The Grey's Anatomy team is back at work this week, and their first virtual table read was on Thursday. Star Ellen Pompeo dropped a tiny teaser on Twitter, sparking fans' imagination when it comes to Season 17. Filming is scheduled to start in Los Angeles on Tuesday and will pick up a few weeks after the impromptu Season 16 finale left off.
One fan asked Pompeo if she could share ante information from the table read. "Yes, I have a new favorite couple, not sure what you'll call them ...but they are adorable you guys can have fun guessing who," she told fans. This inspired Giacomo Gianniotti, who plays Dr. Andrew DeLuca, to wonder, "Wait, you mean 'second' favorite couple right?" Pompeo retweeted Gianniotti's comment, adding, "Well, I did say 'new' but okay you have a point" and a kissing emoji since they are an on-screen couple.
When it comes to this new favorite mystery couple, though, Pompeo could not keep the fans guessing forever. One fan took a guess, asking if the couple is Maggie (Kelly McCreary) and Winston (Anthony Hill). "Ding ding ding! You guys... you have no idea how adorable they are," Pompeo replied. Another fan asked Pompeo if Grey's plans on tackling the coronavirus pandemic. "Yes, the biggest medical crisis the world has ever seen? Yes, we are meeting the moment and telling some stories," Pompeo tweeted.
The fact that Grey's new season will touch on the pandemic is not a complete surprise. In August, Gianniotti told Entertainment Tonight the new season will skip a few months after the events in Season 16 and pick up a "month and a half" into the pandemic. "We might have some flashbacks," Gianniotti said. "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."
Showrunner Krista Vernoff also told The Hollywood Reporter they are handling the pandemic, even though she was apprehensive about tackling it in a fictional show. The writers told her it would be "irresponsible" to ignore the "biggest medical story of the century" in the longest-running medical drama now on television. "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?" Vernoff explained, reports Us Weekly. "How do we do that and provide some escapism? How do we do that and create romance, and comedy, and joy, and fun?"