Grey's Anatomy, Other Shows Utilize Voiceover Narration

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As the anonymous narrator on ABC's Pushing Daisies often says, "The facts are these." The number of TV shows with voiceover narration has risen in recent years.

Exhibit A: Meredith Grey quotes.

While the writers' strike may temporarily halt the yapping from characters across various TV shows, it's a trend that appears to have staying power.

New series beginning this autumn with lots more narratives, according to the Ventura County Star, include Pushing Daisies and The CW's Aliens in America and Gossip Girl. These shows join veterans My Name is Earl, How I Met Your Mother, Everybody Hates Chris, Grey's Anatomy, Scrubs, etc.

A Happy Meredith

Meredith Grey has narrated Grey's Anatomy since its 2005 inception, with some notable exceptions, in which other characters have narrated specific episodes.

Of course, Desperate Housewives, made omniscient narration a popular device in 2004 with dead Mary Alice telling us tales of Wisteria Lane from the beyond.

"It clearly worked in literature forever, and I think there are ways to use it intelligently" in TV, NBC Entertainment Co-Chairman Ben Silverman said.

He brought up the many funny Sex and the City quotes over the years as a use of narration as a device of "relaying the humor back to the audience. I think within the comedy, those voices are great ways to connect to the audience."

On the flip side, CBS has few, if any, narrated series. CBS Entertainment President Nina Tassler said she has concerns about its effect on viewers.

"I'm not a fan of voice-over narration. A lot of times it co-opts an audience's ability to follow the action of the story by having somebody tell them what to feel, what to think," she said in July. "I like it when it counterpoints what's going on. You have to be really sensitive as to how and when and where you use it."

Andy Dehnart, the writer and editor of, thinks that the rise of reality TV shows in recent years has been a major instigator.

"Because reality shows only have real footage to work with, sometimes in order to craft a narrative arc, you have to substitute with a narrator to connect scenes that otherwise might not have film to connect," he said. "Some reality shows overuse this, so you're being reminded of things you're actually seeing on the screen."

Continue reading in the Ventura County Star ...

Steve Marsi is the Managing Editor of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Google+ or email him here.


Lusay, I think you need psychiatric help if you believe you can shoot Meredith Grey. She is a fictional character on a show who's words and actions are scripted by writers. If you really hate her that much might I suggest changing the channel we do have more than 3 since the invention of the television.


If I ever meet Meredith Grey I will literally shoot her in the head to preserve the sanity of those millions of people who agree with me in thinking that her whinging, drab and old-womanish face belongs a long, long way away from television...maybe, not radio either.
Peace y'all xxx


i love watching grey's anatomy,really! i am having a hard time wherever i don't watch it..especially the characters like meredith,shes's nice and she is just being herself.i love her very much... love the way she narrate the for those who don't like it,you better watch it first!!! love you meredith..


If I'm not mistaken but isn't the narrorator for Pushing Daises, the guy that reads for the Harry Potter Audio Books- Jim Dale. B.c it sounds awfully alot like him


no one said meredith was annoying GREY FAN. but i get what she was saying about having someone tell you how to feel about what's going on. but i don't really think that's what meredith voicing over does, it's more like she adds insight to what's going and makes you think about it a little more. anyway i love it regardless


I totally agree with GREY FAN. Meredith is the only reason I watch Grey's Anatomy. I love Ellen and Meredith!


I love Meredith, too (the character AND the actress). and i have to agree with GREY FAN, the narrations are actually a huge part of the show; they tie the stories together. plus there's always something "quotable" from GA narrations. can't wait for the next episode!


HOW CAN ANYONE THINK MEREDITH GREY IS ANNOYING... ????? those who do I think do not understand the story and why shes narrating it in the first place. and have no clue what and who this character represents. personally, Meredith is 90% the reason I wathc this show. I didn't like this article.
thanks for posting it.


Grey's Anatomy Quotes

Did you say it? 'I love you. I don't ever want to live without you. You changed my life.' Did you say it? Make a plan. Set a goal. Work toward it, but every now and then, look around; Drink it in 'cause this is it. It might all be gone tomorrow."

Meredith (closing voiceover)

Burke was- He took something from me. He took little pieces of me, little pieces over time, so small I didn't even notice, you know? He wanted me to be something I wasn't, and I made myself into what he wanted. One day I was me Cristina Yang, and then suddenly I was lying for him, and jeopardizing my career, and agreeing to be married and wearing a ring, and being a bride. Until I was standing there in a wedding dress with no eyebrows, and I wasn't Cristina Yang anymore. And even then, I would've married him. I would have. I lost myself for a long time. And now that I'm finally me again, I can't. I love you. I love you more than I loved Burke. I love you. And that scares the crap out of me because when you asked me to ignore Teddy's page, you took a piece of me, and I let you. And that will never happen again.