Meredith Grey and Grey Sloan Memorial coworkers will face their biggest challenge in the seventeenth season of Grey's Anatomy. Executive producer Krista Vernoff recently revealed the long-running medical drama will tackle the COVID-19 pandemic in the upcoming season.
"We’re going to address this pandemic for sure," Vernoff said, explaining that there is "no way to be a long-running medical show and not do the medical story of our lifetimes." Vernoff also shared that the show's writers planned to meet with real-life doctors in order to hear their stories about dealing with the ongoing pandemic.
"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 continued. "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."
In a recent interview with Entertainment Tonight, series star Giacomo Gianniotti shed more light on the central conflict of the upcoming season. Gianniotti revealed the show will pick up "a month and a half" into the pandemic. "It's going to take place a little beyond where we left off in the last season," he added. "We might have some flashbacks. We might have some things where we're referencing last season, just to have context leading up. But we are going to have a little leap when we start this season in terms of time. We're not picking up right where we left off."
Gianniotti also shared how he believes his character Andrew DeLuca is faring during the pandemic. "I think he thrives in chaos and he certainly proved that in past seasons that when there's a lot going on, he steps up," he said. "This is going to be an obviously stressful situation, but I think an exciting one where he can really shine and then thrive."
While no date has been set yet, Gianniotti said the show hopes to resume filming some time in September.