Fall TV Preview
Grey's Anatomy Alex and Jo

Grey's Boss Shonda Rhimes Promises a 'Real Focus' on Alex/Jo in Season 12

Forget that new loft. Grey’s Anatomy is giving Alex and Jo something even more valuable in Season 12: a frontburner storyline.

“We had a lot of stories we wanted to tell with them last season, and I promised the fans, ‘We’re going to tell all these Alex and Jo stories… ,'” series creator Shonda Rhimes tells TVLine. “And then we had to take a left turn because Patrick [Dempsey] was leaving. And now we want to tell a lot of those stories — except in a lighter way. So there’s a real focus on them this season.”

As Rhimes acknowledges, viewers haven’t really “gotten to know” them as a couple — or, for that matter, as individuals. “I feel like we didn’t get to know Jo the way we should,” says the EP. “And Alex is sort of a grown man now; it’s time to watch that happen.”

The “lighter” part of Rhimes’ declaration should put Camilla Luddington’s fears of to rest. At Comic-Con last month, Jo’s portrayer confessed she was worried for the couple. “I’m nervous for Season 12,” she said. “Jo and Alex had three seasons of being pretty good, which is unusual on Grey’s… I just don’t trust things are going to continue to go well. Because it’s Grey’s Anatomy.”

Grey’s returns Thursday, Sept. 24 at 8/7c on ABC.

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61 Comments
  1. J says:

    OH THANK GOD FINALLY. They’ve been letting us Jolex fans wait for too long!!!!

  2. Azerty says:

    I am pretty sure she planned to break them up last year.

    • dude says:

      I think she’s proved with Mark/Lexie, Callie/Arizona, Izzie/Alex and pretty much every other couple, that the only ways her writers know how to write stories for couples are dramatic breakups, pregnancies and marriage. Sometimes not in that order.

  3. Sonja says:

    Why in “lighter way”? give them the same drama just like all the other couples on the show. I’m waiting for the cheating storyline. If she can ruin Calzona then she can ruin Jolex as well. No couple is safe on this show.

    • S says:

      Not every couple needs to have some cheating involved and Alex has cheated about 2 times already. But I wish they wouldn’t do it in a light way either, I want some drama for them. And not like you because I want other couples to suffer the qay my favorite couple suffers but becausw drama is the core of Grey’s and I need some good angsty scenes for Jolex.

  4. Sara says:

    I’m so happy to hear this. Last season when Shonda promised us a good storyline for them and we kept waiting and nothing happened I was so sad and frustrated. And finally more Jo! I need this so badly. She’s one of the more interesting characters if only they gave her a little more focus. She had a lot of bad things happen to her and I want to hear more about her story.

    • Patrick says:

      Shonda is in fan appeasement mode now. I don’t think she anticipated the fan backlash from McDreamy’s death. She, and the network, knew it would be bad. But the fan anger was orders of magnitude greater than what she anticipated. She is truly worried that she has killed the golden goose.

  5. Sonja says:

    It’s the only ship that Shonda hasn’t ruined YET. So trust the journey (she said that to the calzona fans last season and look how that turned out)

  6. Will says:

    Izzie for life! Jo Schmo… she ain’t go nothing on Isobel Stevens!

  7. Kendra says:

    Blah blah blah…. “Because of Patrick leaving.” Please stop blaming him for everything. Can’t wait to see the ratings for this season!

    • anon says:

      Why not? He left in the middle of the season and they had to scramble to rewrite things. Granted, it’s not all on Patrick, Shonda is certainly to blame as well (really the only story that had to change was the MerDer one, there was no reason to f-up the other stories) but Patrick isn’t innocent.

      • tvjunkie says:

        Well Shonda is the one who fired him because she grew to dislike him over disagreements. Shonda is a petty woman and I’m not sure how that’s Patricks fault. Of course Shonda tried to spin it as Patricks choice, but he already said he was basically fired.

        • Patrick says:

          Yep. And the fans aren’t having it. If the Grey’s numbers flatline this season, I think a lot of things will be on the table.

        • Lily says:

          Actually, you’re 100% wrong. Patrick just recently wrote an article in a racing magazine saying he left Greys to show he was committed to WEC racing. He said it in his very own words.

