Grey's Anatomy Spoilers: What Do We Know About Season 17?

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At some point, Grey's Anatomy's fans, it's gonna happen.

At some point, ourr lives will once again be graced with our favorite small screen doctors and all the beloved drama that has been associated with them for going on two decades now.

Due to the coronavirus, of course, we need to be patient. 

Grey's Anatomy Season 16 Scene

But Grey's Anatomy Season 17 WILL air in the not-so-distant future.

After prematurely wrapping up Season 16 with four planned episodes remaining, the long-running ABC series will pick up in a strange new world this fall.

As a show that takes place in present day, that world will look very much like our own.

Which means, yes, COVID-19 will play a key role.

Meredith in Scrubs

"I spent the whole hiatus kicking it around, and I came into the writers room thinking that I had made the decision that we were not going to do it," showrunner Krista Vernoff said on The Hollywood Reporter's TV's Top 5 podcast last week, referencing whether or not her program would bring the pandemic into storylines.

At first, Vernoff simply felt the world was suffering from COVID fatigue.

However, a conversation with the writers -- and especially the medical experts in the room, who are referred to as "Team Medical" -- eventually changed her mind.

Meredith on the Season Finale

"They really convinced me that it would be irresponsible to not.

"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 continued. 

"These doctors are traumatized.

"They are not trained or wired to hold the hands of dying people all day who are alone without their families."

Grey's Anatomy Finale Scene

To be more specific, Giacomo Gianniotti, who portrays, Dr. Andre DeLuc, told Entertainment Tonight that the new season will pick up about a "month and a half" into the coronavirus outbreak.

"We might have some flashbacks," teased the actor, who noted he has not seen any of the new scripts yet.

"We might have some things where we're referencing last season, just to have context leading up. But we are going to have a little leap when we start this season in terms of time.

"We're not picking up right where we left off."

Richard in Hospital on Grey's Anatomy

Grey's Anatomy Season 16 ended up airing just 21 episodes, four fewer than Season 15.

This meant the season concluded with Gianniotti's DeLuca suffering a bipolar episode after he diagnosed Richard Webber's condition; Meredith then took him home. 

He can't say for certain what will happen with his character, but he should find out:

Shooting is scheduled to begin this week some time.

DeLuca in Danger - Grey's Anatomy

Gianniotti also previewed possible references to the Black Lives Matter movement in upcoming episodes.

The seires, of course, prides itself on having an extensive history of tackling important real-life issues.

"There's been no shortage of incredible stories that have been going around this time, both in the hospital walls and in the streets of cities protesting, so we hope to tell all those stories this season," the actor said.

Meredith Questions DeLuca

Vernoff, for her part, feels a responsibility to get this moment in time right on screen, saying on the aforementioned podcast:

"We have to tell this story, and so the conversation became, how do we tell this very painful, brutal story that has hit our medical community so intensely -- and as they keep saying, permanently changed medicine?

"How do we do that and provide some escapism?

"How do we do that and create romance, and comedy, and joy, and fun?"

Bailey and Jo on Grey's

Vernoff said she thinks the writers have risen to the occasion, and next season will be able to "honor the heroes on the front lines, and provide some escapism and some romance and some laughs."

It won't all be "death and despair," the producer promises.

Have no fear, either, plenty of sex will still be on the way... even if actors can't kiss right now.

"There's a lot of ways to skin a cat, so to speak," Vernoff says.

Ellen Pompeo in Scrubs

What does star Ellen Pompeo have to say about Season 17?

Askde by a fan on Twitter if the had anything to share about Meredith in season 17, Pompeo simply said:

"She's going to be so worth the wait!"

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