Remember those cold months between Grey's Anatomy's mid-Season 10 finale in December and its return in February? Next winter will look very similar.
ABC president Paul Lee announced that while Grey's is changing timeslots for Season 11, it's keeping the split-season approach that saw Season 10 broken up into two nonstop 12-episode runs.
"We're going to be doing split seasons on most of our shows this year," Paul told reporters on a conference call, per TVLine. (Other shows that will follow the same schedule next season include Scandal, Once Upon a Time, and Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.)
Airing the season's episodes in two uninterrupted streaks means viewers won't be frustrated by the reruns that would otherwise be needed to stretch 24 episodes over the September-to-May television season — and so they'll be presumably more inclined to tune in week-to-week. Hey, it sounds good to us!
The tactic seemed to pay off this season, as TVLine notes. Viewership in the crucial 18-to-49-year-old demo only declined 21 percent over the first 11 episodes this season, compared to the falloff of 32 percent seen in Season 9. Additionally, a higher percentage of viewers tuned in via DVR within seven days of each episode's airing this season than did so last season.