‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Photos From the Pilot To Get Fans Excited for Season 17

Grey’s Anatomy is back. 

The long-running TV show from Shonda Rhimes returns with a landmark 17th season. But before all-new episodes air, revisit the episode that started it all.

'Grey's Anatomy' Season 1 cast
Grey’s Anatomy Season 1 cast | Frank Ockenfels/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images

‘Grey’s Anatomy’ premiered in 2005

The first-ever episode of the medical drama aired on March 27, 2005. Grey’s Anatomy Season 1 Episode 1: “A Hard Day’s Night” follows the title character, Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo), on her first day as a surgical intern at what was then called Seattle Grace Hospital. 

The episode marks the first of many that are named after a song. The Grey’s Anatomy pilot, instead of simply being titled “Pilot” got the name “A Hard Day’s Night” after the famous Beatles song. 

Ellen Pompeo, Sandra Oh, and T.R. Knight in a scene from the 'Grey's Anatomy' pilot episode
Ellen Pompeo, Sandra Oh, and T.R. Knight in a scene from the pilot episode of Grey’s Anatomy | Richard Cartwright/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images

Meredith meets her fellow surgical interns George O’Malley (T.R. Knight), Cristina Yang (Sandra Oh), Alex Karev (Justin Chambers), and Izzie Stevens (Katherine Heigl) on her first 48-hour shift with Dr. Miranda Bailey (Chandra Wilson) aka “The Nazi.” 

Meredith Grey discovers she had a 1-night-stand with her boss

To complicate things, Meredith discovers Derek, the guy she had a one-night-stand with hours before her first day, is none other than Dr. Derek Shepherd (Patrick Dempsey), one of her bosses. 

RELATED: ‘Grey’s Anatomy’: Patrick Dempsey ‘Immediately Had a Great Connection’ with Ellen Pompeo — Here’s Why

To make things even more complicated, Derek tells the interns whoever can figure out what’s wrong with one of his patients gets to scrub in. Meredith and Cristina team up but Meredith makes it clear if they win she doesn’t want to be in on the surgery. 

T.R. Knight, Ellen Pompeo, Katherine Heigl, Sandra Oh, and Chandra Wilson in the 'Grey's Anatomy' pilot
T.R. Knight, Ellen Pompeo, Katherine Heigl, Sandra Oh, and Chandra Wilson in the Grey’s Anatomy pilot | Richard Cartwright/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images

Thanks to something the patient tells Meredith in passing, she figures out what’s wrong and tells Derek. He, in turn, says the operating room will be packed so there will only be room for her.

Meredith stays silent while Cristina waits for her to give the spot to her as promised. She doesn’t and Cristina tells Meredith to be honest about being “a shark.” 

George O’Malley gets to scrub in on a surgery during his first day

The interns try to impress because they hear one of them will get to assist on an actual surgery. Dr. Preston Burke (Isaiah Washington) awards the honor to George, who he says has the most promise.

Katherine Heigl, Isaiah Washington, T. R. Knight during the pilot episode of 'Grey's Anatomy'
Katherine Heigl, Isaiah Washington, T. R. Knight during the pilot episode of Grey’s Anatomy | Richard Cartwright/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images

Shocked, George can’t believe what’s happened. As Miranda tells Dr. Burke, George barely made the cut to join the program. 

Ellen Pompeo, Katherine Heigl, and Sandra Oh in a scene from the 'Grey's Anatomy' pilot
Ellen Pompeo, Katherine Heigl, and Sandra Oh in a scene from the Grey’s Anatomy pilot | Carin Baer/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images

When it comes time for the procedure all the interns gather in the gallery to watch George in action. They take bets on when he’s going to fail. Meredith sticks up for him, saying they should all be rooting for him to succeed because he’s one of them. 

T.R. Knight and Isaiah Washington in a scene from the 'Grey's Anatomy' pilot episode
T.R. Knight and Isaiah Washington in a scene from the Grey’s Anatomy pilot episode | Carin Baer/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images

Things start off well but soon take a turn for the worse. George freezes up forcing Dr. Burke to step in and get the patient stabilized. At this moment George gets his nickname “007” meaning “license to kill.” 

Viewers also learn a little bit about Meredith’s famous mom, Ellis Grey (Kate Burton), who has Alzheimer’s disease. The rest is TV history.

Grey’s Anatomy Season 17 premieres Nov. 12, 2020, at 9 p.m. EST on ABC.