Grey's Anatomy doesn't want to keep repeating itself. In March, ABC executives announced the show would be ending its season early “out of an abundance of caution" for the cast and crew amidst the coronavirus pandemic. Its new finale aired on April 9, about one month ahead of schedule, capping the season off without one major element: A "shock death."
"There had been so many tragic deaths for so many years on Grey’s Anatomy that I felt like the most surprising thing I could do, repeatedly, was to not kill someone," Krista Vernoff told Us Weekly in a new interview.
“Time after time, no matter how many times I’ve done it, everyone, every time expects that the person who’s in danger or threatened in some way is going to die,” Venoff continued. "On [Grey's] everyone was so used to the shock death that they were always looking for shock death! So I felt like the more surprising thing was to bring the joy and turn up the humor and the playfulness that had, a little bit, fallen out of the show in the wake of Derek’s death. That is how I feel like Grey’s has changed a little since I came back—a lot of characters who might have been dead by now are still alive!”
Perhaps the greatest example of Vernoff's strategy was the sudden departure of Dr. Alex Karev after Justin Chambers moved on from the series back in January. Instead of killing off the beloved character, like many fans feared, Vernoff and creator Shonda Rhimes sent him to live with his former love, Izzie Stevens. This leaves room for his possible return in the future.
As for what's next for the remaining characters on Grey's Anatomy, Vernoff revealed to People that writers have resumed work via Zoom, however, she could not provide details on when filming may begin and when fans can expect season 16 to air.
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