karev (Justin Chambers) last season when the actor left the show to pursue other projects. Alex wasn't killed off, but he did unceremoniously exit. He notified his heartbroken friends and wife via letter that he'd started a new life with his ex Izzie Stevens (Katherine Heigl) and their twin children.
Alex won't be coming back for season 17, but here's who will make an appearance:
The Regular Grey's Anatomy Cast is Back
Fans will continue to see all the main players return, just minus Alex. Per Deadline, the series regulars potentially on the chopping block were Teddy Altman (Kim Raver), Jo Karev (Camilla Luddington), and Owen Hunt (Kevin McKidd). But all three of them closed contract deals in July to extend their time on the show.
There Are Two New Grey's Series Regulars
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Richard Flood and Anthony Hill have both been promoted to series regular actors, meaning fans will see a lot more of them. Flood plays pediatric surgeon Cormac Hayes, who has also been a potential love interest for Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo). Hill plays Dr. Winston Ndugu, an old colleague of Maggie Pierce's (Kelly McCreary) who will serve as her season 17 love interest.
Carina DeLuca aka Stefania Spampinato Is Leaving Grey's For Station 19
THR also reported that Spampinato, who plays Dr. Carina DeLuca, will be moving into a full time role on the Grey's spinoff Station 19. She may still appear on Grey's from time to time as the two shows often cross over, but her main role will be on the spinoff as she dates firefighter Maya Bishop (Danielle Savre).
There Is One New Grey's Character: Val Ashton
Not much is known yet about new character Val Ashton. According to Deadline, Val is played by Mackenzie Marsh and is "intelligent" and "fun-loving," but also lonely. She also works in publishing, so it's more likely that she'll be a patient than a doctor or intern. Her IMDB page lists her as appearing in at least three episodes, so if she is a patient, she must have one of those hard-to-crack mystery cases.
This is Grey's Anatomy, so while this is what we know right now, characters can die at any minute. But we can rest assured that the main cast is still mostly intact heading into season 17.