Grey's Anatomy
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General Information
Genre: Medical drama
Created By: Shonda Rhimes
Starring: Ellen Pompeo
Justin Chambers
James Pickens, Jr.
Patrick Dempsey
Sara Ramirez
Kevin McKidd
Jessica Capshaw
Sarah Drew
Jesse Williams
Camilla Luddington
Jerrika Hinton
Caterina Scorsone
Narrated By: Ellen Pompeo and various other characters
Music Composer: Psapp
Opening Theme: "Cosy in the Rocket"
Composer: Danny Lux
Language: English
Country: United States
Seasons: 11
Episodes: 259 (list of episodes)
Executive Producers: Shonda Rhimes
Allan Heinberg
Betsy Beers
James D. Parriott
Jeannine Renshaw
Jeff Rafner
Joan Rater
Kent Hodder
Krista Vernoff
Mark Gordon
Mark Wilding
Marti Noxon
Nancy Bordson
Peter Horton
Rob Corn
Stacy McKee
Steve Mulholland
Tony Phelan
Producer: Ann Kindberg
Gabrielle G. Stanton
Harry Werksman
Linda Klein
Mark Foreman
Mark P. Carter
Mary O'Brien
Mimi Schmir
Peter Norwalk
Stacy McKee
Tammy Ann Casper
William Harper
Zoanne Clack
Editors: Susan Vaill
David Greenspan
Edward Ornelas
Briana Lodon
Cinematography: Herbert Davis
Camera Setup: Single-camera
Running Time: 43 minutes
Production Companies: The Mark Gordon Company
ABC Studios (as Touchstone Television, 2005-07)
Distributor: Buena Vista Home Entertainment
Disney-ABC Domestic Television
Original Channel: ABC
Picture Format: 480i
1080i (HDTV)
Audio Format: Stereo
Original Run: March 27, 2005-Present
Related Shows: Private Practice[1]
External Links

Grey's Anatomy is an American medical drama television series that premiered on the American Broadcasting Company (ABC) as a mid-season replacement on March 27, 2005. The series has aired ten seasons, and focuses on the fictional lives of surgical interns and residents as they gradually evolve into seasoned doctors, while trying to maintain personal lives and relationships. The title is a play on the name Gray's Anatomy, and English-language human anatomy textbook originally written by Henry Gray.

The show's premise originated with Shonda Rhimes, who serves as an executive producer, along with Betsy Beers, Mark Gordon, Krista Vernoff, Rob Corn, Mark Wilding, and Allan Heinberg. The series was created to be racially diverse, utilizing a color-blind casting technique. While the show is set in Seattle, it is primarily filmed in Los Angeles, California.

The series' protagonist is Dr. Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo), who originally is accepted into the residency program at the fictional Seattle Grace Hospital. Meredith is assigned to work under Dr. Miranda Bailey (Chandra Wilson), along with Dr. Chrstina Yang (Sandra Oh), Dr. George O'Malley (T.R. Knight), Dr. Izzie Stevens (Katherine Heigl), and Dr. Alex Karev (Justin Chambers). Following George's deah and Izzie's departure, the hospital's merger with Mercy West brings in Dr. Jackson Avery (Jesse Williams) and Dr. April Kepner (Sarah Drew), in the sixth season.

The surgical wing is primarily supervised by Dr. Richard Webber (James Pickens, Jr.), who is eventually replaced by Dr. Derek Shepherd (Patrick Dempsey), and later, Dr. Owen Hunt (Kevin McKidd). Derek is the chief of neurosurgery, Dr. Arizona Robbins (Jessica Capshaw) is the chief of pediatrics, Owen is the chief of trauma, Dr. Callie Torres (Sara Ramirez) is chief of orthopedics, Dr. Mark Sloan (Eric Dane) is the chief of plastic surgery, and the chief of cardiothoracic surgery has been five different doctors throughout the show: Dr. Preston Burke (Isaiah Washington), Dr. Erica Hahn (Brooke Smith), Dr. Teddy Altman (Kim Raver), Dr. Jeff Russell (Dominic Hoffman) and Dr. Margaret Pierce (Kelly McCreary).

Preston departs at the conclusion of the third season, after a failed relationship with Cristina, and is replaced by Erica Hahn, who leaves the show during the fifth season, and later Teddy Altman, who departs at the end of the eighth season. Introduced at the end of first season is Dr. Addison Montgomery (Kate Walsh), who leaves the show at the end of the third season, in order to launch her own spin-off medical drama Private Practice. Callie and Mark also enter the show in the second season, while Mark dies in the premiere of the ninth season. Meredith's half-sister Dr. Lexie Grey (Chyler Leigh), appears from season three and dies in the end of eighth season. Arizona first appears in season five and is given a series regular status at the beginning of the sixth season.

