Grey’s Anatomy is one of those shows that has been on for what seems like forever. In fact, it’s been on so long that characters can take close to a decade off and still reprise their roles later because the thing just keeps chugging along. That is going to be the case with another cast member from the early seasons of the show set to reprise her role in this next go-around of stories. Deadline has it that Kate Walsh is coming back for the 18th season of Grey’s Anatomy as Addison Montgomery. Maybe she’s set to have heads spin once again.
Kate Walsh wasn’t an original cast member of Grey’s Anatomy, but she was darn close. She entered Seattle Grace Hospital at the end of Season 1, swooping in as Addison, the wife of Patrick Dempsey’s McDreamy which acted as something of a major record-scratch/ love triangle cliffhanger heading into the second season. It is easy to forget now, but this was a pretty major moment for an incredibly popular show at the time. Having been in the midst of a love affair between the two main characters, Walsh coming in was a huge surprise.
It is many, many years later now, but Walsh will now reprise the role that did mark a significant moment for the show. While many of the central figures of the series have changed, there have been notable returns over the last few seasons. From the Deadline reporting, she won’t be returning to the main cast role, but rather will be recurring throughout this season. Only a few of the original Grey’s Anatomy cast remains in the mix with Ellen Pompeo’s titular Meredith Grey still around, along with Chandra Wilson’s Miranda Bailey and James Pickens Jr.’s Richard Webber. All of the rest of the original cast has moved on with others moving in and out over the years as well. This thing is entering its 18th season, it can only go one way with these things.
After her surprise appearance at the end of Grey’s Anatomy’s Season 1, Kate Walsh did hang around as part of the main cast for the next two seasons. After that, because of the character’s at-the-time popularity, Dr. Montgomery got her own spin-off with Private Practice. This followed her character out of Seattle and into Los Angeles. It focused on the, well, private practice for Montgomery out of the bigger hospital and lasted for six seasons on ABC. During that time she would make recurring guest appearances on Grey’s Anatomy with the two shows having moderate overlap. Because of her ongoing relationships with the latter’s characters, it made sense to have them connected.
Grey’s Anatomy is butting up against two decades on the air which is really something in this day and age of network broadcasting when your show doesn’t involve letters like CSI or SVU. But working in hospitals is the next best thing and the somewhat procedural nature of the show has kept the staying power strong over the years. Creator Shonda Rhimes has a knack for this kind of thing and it’s a testament to the show’s particular brand that is still relevant today. While not the ratings powerhouse it once was, with over 20+ million viewers an episode, it still ranks well in its time slot. You can see Kate Walsh return to Grey’s Anatomy when it premieres Thursday, September 30th on ABC.