‘Grey’s Anatomy’ creator Shonda Rhimes on show’s early rejection

Kicking off its 19th season — yes, that’s 1-9 — this month on primetime television, Grey’s Anatomy Long established itself as a reliable hit, not just a spot on ABC’s primetime schedule, but commanding schedules elsewhere in reruns. Part of what made it successful from the get-go was the protagonist Ellen Pompeo’s Dr. Meredith Gray and Patrick Dempsey, who left the show in 2015, will play Dr. Relationship between Derek “McDreamy” Shepherd.

on Tuesday, gray’s creator, Shonda Rhimes, explained how the relationship between Meredith and Derek began — how they went home together after meeting at a bar — was a problem for some. At least Meredith’s actions were. They were hardly charmed when she learned the next day that Derek was her new boss at the then-named Seattle Grace Hospital, where she was a new resident.

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“I remember being called into a room full of old people,” Rhimes said 9 to 5 with Skimm podcast, “And they brought us in because no one would watch a show about a woman who sleeps with a man the night before they go to work to tell me the show is a problem. They’re dead serious.”

In fact, after reading the pilot episode, they asked, who would do such a thing as get drunk and have a one-night stand with a stranger the night before starting a new job?

Rhimes’ production partner on the show, Betsy Beers, and many others volunteered for her to do so. The men’s answer to the rhetorical question shocked them and they began to struggle.

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“They couldn’t call me a snitch to my face,” Beers said. “They didn’t know what to say.”

<em>Grey’s Anatomy</em> Producers Shonda Rhimes, left, and Betsy Byers are pictured in 2017.  (Photo: Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic)” data-src=”https://s.yimg.com/ny/api/res/1.2/vZQYTy2UuqaxCHFsW1O.cQ–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTk2MA–/https://s.yimg. com/os/creatr-uploaded-images/2022-10/e5ec6ae0-5642-11ed-bbcf-8f39d2e8c27a”/><noscript><img alt=Grey’s Anatomy Producers Shonda Rhimes, left, and Betsy Byers are pictured in 2017. (Photo: Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic)” src=”https://s.yimg.com/ny/api/res/1.2/vZQYTy2UuqaxCHFsW1O.cQ–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTk2MA–/https://s.yimg.com/ os/creatr-uploaded-images/2022-10/e5ec6ae0-5642-11ed-bbcf-8f39d2e8c27a” class=”caas-img”/>

Grey’s Anatomy Producer Shonda Rhimes, left, and Betsy Byers are pictured in 2017. (Photo: Jason LaVeris / FilmMagic)

The whole point was that Beers and Rhymes have worked together on shows including Scandal, How to get rid of murder? and BridgertonYou don’t see women like yourself on TV.

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“There really haven’t been many shows with a woman in the middle,” Beers said. “That in itself was surprising.”

Rhimes said she later realized why they got such a reaction.

“It seems really obvious, I think. But you have to remember that at the time, there had never been a main character on network television who owned her sexuality,” Rhimes said. “Unless you were on a sitcom with no one else in the room, there weren’t shows where you saw three or four people of color in a room talking. You didn’t see a lot of what we were doing. I didn’t really think of them as revolutionary. I thought, ‘We’re doing a show that I want to see.’ Only’.

Four Emmys and countless other awards later, they’re still there.

The Meredith-Derek coupling that people disapproved of in Rhimes’ story has gone down in television history as one of the most beloved by fans. Just last month, the actors behind the characters, Pompeo and Dempsey, happily reunited at the D23 Expo, where they swiped the microphone at Yahoo Entertainment for a laugh.


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