The doctors are back in!
On Tuesday, Ellen Pompeo shared a behind-the-scenes photo from the set of Grey’s Anatomy, which just began filming its seventeenth season amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The ABC drama was previously forced to shut down with four episodes left to shoot in season 16.
In the photo, the 50-year-old actress poses beside Richard Flood, who plays Dr. Cormac Hayes, as both stars wear face masks as part of the new on-set safety protocols for the show.
"First time back in my scrubs," Pompeo began the caption to her Instagram post. "Since we shut down filming 7,000 healthcare workers have died from Covid."
The actress then dedicated the upcoming season to "all who have fallen and to everyone of you who by the grace of God is still standing," adding, "This season is for you with humility and a bit of humor to get us through and endless amounts of gratitude. I hope we do you proud."
First time back in my scrubs... since we shut down filming 7000 healthcare workers have died from Covid. I dedicate my season 17 to all who have fallen and to everyone of you who by the grace of God is still standing... this season is for you with humility and a bit of humor to get us through and endless amounts of gratitude. I hope we do you proud 🙏🏼❤️ @greysabc #seasonseventeen @richardfloodofficial
A post shared by Ellen Pompeo (@ellenpompeo) on Sep 8, 2020 at 4:47pm PDT
Grey's Anatomy executive producer Krista Vernoff previously revealed that the medical drama is going to tackle the global coronavirus crisis in the show's upcoming season.
"We're going to address this pandemic for sure," she said of season 17 during an interview with the Television Academy in July. "There’s no way to be a long-running medical show and not do the medical story of our lifetimes."
Vernoff, 46, also added that the show's writers had already been in meetings with actual doctors about the pandemic, and explained how they influenced the show's writing process.
"It has felt more like therapy," she said during the panel interview. "The doctors come in and we’re the first people they’re talking to about these types of experiences they’re having. They are literally shaking and trying not to cry, they’re pale, and they’re talking about it as war — a war that they were not trained for."
"I feel like our show has an opportunity and a responsibility to tell some of those stories," Vernoff added. "Our conversations have been constantly about how do we keep alive humor and romance while we tell these really painful stories."
Series star Giacomo Gianniotti also revealed to Entertainment Tonight back in August that the show will kick off "a month and a half" into the COVID-19 pandemic as the doctors of Grey Sloan learn to adapt to the health crisis.
"We're going to start the season about a month and a half [into] full COVID, so it's going to take place a little beyond where we left off in the last season," Gianniotti, 31, told the outlet. "We might have some flashbacks. 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."
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During his chat with ET, Gianniotti also discussed what the new normal may look like behind-the-scenes on the show.
"Our producers are all rapidly trying to implement all of these protocols to keep everybody safe. We're obviously going to be tested multiple times a week and sort of separated in zones," he said. "We're going to have a lot less personnel on set. We're going to be wearing full PPE of course. It's a new world."
He added: "There's a learning curve for any show. We're uniquely lucky that we get to wear PPE because we play doctors, so for other shows that aren't in the doctor world I really feel for them because that's an added challenge that they have to face. "But I'm really hoping that we can figure it out and keep producing this amazing show that so many fans love to watch."
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