Grey's Anatomy is going back to the 9 p.m. timeslot it held for eight seasons before the start of TGIT, and the medical drama series will be taking advantage of the later airtime. Series showrunner Krista Vernoff revealed she celebrated the beloved series' move back to its old slot, and how the later hour will allow for "sexier" episodes moving forward.
As previously reported, Grey's spinoff series Station 19 will return for Season 3 and take over the Thursdays at 8 p.m. timeslot starting with a big two-hour crossover event between both shows on January 23. The decision comes as both shows are set to be more connected than ever, now that Vernoff is a the helm of both Grey's and Station 19.
The executive producer revealed she was overjoyed to hear news of Grey's returning to the 9 p.m. slot, where it aired for eight seasons before it moved an hour earlier to lead the network's TGIT lineup.
The move came with significant limitations on adult content, with the outlet reported 8 to 9 p.m. slot is designated as a family viewing hour.
"There are different rules for a 9 p.m. show than there are for an 8 PM show, and we hope to take advantage of those rules," Vernoff told the outlet. "Grey's was definitely allowed to be a sexier show when it was on at 9 o'clock. So we are excited by the change back to our original (Thursday) time slot."
The schedule change also serves to help connect both shows in more organic ways, Vernoff said.
"With Station 19 airing at 8 o'clock and Grey's Anatomy airing at 9 o'clock there are very organic opportunities for Grey's Anatomy to, for example, inherit patients we see rescued on Station 19," she said.
She also told the outlet the new schedule was how the writers had envisioned the two shows airing from the start.
"Ever since Station 19 premiered, in the writers room we always thought the better progression was from firefighters to the hospital," she added. "I didn't think it was going to happen but I was thrilled ABC had made the decision. I literally cheered when they let me know that. It's really exciting and opens up the storytelling."
Spoilers ahead for Grey's Anatomy Season 16, Episode 9: "Let's All Go to the Bar"
The Grey's Anatomy fall finale dropped many twists for fans to mull over until January. The show introduced new doctor Comac Hayes (Richard Flood), a widower who was revealed to have been sent to work at Grey Sloan by Cristina (Sandra Oh) as a "package" for Meredith (Ellen Pompeo). The episode also saw as Bailey (Chandra Wilson) lost her baby, Amelia (Caterina Scorsone) found out her baby could be Link's (Chris Carmack) or Owen's (Kevin McKidd).
Jo (Camilla Luddington) took home the first baby she rescued as a safe haven volunteer, and Maggie (Kelly McCreary) quit the hospital as she continues to struggle with her cousin's death.
The episode ended in a huge cliffhanger when a car slammed into Joe's Bar. The majority of the Grey Sloan interns, including Levi Schmitt (Jake Borelli) and surgical fellow Nico Kim (Alex Landi) were in the bar at the time of the tragedy. Also at the bar, Station 19's Ben (Jason George) and Pruitt (Miguel Sandoval), who were both dealing with devastating news.
What will happen next? Station 19 and Grey's Anatomy will return with new episodes Thursday, January 23 starting at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.