Grey's Anatomy is a primetime medical drama that follows the lives of surgeons in the fictional Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital, located in Seattle. It is broadcast on ABC on Thursdays, 8/7c. Despite featuring several main characters, the central and titular character is Dr. Meredith Grey, who also functions as the show's primary narrator.
The show aired its pilot episode on March 27, 2005, and has reached its 400th episode with the eighteenth season finale. With the ninteenth season currently planned, Grey's Anatomy is the longest-running American medical drama. Throughout the years, the cast and crew have won or been nominated for numerous awards, including Emmys, Golden Globes, and SAG Awards. The current show runner is Krista Vernoff.
The series follows Meredith Grey and the team of doctors at Grey Sloan Memorial who are faced with life-or-death decisions on a daily basis. They seek comfort from one another, and, at times, more than just friendship. Together, they discover that neither medicine nor relationships can be defined in black and white.
Cast and Characters
- A list that contains all characters can be found here.
Current Main Cast
Former Main Cast
The show has been applauded for its non-traditional cast, as it is really representative of the world we're living in. The show's producers pride themselves on the fact that they used a "blind-casting" technique, resulting in a racially diverse cast.
The writers carefully chose the specialty of each doctor as an important analogy to their character and foreshadowing of their development, which adds a layer of complexity to the show.
- Season 1
- Season 2
- Season 3
- Season 4
- Season 5
- Season 6
- Season 7
- Season 8
- Season 9
- Season 10
- Season 11
- Season 12
- Season 13
- Season 14
- Season 15
- Season 16
- Season 17
- Season 18
- Seattle Grace: On Call
- Seattle Grace: Message of Hope
- Grey's Anatomy: Post-Op
- Grey's Anatomy: B-Team
All the award wins and nominations can be found here.
To date, four series of webisodes have been produced.
Seattle Grace: On Call
Seattle Grace: On Call takes place during New Year's Eve, so during and after the events of Holidaze. It shows the residents celebrating New Year's Eve at the Emerald City Bar and gives some more information about their personal lives, such as romances and pregnancies.
Seattle Grace: Message of Hope
Seattle Grace: Message of Hope takes place after the hospital shooting and tells the story of Richard and a PR rep creating a commercial for the hospital with the help of several doctors. The commercial was necessary to lure people back to the hospital, as the crisis mode the hospital was in after the shooting resulted in patients being scared to come to the hospital.
Grey's Anatomy: Post-Op
Grey's Anatomy: Post-Op is a series where Gordon James interviews crew members about their work on the show as they look back on the show's history. Each episode ends with a sneak peek from the upcoming episode.
Grey's Anatomy: B-Team
- A special boxset with seasons one to fourteen is available in the UK.
- Overheard at the Emerald City Bar/Notes from the Nurses' Station: A novel depicting the lives and minglings of two bit-part characters; Joe the bartender and Nurse Debbie. The book is double-sided and written in blog and IM form while gossiping on the actions of the Grey's characters. The events discussed give background information for Joe and Debbie themselves and give insight into the events and cases the doctors deal with in the show.
- The Grey's Anatomy Guide to Healing with Love, a tie-in novel from the perspective of Sydney Heron, teaching you her method of healing with love.
- A bi-monthly magazine was produced and sold in stores across Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom. The title of the magazine is GREY'S ANATOMY and it is a published work through Titan Magazines, and ExpressMag (for subscriptions). The first issue was released in March 2007 and the last in November/December 2008.
- In January 2008, Grey's Anatomy was made into a mobile game on behalf of video game publisher Gameloft. A Reuters.com article states that it "gives players and fans the chance to experience intense emotions and drama unique to their favorite show in unlimited different skill-based surgery mini-games taken from actual episodes of the show".
- In March 2009, Ubisoft released Grey's Anatomy: The Video Game for the Wii, Nintendo DS, and PC.
