Why Grey's Anatomy Went With Its Firefighter Spinoff

Jackson and Warren in Grey's Anatomy

There's long running TV shows, and then there's ABC's Grey's Anatomy. The medical drama is currently in the midst of its whopping 14th season on the network, and is showing no signs of slowing. In fact, the world of Seattle will expand shortly, as a firefighter-centric spinoff is currently in development. Details about the upcoming companion series are slowly trickling out, although it's still without a title or premiere date. Luckily, showrunner Stacy McKee recently opened up about the untitled spinoff's development, and revealed exactly why they chose to focus on firefighters in Seattle.

I knew that I wanted to find a show that could match Grey's in stakes, intensity, and tone. I wanted something where we could be laughing, and crying, and throwing things at our television all in the same episode. I always want to tell stories from characters first, so I just loved this idea of having some kind of big, awesome, hilarious, sometimes dysfunctional work family, and the fire station just seemed to work as a really natural setting for that. Plus, it's an extension of the existing Grey's Anatomy world. I mean, how many times have we seen first responders in the background rushing into the breezeway, dropping off patients and leaving? This way, we just get the chance to jump back into the rig with them and drive away.

This actually makes a great deal of sense, and is enough to get hardcore Grey's Anatomy fans into the upcoming spinoff. Move over Private Practice, there's a new Grey's show on the horizon.

Stacy McKee's comments to EW show how methodically firefighters were chosen as the subject of Grey's' new spinoff. To start, it's a great way to assemble a cast of characters who are forced to be involved each other's personal lives. Firefighters typically spend an ungodly amount of time together, as they wait for emergency situations to arise. The upcoming series will follow 24 hour shifts that the first responders work, allowing different characters to take the spotlight depending on who is on call that day.

And first responders have been a tertiary force in Grey's Anatomy. EMT's are constantly bringing in new patients to Grey Sloan Memorial, before promptly departing the scene once the surgeons begin barking at them. April was engaged to an EMT before running away with Jackson, and we've also seen firefighters as day players on the medical drama. Expanding the world of Shonda Rhimes' fictional version of Seattle will make the long running drama feel all the more real, as well as allowing crossover events to engage audiences in a new way. There's more Chicago shows than we can count, and now ABC wants to get in on the action.

The characters from the untitled spinoff will debut on Grey's Anatomy this March, before the new series debuts on its own. In the meantime, check out our midseason premiere list to plan your next binge watch, and our cancellation list to see if your favorite show got the chop.

Corey Chichizola
Movies Editor

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Double majored in theater and literature during undergrad. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his favorite actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid.