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Spoilers ahead for Episode 3 of Station 19 Season 4, called "We Are Family."
The two-show shared universe of Grey's Anatomy and Station 19 is back on ABC after the long wait for the 2020-2021 TV season to start. After the latest episode of Station 19 and a certain law enforcement twist, it's beginning to feel possible that the two-show shared universe might become a three-show universe. In fact, "We Are Family" has me flashing back to the early days of Chicago Fire setting up Chicago P.D. over on NBC.
Bear with me. In "We Are Family," Sullivan was facing the disciplinary hearing that would decide his fate with the Seattle Fire Department, and that involved characters testifying either for or against him keeping his job. Unfortunately for Sullivan, one of those characters was Michael Dixon, the former SFD Fire Chief who unsurprisingly had it out for Sullivan after losing his job last season.
Dixon also revealed that he landed a new job at the Seattle Police Department, and I immediately started thinking back to the beginnings of Chicago P.D. in the first season of Chicago Fire. Dixon's new gig is actually pretty sweet. He has accepted the position of "Deputy Chief of Operations" with the SPD, and said that he was "excited to continue serving the city that I love." This could totally be the early sign of a spinoff, right?
Grey's Anatomy seemed on the verge of launching a spinoff last season with the early focus on the Pac-North, but that obviously never happened, which is likely for the best. The shared universe doesn't need two medical shows, after all! A spinoff focusing on the Seattle Police Department would expand the universe into a third corner of public service, and a shared universe of a hospital, fire department, and police department obviously works for NBC with One Chicago.
There is the point that launching a spinoff based on an unlikable character like Dixon seems like an unlikely way to invest viewers in a new series, but I have to look back at Chicago P.D. again. The police-based show's origins came from Sergeant Hank Voight's introduction as a sketchy cop who targeted Chicago Fire's Matt Casey to try and pressure him to bury a case, and Voight was more than just unlikable. He was downright dangerous.
Sure, Antonio Dawson had debuted earlier in Fire Season 1 as an ally of the heroes of Firehouse 51, but it wasn't until Voight that a spinoff started to actually feel possible. Antonio's presence was proof that a spinoff wouldn't involve just the sketchy Voight, and Chicago Fire later introduced Jay Halstead as another cop more or less on the straight and narrow.
Some good cops were introduced along with Voight on Chicago P.D.; the only existing Grey's Anatomy/Station 19 character joining Seattle Police is Dixon, who is pretty much the worst. Grey's also used Ben Warren as one of the biggest draws to Station 19 aside from the backdoor pilot that introduced some of the new characters, and I'm not sure I see a Station 19 firefighter or Grey's Anatomy cop defecting to SPD.
Still, it's very early in the 2020-2021 TV season for Grey's Anatomy and Station 19, and there's plenty of time for a backdoor pilot to add some characters for an SPD-set spinoff. One Chicago is enough of a hit with three hours of primetime for NBC on Wednesday; I could see ABC giving a One Seattle block of Thursday night primetime a shot, especially when so much on TV is uncertain these days.
A third show could presumably film adjacent to the other shows and have a decent shot of success. Besides, what's the harm in giving it a try? One Chicago survived the failure of a spinoff, so Grey's Anatomy and Station 19 could presumably survive a police spinoff that could flop. If a spinoff does happen, I do think that it would be based mostly on unambiguously good cops rather than presenting Dixon as a hero (or even antihero), but this is all speculation at this point.
Find out if Station 19 drops any more nods toward the Seattle Police Department and if Grey's Anatomy crosses paths with more cops any time soon with new episodes. Station 19 airs on Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET on ABC, with Grey's Anatomy at 9 p.m. ET. For some viewing options in the new year, check out our 2021 winter and spring premiere schedule.