- The Grey's Anatomy Soundtrack
- Official Grey's Anatomy Podcast
- A Corazón Abierto - Mexican telenovela based on Grey's Anatomy
- A Corazón Abierto - Colombian telenovela based on Grey's Anatomy
- Medics - A Polish tv series based on Grey's Anatomy
- Grey's Anatomy on Social Media: Official accounts for the show, plus the personal accounts of cast and crew members
- The Songs Beneath the Show
- Good Medicine
- Grey's Anatomy Crew Call
- Shondaland: Revealed
The show's main title theme is an excerpt of "Cosy in the Rocket", by British artist Psapp. In the first two seasons, it was played during the intro. This intro was scraped because Shonda Rhimes felt like it was taking time away from the stories that had to be told in that episode, but an instrumental version of the song can still be heard during the credits after the episode.
Music on the Show
Music plays a key role in the creation of Grey's Anatomy. Each episode of the show is uniquely named after a song, carefully chosen so the titles have something to do with the theme or moral of the episode. Alexandra Patsavas is the person who selects, mixes and supervises all the songs that are featured in the episodes of the show. A complete list of those songs can be found here.
Throughout the years, a lot of artists have been featured on the show. Sometimes, artists specifically write songs for use in the show. Primary examples of this are Emiliana Torrini, who wrote "Beggar's Prayer" for the episode Six Days, Part 1, and Greg Laswell, who created "Off I Go" for the final scene of season five. Some artists have also allowed the show to debut a song, Taylor Swift's "White Horse" on the season five premiere and John Legend's "All of Me" on the season nine finale being primary examples.
In addition to use within the series, certain songs have become key to promotion of Grey’s Anatomy. Prior to the series debut, The Postal Service's song "Such Great Heights" was used as part of series previews aired on ABC. As the series has continued, it has been instrumental to the success of songs such as Snow Patrol’s “Chasing Cars” and The Fray’s “How to Save a Life”, both of which became top 5 hits after appearing in the show. Anna Nalick's "Breathe (2 A.M.)" also regained popularity after appearing in the "As We Know It" episode (the second of a two-part episode which premiered after Super Bowl XL). “Chasing Cars” gained in popularity after its use late in the second season, and was also used in a video of second season clips. “How to Save a Life” was the song used for the series' third season promotional music video, and all Grey’s Anatomy previews for the season. Brandi Carlile’s “The Story” and Mat Kearney’s “Breathe In, Breathe Out” have also been featured prominently. Some of these iconic songs made their return to the show in the musical episode, "Song Beneath the Song," where they were covered by the cast members.
Throughout the course of the show, several soundtracks have been released by Hollywood Records, containing songs that were featured on the show. Around the premiere date of the new season, a soundtrack was released for the previous season. This annual tradition ended with the soundtrack for the third season, although a fourth soundtrack was released in September 2011 with several songs of the seventh season. Additionally, on the air date of the musical episode, an album that contained all songs from that episode sung by the cast members was released.
Notes and Trivia
- Every episode title originates from the title of a song.
- The title of the show is a reference to the anatomy textbook Gray's Anatomy.
- Taking the first letter of each of the original interns' first name, the word magic can be spelled.
- The show was originally titled Complications.
- All of the original interns, Meredith Grey, Cristina Yang, Alex Karev, George O'Malley, and Izzie Stevens, have had surgery at some point in the series.
- There is not a season to date in which all the main cast members of that season appear in every episode.
- The show has become somewhat notable for its cast changes. Out of all the seasons, only 5 (seasons 1, 2, 4, 7 and 15) did not see a main cast member leaving:
- Isaiah Washington and Kate Walsh left at the conclusion of season three.
- Brooke Smith and T.R. Knight left during and at the conclusion of season five, respectively.
- Katherine Heigl left during season six.
- Kim Raver and Chyler Leigh left at the conclusion of season eight.
- Eric Dane left at the beginning of season nine.
- Sandra Oh, Tessa Ferrer, and Gaius Charles left at the conclusion of season ten.
- Patrick Dempsey left at the conclusion of season eleven.
- Sara Ramírez left at the conclusion of season twelve.
