TV’s longest running medical drama, ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy,
will take on the coronavirus pandemic in season 17.
Showrunner Krista Vernoff revealed. “There’s no way to be a long-running medical show and not do the medical story of our lifetimes. Every year, we have doctors come and tell us their stories, and usually they’re telling their funniest or craziest stories. This year, it has felt more like therapy. The doctors come in and we’re the first people they’re talking to about these types of experiences they’re having. They are literally shaking and trying not to cry, they’re pale, and they’re talking about it as war—a war that they were not trained for. And that’s been one of our big conversations about Owen, is that he’s actually trained for this in a way that most of the other doctors aren’t.”
Vernoff says the show has a “responsibility” to portray what’s happening right now. “I feel like our show has an opportunity and a responsibility to tell some of those stories,” she said. “Our conversations have been constantly about how do we keep alive humor and romance while we tell these really painful stories.”
Season 16 of Grey’s Anatomy
was not able to finish filming, with four episodes left in the season when production was shut down due to the pandemic. However, season three of spinoff Station 19
did finish production, and the two shows would have shared a few storylines had Grey’s
been able to finish out its season. As a result, Vernoff said that they had to “pull some scenes and some dialogue” from the finished finale of Station 19
, which featured a hospital bombing, Vernoff said she did not plan on returning to those four planned episodes.
and Station 19
will return to ABC this fall.