‘Grey’s Anatomy’: Krista Vernoff Gives a Much-Needed Update on the Season 17 Premiere

There’s no denying the Grey’s Anatomy Season 16 finale was unlike any other. As always, fans were left hanging when the episode aired in April 2020. But the season unexpectedly ended four episodes early due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. So viewers didn’t get to see what the writers originally intended. Now, will the Grey’s Anatomy Season 17 premiere tie up those loose ends? Showrunner Krista Vernoff recently shared how things will look when the Shondaland series returns.

What happened in the ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Season 16 finale?

The Grey’s Anatomy Season 16 finale left multiple arcs up in the air. The episode highlighted Richard Webber’s (James Pickens Jr.) recovery, though the former chief’s issues with Catherine Fox (Debbie Allen) resurfaced. 

Meanwhile, Andrew DeLuca (Giacomo Gianniotti) was on a high while diagnosing Richard. But at the end of the finale, DeLuca fell hard and broke down in front of Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo). The leading character also sparked something with Cormac Hayes (Richard Flood), as she accepted his invite out to drinks.

Then Amelia Shepherd (Caterina Scorsone) and Atticus “Link” Lincoln (Chris Carmack) finally had their baby, though fans still don’t know his name. But it’s safe to say Amelia and Link won’t be naming their newborn after Owen Hunt (Kevin McKidd). 

Speaking of the trauma surgeon, he was supposed to get married to Teddy Altman (Kim Raver). But in the finale, Owen found out his person was cheating on him with Tom Koracick (Greg Germann). 

‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Season 17 will start with a time jump

Kim Raver as Teddy Altman on 'Grey's Anatomy' Season 16
Kim Raver as Teddy Altman on ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ | Gilles Mingasson/ABC via Getty Images

Of course, Grey’s Anatomy fans have been patiently waiting for answers following the early finale. But in an interview with Entertainment Tonight published in August 2020, Gianniotti revealed the season 17 premiere will begin with a time jump, indicating viewers won’t see the immediate aftermath of season 16.

“We’re going to start the season about a month and a half [into] full COVID,” the actor said. “It’s going to take place a little beyond where we left off in the last season. … We’re not picking up right where we left off.”

That said, Gianniotti predicted Grey’s Anatomy Season 17 would still address cliffhangers from the previous season. 

“We might have some flashbacks. We might have some things where we’re referencing last season, just to have context leading up,” he said.

Krista Vernoff says the ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Season 17 premiere will include scenes filmed during season 16


The ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Season 16 Finale Could’ve Killed a Major Character, So What Will Season 17 Bring?

When speaking with TVLine in September 2020, Vernoff opened up about Grey’s Anatomy Season 17. The showrunner revealed the new season will be a “whole new world” for everyone during the pandemic. She also hinted some stories that were originally planned for season 16 will be cut.

“In even the best of times, a television writer’s primary job is to know how to pivot,” Vernoff said. “We are not working to protect stories we had [planned] for the end of Season 16.”

Nevertheless, Vernoff confirmed the upcoming Grey’s Anatomy premiere will still air scenes that were filmed before the shutdown.

“You will get to see some of the immediate moments from where we left off,” she said. “There was great material that we had already shot but did not get a chance to air. We found a way to build it into our premiere.”

For now, fans will just have to wait and see what moments made the cut for the Grey’s Anatomy Season 17 premiere. But whatever happens next, everyone knows it’s going to be an extraordinary ride.

Update: The Grey’s Anatomy Season 17 premiere will air on Thursday, Nov. 12, on ABC.

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