- "I feel like our show has an opportunity and a responsibility to tell some of those stories," 'Grey's Anatomy' showrunner and exec. Producer Krista Vernoff said.
In an interview hosted by the Television Academy, Grey’s Anatomy showrunner and executive producer Krista Vernoff has revealed that the medical drama will address the novel coronavirus pandemic and its affects on frontline healthcare workers within its narrative on its upcoming season 17.
“We’re going to address this pandemic for sure,” Vernoff said during during the Quaranstreaming: Comfort TV That Keeps Us Going panel, “There’s no way to be a long-running medical show and not do the medical story of our lifetimes.”
Grey’s stars Chandra Wilson (Dr. Miranda Bailey) and Kevin McKidd (Dr. Owen Hunt) accompanied Vernoff on the panel.
“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,” she said. “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.”
The show’s writers are already at work by researching and interviewing real doctors at the frontlines of the pandemic; in order to create the stories and explore the global health crisis through Dr. Owen Hunt, the only trauma surgeon trained in the Armed Forces at Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital.
“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 said. “I feel like our show has an opportunity and a responsibility to tell some of those stories,” she added.
“Our conversations have been constantly about how do we keep alive humor and romance while we tell these really painful stories,” she expressed. The next season is not in production yet due to the pandemic.
The full panel will stream Tuesday night at 6 PM PT on Emmys.com, the teaser interview excerpt was provided exclusively by Entertainment Weekly.