Grey's Anatomy Seasons
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17

The seventeenth season of Grey's Anatomy will premiere November 12, 2020 on ABC with a two-hour season premiere. It will air on Thursday nights 9/8c.




Main Cast

Recurring Guest Stars

Prominent Guest Stars

Recurring Co-Stars

Notes and Trivia

  • The series was officially renewed for season seventeen on May 10, 2019, before the fifteenth season finished airing. This marks the first time in its history that the show was renewed for two seasons at once.
  • As of this season, Ellen Pompeo, Chandra Wilson, and James Pickens, Jr. are the only remaining original cast members.
  • The table read for the first episode took place on September 3, 2020. Filming started September 8, 2020.

Impact of COVID-19

As showrunner, Krista Vernoff was tasked with deciding if the season would tackle the pandemic or not. She ended up deciding not to include it, figuring that there was pandemic fatigue amongst the audience and that people would turn on their television for a sense of escapism. She gathered her writers' room and challenged them to change her mind. The doctors in the room were most persuasive and convinced her that they had a responsibility to depict this pandemic because it was changing the face of medicine forever and that it was the biggest medical storyline of their lifetimes. They then invited their medical advisors to come in and talk to them about how they were experiencing the pandemic.[1]

As was the case with all shows for the 2020-21 television season, production of the season was heavily impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.[2]

  • There were numerous meetings with unions, epidemiologists and health and safety experts to find ways to bring everyone back safely.
  • Actors on the show were tested for COVID-19 three times per week.
  • They stopped using paper scripts and instead used iPads.
  • Different stations were separated by plexiglass divisions in the hair and makeup trailer, where talking was not allowed since applying the makeup required the actors to take their face masks off.
  • Costumes, including scrubs, were delivered to the actors' trailers in plastic bags so people working in the costume department didn't actually have to touch the costumes.
  • Actors' chairs in the green room, where they kill time in between shooting scenes, were separated in their own zones. Eating also wasn't allowed in the green room anymore.
  • Rehearsals had to be repeated five times because of social distancing. Rather than gathering the entire crew for the first rehearsal, it had to be repeated for smaller fractions of crew members. After calling cut, only department at a time could come in and do their part, making for a turnaround of 15 minutes rather than the usual 2 minutes.
  • The writers were forced to re-examine their scripts and decide on which scenes would end up being cut in the editing process, which they then eliminated from the script to avoid unnecessary filming time. They also made sure to write longer scenes so the episodes had fewer scenes to film as well as limit the number of people in a scene. That led to the decision to not include all series regulars in all episodes.
  • Prior to the pandemic, they used to work 12-hour days minimum. During the pandemic, they did ten 10-hour days with a lot of wait time and turnarounds.


No. in series No. in season Title Directed by Written by Original air date
364 1 "All Tomorrow's Parties" Debbie Allen Andy Reaser & Lynne E. Litt November 12, 2020
In the midst of the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, Grey Sloan Memorial and its surgeons' lives have been turned upside down. The season 17 premiere picks up one month into the pandemic, and it's all-hands-on-deck as Meredith, Bailey and the rest of the Grey Sloan doctors find themselves on the frontlines of a new era. Meanwhile, an unintentionally started fire has first responders from Station 19 bringing patients into the hospital for treatment.

Second part of a cross-over that started out on Station 19's fourth season premiere.

365 2 "The Center Won't Hold" Debbie Allen Andy Reaser & Jase Miles-Perez November 12, 2020
Bailey finds herself in the middle of an argument with patients' families as they await news about their children who were injured in a fire. Winston surprises Maggie, and Amelia and Link try to have some fun as new parents. Teddy learns her colleagues know more than she may like about her relationship woes with Owen, and Richard and Koracick go at it.
366 3 "My Happy Ending" Kevin McKidd Meg Marinis November 19, 2020
The Grey Sloan doctors continue to face their new COVID-19 reality and deal with a familiar and stubborn patient. Koracick is put in charge of the interns who recently joined the hospital ranks and Link operates on a sex therapist. Elsewhere, Maggie finds comfort in Winston's virtual presence.
367 4 "You'll Never Walk Alone" Allison Liddi-Brown Julie Wong December 3, 2020
Owen faces a medical diagnosis that challenges more than he imagined. Meanwhile, Koracick begins to go stir crazy and Maggie gets a not-so-subtle glimpse into Winston's background.
368 5 "Fight the Power" Michael Watkins Zoanne Clack December 10, 2020
Bailey panics as she hears there has been a surge of COVID-19 cases, knowing she has loved ones in an assisted living facility. Meanwhile, Jackson and Richard team up against Catherine to teach her a lesson, and Teddy continues to try to mend her frayed relationships. After an intense surgery, Jo is uncertain about her future.
369 6 "No Time for Despair" Pete Chatmon Felicia Pride December 17, 2020
Grey Sloan Memorial faces new pressures as Seattle Pres is overloaded, and Grey Sloan Memorial is now on surge capacity protocol. Meanwhile, Owen and Amelia are faced with one of the most controversial surgeries of their careers.
370 7 "17.07" March 11, 2021


OldMer.jpg This page or section may contain spoilers about episodes that haven't yet aired in the US. OldC.jpg

  • It is highly likely that the Black Lives Matter movement will feature in prominent storylines.
  • After his surprise return at the end of the second episode, Patrick Dempsey will appear in three more episodes. All of those appearances will be part of the beach motif with Meredith that will recur throughout the season.[3]
  • Mackenzie Marsh will recur as Val Ashton, an intelligent woman who works in publishing. She has a fun-loving sense of humor, but is extremely lonely.


DVD Release


Cast Promotional Photos




  1. LA Times Krista Vernoff knows all of ‘Grey’s Anatomy’s’ secrets. And she’s ready to talk
  2. LA Times Krista Vernoff knows all of ‘Grey’s Anatomy’s’ secrets. And she’s ready to talk
  3. LA Times Krista Vernoff knows all of ‘Grey’s Anatomy’s’ secrets. And she’s ready to talk
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