Ever since we learned that Grey’s Anatomy would be getting a firefighter-themed spinoff, we’ve been gobbling up every detail we can gather on the highly anticipated show. With the premiere now just a few months away, showrunner Stacy McKee sat down with Entertainment Weekly to talk about what’s happening behind the scenes.
The still-unnamed project has been given 10 episodes to win over fans with characters including Captain Pruitt Herrera (Miguel Sandoval); Jack (Grey Damon), who is apparently the on-screen charmer; and Andy Herrera (Jaina Lee Ortiz), whom McKee describes as the “emotional anchor” for the show. They’ll be joined by Grey’s star Ben Warren (Jason George), who is moving over to the spinoff.
“…it’s an extension of the existing Grey’s Anatomy world,” McKee told EW. “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.”
The fact that it’s an extension of the established hit doesn’t mean that we’ll be watching the same old thing, though. “The show is different from Grey’s because our hero characters aren’t just saving lives, they’re also putting their own lives at risk in the process,” McKee explained. “The very nature of their jobs will put these characters out into the streets, on location, immersed in their patients’ lives in a way that’s a lot more visceral and a little bit more messy.”
For example? “We get to go to the accident, we get to run into the fire,” she told EW. “There’s just this opportunity for so much more action, stunts, and big set pieces like that, which is really, really fun. And a firefighter shift is literally 24 hours long, so you have these characters who are both working together — saving lives together and saving each other’s lives together — and living together for a minimum of 24 hours at a time, so they’re all up in each other’s business. Plus, we get to ride on firetrucks, which is everybody’s dream. I mean, don’t you want to ride a firetruck? It’s the best!”
Since the show is set in Seattle, there’s potential for crossovers with the main Grey’s Anatomy cast. But the main crossover, of course, is already built into the show, with George’s character. “Yes, they’ve definitely been setting the stage for Ben on Grey’s this season, and a little later this season, there will be an episode where we’ll actually get to meet one of the characters from the spinoff, just as a story within the episode,” McKee shared. “It’ll be Jaina’s character, Andy Herrera, and it’s going to be such a fun, fantastic introduction to her character. It will also showcase a really lovely story for Ben, where we get to just juxtapose his two worlds and see his reaction as he transitions from one world to the next. We’re actually shooting it right now. It’s going to be so good.”
As for the other new characters on the spinoff, McKee told EW, “Oh my gosh, they’re so fantastic. I’m giddy. They’re really fun, strong, a little messed up, and completely unique in all sorts of different ways. … But at the end of the day, it’s just a real family of characters — not necessarily related by blood, but definitely a family.”
We can’t wait to join that family! The story for the Grey’s Anatomy spinoff is scheduled to first crop up on the original series sometime in March, with the actual show debuting later on in the spring.
Read McKee’s full interview here.
Are you excited for the new Grey’s Anatomy firefighter-themed spinoff? Let us know @BritandCo!
(Photo via ABC/Richard Cartwright)