‘Grey’s Anatomy’s New Time Slot Will Bring the Show Back to Its Steamier, Sexier Roots

In true Shondaland fashion, Grey’s Anatomy‘s fall finale ended with a catastrophe that has viewers on the edge of their seats waiting for the return. The series will return in January 2020 with a new time slot.

Showrunner, Krista Vernoff, is excited that the show will now have the opportunity to get back to its sexier roots. Let’s take a look at why it moved and what it might look like on Grey’s Anatomy. Warning: Season 16 Spoilers.

Patrick Dempsey and Ellen Pompeo
Patrick Dempsey and Ellen Pompeo | Eric McCandless/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images

Why is ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ moving to a new time slot?

When ABC’s critically acclaimed series, Grey’s Anatomy, returns for its 16th midseason premiere in January, it will be at 9 p.m. instead of 8 p.m. However, fans who are dying to know what happens after that car crashed into Joe’s bar will have to tune into Station 19 at 8 p.m. first. 

Station 19 is the second spin-off to Grey’s Anatomy and is coming into its third season. The first spin-off was Private Practice, which ran for six seasons and garnished critical acclaim. 

The firefighters from Seattle Fire Station 19 will arrive on the scene of the crash to work on rescuing those trapped inside the underground bar. Then, when 9 p.m. hits, the rescue will continue on Grey’s Anatomy. Characters from both shows will appear throughout the two-hour-long season premiere.

“Ever since Station 19 premiered,” Vernoff told Deadline, “in the writers’ room, we always thought the better progression was from firefighters to the hospital.” She continued, “I didn’t think it was going to happen, but I was thrilled ABC had made the decision. I literally cheered when they let me know that. It’s really exciting and opens up the storytelling.” 

‘Grey’s Anatomy’s move from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. has significant ramifications

The flagship series initially aired at 9 p.m., so Vernoff is very excited that it will be able to return to its roots. There are very different guidelines for shows that air before 9 p.m. The earlier slots are considered family programming, so they are limited in what they show.

“There are different rules for a 9 p.m. show than there are for an 8 p.m. show, Vernoff commented, “and we hope to take advantage of those rules.” 

Grey’s was definitely allowed to be a sexier show when it was on at 9 o’clock. So we are excited by the change back to our original [Thursday] time slot,” she added.

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“The watershed begins at 9 p.m. and material unsuitable for children should not, in general, be shown before 9 p.m. or after 5.30 a.m.,” according to Ofcom. “Unsuitable material can include everything from sexual content to violence, graphic or distressing imagery, and swearing.”

Therefore, we are about to see a move towards more sex scenes that involve more than kissing. There may be more nudity and graphic death scenes, as well. 

What kinds of scenes did ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ show when they were at the later time slot?

Grey’s Anatomy initially aired at 10 p.m. on Sunday nights for its first season. Subsequent seasons were at the coveted 9 p.m. Thursday night slot through the tenth season.

During those early ten seasons, Grey’s Anatomy was known for an abundance of steamy sex scenes. The season 16 fall finale included a few make-out sessions, but everyone was fully dressed. In the early days of the show, it was not uncommon for the show to open with two people naked in bed together. 

The Izzie (Catherine Heigl) and Alex (Just Chambers), “take off your pants,” sex scene is one of the top ten steamiest ever. By the end of the scene, they have taken off almost all of their clothing and are having sex in an on-call room. 

Then there was the time that Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) and McDreamy (Patrick Dempsey) had sex in a medical exam room. We watch as Derek gently takes off Meredith’s stockings. There is an endless amount of skin, rubbing, and kissing. 

It looks like Grey’s Anatomy is about to get back to its sexy roots, and Vernoff isn’t the only one excited about it. We can’t wait to see what she has in store when the show returns to ABC on Jan. 23, 2020.