- Jerrika Hinton left at the conclusion of season thirteen.
- Martin Henderson left during season fourteen, while Jessica Capshaw, Sarah Drew, and Jason George left at the conclusion.
- Justin Chambers left during season sixteen.
- Giacomo Gianniotti, Jesse Williams, and Greg Germann left during season seventeen.
- Richard Flood left during eighteen.
- Eleven former main cast members have returned at some point after leaving.
- Kate Walsh returned in seasons four, five, six, seven, eight, and eighteen as a special guest star as she was a main character on the spin-off Private Practice.
- Kim Raver returned in season fourteen as a recurring guest star before becoming a series regular for a second time in season fifteen. This is also the first time in the show's history that an actor left the main cast and later rejoined.
- Tessa Ferrer returned for a few episodes in season thirteen before leaving again.
- Jason George still appears as a guest star as he is a main character on the spin-off Station 19.
- Isaiah Washington returned at the end of season ten for one episode.
- Patrick Dempsey returned for a few episodes in season seventeen as a guest star.
- T.R. Knight returned at the beginning of season seventeen for one episode.
- Chyler Leigh and Eric Dane returned during season seventeen for one episode.
- Sarah Drew returned for one episode each in both seasons seventeen and eighteen.
- Greg Germann made several guest appearances in season eighteen.
- Jesse Williams returned at the end of season eighteen for one episode.
- In Slovakia, the show was renamed to Klinika Grace (en. Grace Clinic). In the Czech Republic, the show was renamed to Chirurgové (en. Surgeons), and in Poland, the show was renamed to Chirurdzy (en. Surgeons). In Denmark, the show was renamed to Greys hvide verden (en. Grey's White World).
The characters on Grey's Anatomy speak in a very contemporary way, resulting in unique dialogue. As a result, the show has spawned several catchphrases, many of which are only used once or a few times. The use is noted in the following form (Season, Episode # of that season)
- A trend began of ""Mc" Labeling" characters or adding "Mc" to other terms
- It's a Beautiful Night to Save Lives
- Euphemisms for female genitalia or other sexually-related terms
- Va-jay-jay: Dr. Bailey's euphemism for vagina: during the season 2 episode "(As We Know It)", George was assisting Addison Shepherd in Dr. Bailey's childbirth, and Bailey told him to "stop looking at my va-jay-jay!" On the "Frequently Asked Questions" page of the show's official website, Shonda Rhimes credits assistant Blythe Robe as her source for the phrase. The network tries to limit the use of the word "vagina."
- My good girl: A supporting character called her genitalia "my good girl" in the episode Damage Case.
- V-card: Chief Webber's wife Adele (Loretta Devine) used the phrase "cashing in her V-card" to describe her niece losing her virginity in the second-season finale.
- Cristina used the term "the Nasty Nasty" to refer to sex. This was first used in the episode Time Has Come Today [3,01], when Cristina said: "You and McDreamy did the Nasty Nasty?"
- The characters often say "seriously", usually at the end of a sentence, as a question or as a pronouncement. On the "Frequently Asked Questions" page on the show's website at ABC.com and the audio commentaries, creator Shonda Rhimes explains that one of the writers, Krista Vernoff, used the saying all the time and it spread to the writing staff, and eventually, to the dialogue.
Due to the great success of Grey's Anatomy, Shonda Rhimes decided to create a spin-off show titled Private Practice. The main character of Private Practice is Addison Montgomery and also includes Naomi Bennett, Sam Bennett, Dell Parker, Cooper Freedman, Violet Turner, Charlotte King, Pete Wilder, Sheldon Wallace, Amelia Shepherd, and Jake Reilly. There have been multiple crossover episodes, most notably the 6-episode arc in season two of Private Practice and five of Grey's Anatomy.
The second Grey's Anatomy spinoff is titled Station 19 and it was announced at the ABC upfronts on May 16, 2017. It focuses on the firefighters working at Station 19 in Seattle. Like Private Practice, there have also been some crossover episodes.