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published on   October 3, 2020  filed in Grey's Anatomy / News 31 

VARIETY.COM: Over 317 episodes, “Grey’s Anatomy” has tackled everything from mass shootings to plane crashes. But when the writers’ room for the ABC medical drama convened in June, showrunner Krista Vernoff posed a surprising hypothetical for Season 17: What if the show existed in a world without COVID-19?

“I think that people have fatigue of COVID, and I think they turn to our show for relief,” she told them over Zoom.

Then Vernoff challenged the room to change her mind: “Who wants to be brave and convince me that I’m wrong?”

Co-executive producer Lynne E. Litt went first, Vernoff recalled, and said, “’I think it’s the biggest medical story of our lifetimes.’” And then Litt pitched a story. Vernoff said she was also compelled by the doctors on the writing staff: Naser Alazari, who during the show’s hiatus had been working on the frontlines at a clinic, said that as the biggest medical show in the world, “Grey’s Anatomy” had a responsibility to tell the story of COVID-19. According to Vernoff, he said: “’This is the biggest medical story of our lifetime, and it is changing medicine permanently. And we have to tell this story.’”

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