As Grey's Anatomy enters its 17th season, fans will see a few major changes to the upcoming episodes. A few staffing changes to the popular medical drama could impact Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo) as staffers get promoted and moved to sister show Station 19. Stefania Spampinato was welcome to the Grey's cast as Dr. Carina DeLuca in Season 14 as Andrew DeLuca's (Giacomo Gianniotti) sister but will be making a full-time move to the firefighter spinoff.
"I am so excited to add Anthony, Stefania and Richard to the Station 19 and Grey's Anatomy families," showrunner Krista Vernoff told TVLine. "They are huge talents who made a big impact with our fans, with our casts and with our writers, who are eager to write more for them." Spampinato's move should come as no surprise since she has appeared several times on Station 19 after her character developed a romantic relationship with Maya Bishop (Danielle Savre).
A few other changes viewers can expect is to see are more of certain characters as some have been moved to a full-time position. Richard Flood, who played the character of Dr. Cormac Hayes, joined the cast last fall during Season 16 but will be around a lot more as he is now a potential love interest for Grey herself. Fans will remember that before last season ended abruptly, Grey was torn between helping her ex-boyfriend Andrew while at the same time handling Hayes. Vernoff admitted that she's even torn on which way Grey should go.
Another shift is to Anthony Hill's character Dr. Winston Ndugu. Hill has been moved to a series regular after guest-starring last season. Ndugu is an old colleague of Dr. Maggie Pierce's (Kelly McCreary) who was both reconnected when they attended a medical conference. Needless to say, the two immediately hit it off, so fans can maybe expect a new relationship between them.
There's no word yet on when the new season will start filming, and it's also unclear whether last season's anticipated death will roll over into the new season or be delayed. Season 16 was cut short due to the coronavirus pandemic, but there was supposed to be a major character death, however, it's not for certain on whether that storyline will still carry out or be pushed to the side for now. One thing that is concrete is there will be a storyline regarding COVID-19 according to Vernoff.
"There's no way to be a long-running medical show and not do the medical story of our lifetimes," the EP said. "I feel like our show has an opportunity and a responsibility to tell some of those stories. Our conversations have been constantly about how we keep alive humor and romance while we tell these really painful stories."