Grey's Anatomy is set to return to production for the first time in six months today (September 8), and there are a lot of questions about how the series will address the storylines left up in the air from the early conclusion of Grey's Anatomy Season 16.
It was previously revealed that some storylines had to be scrapped due to the pandemic, because of the way the series will pick up.
Now, series showrunner Krista Vernoff is opening up about pivoting to include moments that were previously thought to be cut.
"In even the best of times, a television writer's primary job is to know how to pivot," Vernoff explained in a new interview with TV Line.
"We are not working to protect stories we had [planned] for the end of season 16. That said, you will get to see some of the immediate moments from where we left off."
Vernoff did not want to lose moments from the show that were planned, so they will be incorporated into the new season in some capacity.
"There was great material that we had already shot but did not get a chance to air," she added. "So we found a way to build it into our premiere."
Vernoff also explained that the staff at Grey Sloan Memorial would be navigating a whole new world due to COVID.
It's not news that the series will be tacking the pandemic, with Vernoff revealing the news earlier this year.
"We're going to address this pandemic for sure," Krista Vernoff explained in an Emmys panel in July.
"There's no way to be a long-running medical show and not do the medical story of our lifetimes."
“The doctors come in, and we’re the first people they’re talking to about these types of experiences they’re having,” the showrunner teased.
“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."
"And that’s been one of our big conversations about [Kevin McKidd’s] Owen [who served in the Army], that he’s actually trained for this in a way that most of the other doctors aren’t.”
“I feel like our show has an opportunity and a responsibility to tell some of those stories,” Vernoff continued.
“Our conversations have been constantly about how we keep alive humor and romance while we tell these really painful stories.”
Grey's Anatomy Season 17 is set to return to Thursdays later this year, with a premiere date to be announced in the coming weeks.
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Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.