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Variety: 'Grey's Anatomy' Showrunner Opens up about Decision to Address COVID-19 in Season 17

Joe Akins
Oct 03, 2020
09:57 P.M.
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“Grey’s Anatomy” is gearing up to continue filming, as activities are slowly resuming after months of lockdown. With the show set to address the novel coronavirus pandemic, showrunner Krista Vernoff explained their approach to this one.


In an exclusive interview with news reporters, “Greys’ Anatomy” showrunner Krista Vernoff spoke about the show and how they had managed to weave the novel coronavirus pandemic into the new season.

The discussion primarily revolved around moving forward with the storyline surrounding the novel coronavirus or not in season 17. Considering that “Grey’s Anatomy" is arguably the most popular health-based show, this is pretty much expected.  

A portrait of some of the early cast of ABC's "Grey's Anatomy" on August 15, 2006 | Photo: Getty Images


Vernoff explained that she had initially told the writers at a meeting in June not to incorporate the health crisis into the new season’s story. As she explained, she believed at the time that it would be better off if the show stayed away from this one. In part, she said:

“I think that people have fatigue of COVID, and I think they turn to our show for relief.”


However, co-executive producer Lynne E. Litt disagreed. Litt reportedly said that the importance of the novel coronavirus made it impossible for them to ignore.

Litt pointed out that the show has covered multiple health crises in the past. So, there was no reason why they should shy away from this one.

Actor Giacomo Gianniotti has teased what the new season will start about a month-and-a-half into the health crisis.


The story of the novel coronavirus storyline first hit news sources in July. At the time, Vernoff explained to reporters that there was no way they would move into the new season without covering it.

Vernoff also described the writing process, which usually involves doctors who are on the frontlines. She pointed out that things were different this time, as most of them appeared genuinely scared of what could come.


The showrunner added that it had been terrifying to hear doctors rendering their experiences over the past few months. Part of that was why they decided to tell the story.

Actor Giacomo Gianniotti has teased that the new season will start about a month-and-a-half into the health crisis. He added that there could be some flashbacks and references to the past season to help the viewers catch up.


Considering that the pandemic storyline will cause the show to perform a significant time jump, fans will need some closure when it resumes for its 17th season.

For now, however, the show and its crew have barely given anything away concerning how the new season will look. Weaving a storyline like the novel coronavirus pandemic is no easy feat. However, if one show can get it right, it should be “Grey’s Anatomy.


We at do our best to give you the most updated news regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, but the situation is constantly changing. We encourage readers to refer to the online updates from CDС, WHO, or Local Health Departments to stay updated.Take care!