‘Grey’s Anatomy’ just became one of the longest-running primetime US TV series

The 300th episode of ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ screened yesterday on ABC. — Handout via AFP
The 300th episode of ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ screened yesterday on ABC. — Handout via AFP

LOS ANGELES, Nov 10 — When the 300th episode of Grey’s Anatomy — titled “Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your Story” — screened yesterday in the US, the show joined the ranks of The Simpsons, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and NCIS as the only primetime series still on air to have reached this milestone.

Yesterday evening, ABC broadcast the seventh episode from season 14 of its hospital drama, which also happens to be the 300th episode of the series since it launched in 2005. To mark this special occasion, the show’s creator, Shonda Rhimes, is celebrating the show’s characters as well as paying homage to ghosts from the past.

The episode sees Meredith Grey and Alex Karev cross paths with victims of an accident at a county fair who look exactly like their former friends and colleagues George O’Malley, Cristina Yang and Izzie Stevens. This special episode also promises plenty of nods to the show’s early days, when the main characters were still interns.

One of the longest-running primetime shows

“Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your Story” makes Grey’s Anatomy one of US TV’s longest-running primetimes series still on the air. The current record holder is The Simpsons, which saw its 623rd episode screen November 5 on Fox. Law & Order: Special Victims Unit reached its 416th case November 8 on NBC, and NCIS dropped its 337th episode November 7 on CBS.

Some other shows are fast approaching the 300-episode mark. Animated series Family Guy screened its 294th episode on Fox November 5. South Park has notched up 284 episodes, closely followed by Criminal Minds with 283 episodes. Plus, Supernatural and The Big Bang Theory total 269 and 238 episodes respectively since their launch.

Very few primetime series — excluding soap operas, which can exceed 10,000 episodes — have enjoyed such longevity in the history of US TV. The all-time record is held by Gunsmoke, with 635 episodes of the Western broadcast between 1955 and 1975. Lassie brought 591 stories to the small screen between 1954 and 1973, while Bonanza enjoyed 431 instalments in 14 years on the air, and there were 380 episodes of My Three Sons during its 12-year run.

More recently, CBS axed its flagship series CSI: Crime Scene Investigation after 337 episodes, and NBC shut down ER after 331 episodes. Still, these impressive performances don’t quite match the 1980s big-hitters Dallas and its spinoff Knots Landing with 357 and 344 episodes apiece. — AFP-Relaxnews

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