The ninth season introduced a new set of five recurring interns: Dr. Jo Wilson (Camilla Luddington), Dr. Shane Ross (Gaius Charles), Dr. Stephanie Edwards (Jerrika Hinton), Dr. Leah Murphy (Tessa Ferrer) and Dr. Heather Brooks (Tina Majorino) - becoming series regulars in the tenth season. Derek's sister Dr. Amelia Shepherd will be joining the show as a series regular in the eleventh season.

Grey's Anatomy is the highest-rated drama in the key 18-49 demographic. While the ratings have fallen over the past few seasons, it was once among the overall top-ten rated shows in the United States. Grey's Anatomy has been well received by critics. Considered an impact on culture, the series has received numerous awards, and has also been included in various critics top ten lists. It is the recipient of the 2007 Golden Globe Award for Best Television Series - Drama, and multiple Emmy nominations, including two for Outstanding Drama Series. The show has produced several specials, as well as distributed all seasons to DVD, and released a collection of merchandise. In 2012, Grey's Anatomy was named the fifth-highest revenue earning show, in terms of advertising per half-hour. The series was reneweed for a tenth season on May 10, 2013, which premiered on September 26, 2013 with a two-hour episode.[2]

On May 8, 2014, ABC renewed the series for an eleventh season that will air from 2014-15.[3] After four seasons, outside the top 25 rated shows, Grey's Anatomy was the number 15 show in the 2013-14 season; the show's tenth. The show also re-entered the top five shows in the 18-49 viewer demographic. On March 3, 2016, the show was renewed by ABC for a thirteenth season.


Shonda Rhimes, the series' creator, wanted to make a show that she would enjoy watching,[4] and thought it would be interesting to create a show about "smart women competing against one another".[5] When asked how she decided to develop a medical drama, Rhimes responded:

I was obsessed with the surgery channels. My sisters and I would call each other up and talk about operations we'd seen on the Discovery Channel. There's something fascinating about the medical world - you see things you'd never imagine, like the fact that doctors talk about their boyfriends or their day while they're cutting somebody open. So when ABC asked me to write another pilot, the [operating room] seemed like the natural setting.[6]
— Shonda Rhimes

The series was pitched to ABC Entertainment, who gave the green light, and the show was picked up as a mid-season replacement for Boston Legal in the 2005 television season.[7] Francie Calfo, executive vice president of development at ABC Entertainment, commented that ABC was looking for a medical show that unlike the others airing at the time. She pointed out that "medical shows are hard, and it was hard trying to figure out where ours could be different. But where everybody else is speeding up their medical shows, [Rhimes] found a way to slow it down, so you get to know the characters. There's definitely a strong female appeal to it."[8]

Rhimes initially conceived Grey's Anatomy as a statement against racism. She endeavored to create a show that featured a racially diverse cast that allowed viewers to relate to characters regardless of race.[9] While creating characters, as well as writing the first script, the series' writers had no character descriptions in mind, and hoped to cast the best actor available for each part. Rhimes hax explained that if the network did not allow her to created characters this way, she would have been hesitant about moving forward with the series. [10] Female roles in particular were developed as multi-faceted characters. Rhimes offered her insight on this, "I wanted to create a world in which you felt as if you were watching very real women. Most of the women I saw on TV didn't seem like people I actually knew. They felt like ideas of what women are. They never got to be nasty or competitive or hungry or angry. They were often just the loving wife or the nice friend. But who gets to be the btich? Who gets to be the three-dimensional woman?"[11]

Before the series debuted on March 27, 2005, there were a few early releases to close friends and family of the producers and actors. The show was scheduled to run in the Boston Legal time slot for four weeks. However, high ratings and viewership led to it holding onto the slt for the remainded of the season.[12] ABC Entertainment President, Steve McPherso, commented on the scheduling change: "Ultimately we decided that, without having adequate lead time or marketing dollars to devote to moving either show so late in the season, we'd continue to let [Grey's Anatomy] build on its tremendous momentum through May."[13] The show's title, Grey's Anatomy, was devised as a play on words: a reference to both Henry Gray's medicla textbook, Gray's Anatomy, and the title character Dr. Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo).[14] Prior to broadcast, it was announced that the show's title would change from Grey's Anatomy to Complications, although ultimately this did not come to pass.[15]


