Like many other television shows, Grey’s Anatomy shut down its production in March due to coronavirus concerns. The problem? That meant the four episodes that were supposed to wrap up Season 16 couldn’t be produced, and Episode 21 became the season’s makeshift finale. As of now, Season 17 is still on track to air as planned, so viewers are not only wondering how the show will wrap up the Season 16 arcs, but also what new storylines will be brought up, including whether Grey’s Anatomy will have a coronavirus storyline to mirror what’s going on in the outside world.
In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Grey’s showrunner Krista Vernoff gave her perspective on what Season 17 might look like. While nothing is set in stone as of April 9, she said she is considering the coronavirus when it comes to Grey’s.
"I’ve been thinking, are we incorporating coronavirus into the storytelling and also does that dictate what kind of stories we can tell? Are we, for example, limiting the number of people in a room?" she pondered to THR, adding relevant example: "If we’re doing a story where 60 people were sitting in a theater, are we no longer doing that story? Those are the things I’m thinking about because I don’t think this is going to be totally over when we come back to shoot in July. I don’t know."
Since Grey’s is a medial drama, it wouldn’t be far-fetched for the doctors at Grey Sloan to deal with the coronavirus pandemic in some capacity. As Vernoff pointed out, it might be necessary to incorporate if social distancing rules are still in place and will limit the amount of people on set at one time.
When it comes to some of the unfinished Season 16 storylines that still need to be addressed after the early finale, Vernoff said the writers are already thinking about how to incorporate them into Season 17. "Some of those things that we had decided, we’re changing because we’ll have had a break and have come up with better ideas. And some of it is going to have to change because you’re taking what was going to be a regular episode and have to turn it into a season premiere and that will require some reimagining," she explained.
Grey’s Anatomy was one of the first shows to shut down production due to the coronavirus. Now, Vernoff said she is keeping an eye on producing future episodes in the safest way possible as the writers room resumes in May to discuss possible storylines for Season 17.
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