'Grey's Anatomy' Showrunner Krista Vernoff Talks Season 17

Stephanie Barnes

ABC's Grey's Anatomy will soon be returning for Season 17, and showrunner Krista Vernoff recently shared a few updates on the upcoming season, according to a report from E! News.

As previously reported by The Inquisitr, the long-running medical drama will be addressing the coronavirus pandemic in its new season, but Vernoff said that wasn't the initial plan. She said during the show's hiatus, she spent quite a bit of time thinking about the idea of incorporating the pandemic and had ultimately made the decision to ignore it. However, after having a conversation with the Grey's Anatomy writers and the show's experts, she had a change of heart and mind.

"They really convinced me that it would be irresponsible to not [address it]," she said. "To be kind of the biggest medical show and ignore the biggest medical story of the century felt irresponsible to them to the medical community."

Vernoff explained that the doctors she spoke to shared heartbreaking situations and have been really struggling with the fact that there is still so much unknown about COVID-19.

"They were saying things like, kids, their first year out of medical school, are seeing more death in the first year than many doctors see in a decade, and it just felt like we had to tell this story," she said.

As Grey's fans know, the ABC series involves quite a bit of sex and romance between the characters at Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital, but Vernoff said that will have to change due to the coronavirus pandemic. She said it's safe to say that there will be less kissing on TV during upcoming episodes but assured fans that Grey's has already mastered being sexy while socially distancing.

"You can't have people making out, but there's been a lot of sex on Grey's Anatomy that doesn't involve kissing," she said. "There's a lot of ways to skin a cat, so to speak."

Vernoff said there will be a lot of sexy glances, lifting of clothes, and pulling down of clothes, along with other subtle gestures that will keep the romance alive for viewers.

As for when the series will return, there have been no official announcements, but lead actor Ellen Pompeo did reveal on Twitter that the cast and crew would be filming in the next few weeks. When asked about her character, Meredith Grey, she didn't share any specific details but said Meredith would be worth the wait.