Grey's Anatomy is produced by ShondaLand, in association with The Mark Gordon Company, and ABC Studios (formerly Touchstone Television).[16] Rhimes, Betsy Beers, Krista Vernoff, Mark Gordon, Rob Corn, and Mark Wilding have all served as executive producers throughout the course of the series.[17] In subsequent seasons, Steve Mulholland, Kent Hodder, Nancy Bordson, James D. Parriott, and Peter Horton have also been executive producers, with Allan Heinberg joining the show in 2006 in this role.[18] As of season eight, the current executive producers are Rhimes, Beers, Gordon, Vernoff, Corn, Wilding, and Heinberg.[19]

Rhimes is the series' most prolific writer. She often promotes the show by answering fan questions on her Twitter account.[20] Other members of the writing staff are Vernoff, Wilding, Peter Norwalk, Stacy McKee, William Harper, Zoanne Clack, Tony Phelan, Joan Rater, and Debora Cahn.[21] From the second through seventh seasons, the writers maintained a blog entitled Grey Matter, where the writer of an episode discussed the motives behind the writing. [22] Directors vary by episode, with Rob Corn directing most frequently, followed by Tom Verica. Horton, Edward Ornelas, and Jessica Yu have also directed a substantial number of episodes.[23] Cast members Chandra Wilson and Kevin McKidd have both directed multiple episodes.[24]

Grey's Anatomy has been edited by Susan Vaill since the show's inception,[25] and David Greenspan was named an editor in 2006.[26] Casting directors Linda Lowy and John Brace have been a part of the production team since 2005. Production design is led by Donald Lee Harris, assisted by art director Brian Harms, and costume design is led by Mimi Melgaard. Working alongside Melgaard, Thomas Houchins supervises costumes, Ellen Vieira is the makeup artist, and Jerilynn Stevens as a hair stylist. The Director of Photography is Herbert Davis. The music coordinator is Danny Lux.[27]Karen Lisa Pike, MD is the on-set medical consultant, alongside Linda Klein, a RN.[28] The production staff is part of a Grey's Anatomy softball team that competes against other television shows, such as CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.[29]


Main article: List of Grey's Anatomy cast Members

Grey's Anatomy used a color blind casting technique, resulting in a racially diverse ensemble.

Filming Locations & TechniqueEdit

Rhimes considered setting the medical drama in her hometown, Chicago, but eventually decided to go with Seattle, to distingush Grey's Anatomy from the Chicago-based ER.

Fisher Plaza, which is the headquarters building of Fisher Communications and Fisher's ABC affiliated KOMO radio and television schedule stations in Seattle, is used for some from exterior shots of Grey-Sloan Memorial Hospital. In particular, air ambulances land on the KOMO-TV newscopter's helipad. This suggests the hospital is close to the Space Needle (which is directly across the street from Fisher Plaza), the Seattle Monorail, and other local landmarks. However, the hospital used for most exterior and a few interior shots is not in seattle; these scenes are shot at the VA Sepulveda Ambulatory Care Center in North Hills, California.

Most scenes are taped at Prospect Studios in Los Feliz, just east of Hollywood, where the Grey's Anatomy set occupies six sound stages. Some outside scenes are shot at the Warren G. Magnuson Park in Seattle. Several props used are working medical equipment, including the MRI machine.

When asked about about operating scenes, Sarah Drew offered this: 

We work with Bovine organs, which is cow's organs. The smell is repulsive and makes us all gag. And we use an actual soldering tool to solder the organs. It smells like burning flesh. There's also a lot of silicone and blood matter, red jello mixed with blood and chicken fat. It's pretty gross.

Costumes are used to differentiate between attending surgeons, who wear navy blue scrubs. 

The series is filmed with a single-camera setup, as are many dramas.

Grey's Anatomy is often filmed using the "walk and talk" filming technique,

popularized on television by series such as St. Eelsewhere, ER, and The West Wing.

Series SynopsisEdit

Grey's Anatomy follows the lives of surgical interns and residents at the fictional Grey-Sloan Memorial Hospital (formerly Seattle Grace Hospital, Season 1-6, Seattle Grace Mercy West Hospital, Season 6-9, and then Grey-Sloan Memorial Hospital, Season 9-present), as they gradually evolve into seasoned doctors, with the help of their competent mentors. Every installment, typically, commences with a voice-over narrative from Meredith Grey or a season regular, foreshadowing the thee of the episode.


Critical ResponseEdit

Critics Top Ten ListsEdit


US Television RatingsEdit

US Television Ratings For Grey's AnatomyEdit

Awards & AccoladesEdit

Broadcast HistoryEdit

Private PracticeEdit



International AdaptationEdit

In 2010, "A Corazon Abierto", an adaptation of the series, was made by the Colombian network RCN TV


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