‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Postpones Production Amid Coronavirus Pandemic

In a story that sounds like it comes from the show itself, Grey’s Anatomy has suspended production due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The series, which films in Los Angeles, is more than halfway through airing its 16th season. Here’s what we know, including the official statement.

‘Grey’s Anatomy’ is one of the most popular shows on TV

Ellen Pompeo as Meredith Grey in 'Grey's Anatomy' Season 16
Ellen Pompeo as Meredith Grey in ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Season 16 | ABC/Kelsey McNeal

Since its inception in 2005, Grey’s Anatomy has remained one of the most popular prime-time series on network TV. The medical drama follows Meredith Grey and her coworkers at a Seattle hospital as they take on natural disasters, horrific accidents, and every kind of illness imaginable, all while dealing with their complicated personal lives.

Ellen Pompeo stars as the lead character. She has gone from an intern to a chief attending, but it hasn’t been easy. The show has lost a lot of people (and beloved characters) along the way, including the recent departure of Justin Chambers, another member of the original cast.

Coronavirus has shut down multiple productions

In March 2020, the coronavirus became a major issue for the entertainment industry, in the U.S. and beyond. On March 11, 2020, production was suspended on the current season of Riverdale. Shooting for the teen drama, which films in Vancouver, was put on hold after a member of the crew came in contact with someone who tested positive for the virus.

Elsewhere in the world, another major production was affected. Tom Hanks and his wife, Rita Wilson, are in Australia as he prepares for filming an untitled Elvis Presley biopic. They both tested positive. Hanks then took to social media to share a statement about the precautions the cast and crew are taking.

Here’s the statement

There is no reported case of coronavirus among the cast or crew of the show. Instead, they are taking measures “to ensure the health and safety of the whole stay and crew,” according to statement published by Deadline.

“Out of an abundance of caution, production is postponed on Grey’s Anatomy effective immediately. We are going home now for at least two weeks and waiting to see how the coronavirus situation evolves,” reads the statement from showrunner Krista Vernoff and executive producers Debbie Allen and James D. Parriott.

How many episodes of ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ are left in the season?

The night of the announcement, Grey’s Anatomy aired its 17th episode of the season, titled “Life on Mars?” In it, Amelia finally learns who the father of her baby is, while Teddy deals with the fallout from her tryst with Koracik. Oh, and there was also a lot of life-saving going on from the doctors.

This season is set to have 24 total episodes. Only 20 titles have been revealed thus far, meaning they probably still have a few left to shoot. Fortunately, it’s likely that at least one or two are in post-production right now, meaning we still have a couple weeks left of Grey’s Anatomy before an unscheduled hiatus. Let’s just hope it’s not too long.