‘Grey’s Anatomy’: Why Isn’t the Show Airing at Its Normal Time?

 Grey’s Anatomy is finally back after their midseason break. But if you sat down to watch the show at its normal time of 9 p.m., you might be sorely disappointed. ABC’s lineup is expected to be pushed back tonight, along with the Thursday night lineup from several other stations.

Greys Anatomy Andrew DeLuca portrayed by Giacomo Gianniotti
‘Grey’s Anatomy’ surgeon Andrew DeLuca portrayed by Giacomo Gianniotti | Richard Cartwright/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images

Why is ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ coming on later?

According to Deadline, President Joe Biden is planning to give a primetime address starting at 8 p.m. ET tonight. It will be his first since his inauguration. While the speech is set to only last between 15 and 30 minutes, it will cover the one-year anniversary of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and commemorate all the lives lost in the U.S.

If the address starts on time, then Station 19 would start directly after it is over. If not, the address may interrupt Station 19 and then push the start time of Grey’s back.

‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Season 17 premiere

The mid-season premiere of Grey’s Anatomy will be a crossover event with Station 19. However, as with all of the Grey’s/Station 19 crossovers, you do not have to watch one to understand what is going on with the other.

“The best experience is going to be to watch both,” Grey’s Anatomy showrunner Krista Vernoff told Variety. “You’re going to feel like you got more stories if you’re watching both — like you have a more complete world. But here’s another angle to this challenge: These shows only air together on ABC on Thursday nights. When you stream them, you’re not watching them this way. Overseas ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ is in a lot of markets that ‘Station 19’ isn’t [in yet].”

So, in theory, the show’s work alone or together.

“Each hour of each show needs to be a whole story [by] itself,” Vernoff told the outlet. “And when merged with the other show, when there are crossover elements, it needs to feel like, ‘Oh, that’s a bigger movie.’ So I had to make two-hour movies, [but] if you only watched [either the first or last] hour, you felt totally satisfied.”

Season 17 could be the end

ABC is still in negotiation about the future of Grey’s so this might be the show’s final season.

“I’m planning a season and a finale that could function as either a season finale or a series finale,” Vernoff told The Hollywood Reporter. “I’m planning for both contingencies and it’s hard and it’s not ideal. It’s not where I wish we were.”

Until Vernoff knows the future of the show, she can’t really map out the whole season.

“It’s been so complicated and so difficult to come back to production during the pandemic,” she said. “We are on fumes. I don’t really have creative space for imaginings of what might happen next year; I’m trying to get through this season. Once I know if this is the final season or not, I can start to try to imagine other things. But trying to simultaneously plan for the end of the series and the end of the season — if it’s not the end of the series — it’s like breaking two shows. That’s what I’ve got bandwidth for. That, Station 19 and Rebel. That’s enough.”