    • Mary says:

      I’m a huge MerDer fan and even I have to acknowledge that it was his fault by leaving in the middle of the season. A lot of storylines got dropped or made no sense last season because the writers had to change everything last minute. And since Alex was needed to comfort Meredith and support her they couldn’t give him another storyline with Jo. I think that makes perfect sense. Shonda hasn’t even spoken negatively about Patrick like she did with Katherine Heigl for example.

      • Patrick says:

        Patrick didn’t leave. She fired him. I mean, Patrick left, because Shonda made him leave.

        • Lily says:

          Nope. Patrick said himself he left the show to be more committed to his racing schedule.

        • Grey's Fan says:

          I believe Patrick went to his bosses at ABC to renegotiate his contract so he could have more time off for racing and work on GA less, but he wanted to be paid the same as he was before. Shonda didn’t want to continue to write Meredith/Derek’s marriage without Derek 90% of the time and ABC didn’t want to pay him huge money for a few appearances (basically a recurring role). Patrick didn’t want to take a pay cut and gamble that ABC would cave in and not want to risk not having him on the show. He lost. It’s business, simple as that.

        • Chris says:

          The Patrick Dempsey adoration is really creepy. He can do no wrong in his stans’ eyes, and everyone should get on their hands and knees and kiss the ground Dempsey walks on. Patrick had been whining for YEARS that playing Derek bored him (he was already complaining back in season 3 FFS!) and he had only stayed on Grey’s for the money. Well, months ago he decided he had made enough money and wanted to be fully dedicated to the thing he likes which is racing. The problem is that he had signed a new 2-year contract and wanted out only a few months in. He basically screwed over Shonda and he really screwed the MerDer fans because the story that was supposed to happen had to be scrapped (and the other story lines such as the Jolex one had to be scrapped too), and Derek had to be written out so that Patrick could go race. Face it, if you want to be mad at someone it should be at Patrick who got what he wanted and is happily off racing while you’re here being bitter. lol

      • delfiteblu says:

        He didn’t have a choice and it was the END of the season, not the middle. He didn’t even KNOW he was leaving until they were having the table read for that episode. Shonda is a witch and don’t try to make her out as anything else. She wouldn’t dare speak negatively about him; everybody loved him. By the time Katherine Heigl got out, she had dissed the show and Shonda to the press and Shonda said what she said. But Patrick hasn’t said anything except his cover story of wanting to race more. He got FIRED and he got fired in a hurry. He had a ten million dollar contract and you don’t QUIT when you have that.

  8. Lindsey says:

    Finally!!! Alex has been my favorite since season 1 and I haven’t been watching since he became a “background” character. It’ll be great to see more!

  9. Courtn says:

    Yes! So excited about this. I agree, we need to know more about Jo and them as a couple. I am so eager for a real storyline for them. It’s going to be great, hopefully.

  10. Kad92 says:

    Can’t believe that Jo/Alex and Bailey/Ben are the only couples left standing in this show. When do they break up?

    • SB says:

      you forgot Richard & Catherine. This is depressing, hopefully calzona can get back together because they are the only “couple” I have left.

    • Sara says:

      LOL, such a joke. Oh, the good days when the show had power couples and excitement.

    • lisse says:

      Japril is all that’s good left to ship tbh and I’m not even a hardcore fan. Calzona was ruined by the cheating for me. I can’t ship anything where one person cheated on the other.

      How pathetic. Remember the good old days of chemistry and organic pairings and good angst that made sense because two people loved each other but weren’t created for each other so they had different things they wanted from life? Remember the good drama?
      What happened to you, Greys?

  11. Jessica says:

    Alex is one of my favorite characters, but he’s a snoozefest when he’s with Jo. She’s boring, and they made her history so similar to him, for them to be a good match. Boring. I hope this is one of Shonda’s BS when she says this and do another and she won’t really focus on them.

  12. Sara says:

    Shonda knows the season was horribly written so she figured why not blame it on Patrick’s exit huh?
    She made Alex Mer’s person since the season premiere.
    Patrick was missing for 7 episodes, why didn’t she focus on Alex and Jo then?
    In the special 2 hours episode, why didn’t she give scenes to Alex and Jo instead of she made them look like roommates, and bonded Alex and Maggie, with the result of people shipping them? Oh it’s totally Patrick’s fault. It’s the WRITING’s fault, like how horrible Derek’s last episode was, and the aftermath OR lack of it.

    • Annie says:

      Just my thoughts… no Jolex storyline last season because Patrick left “in the middle of the season”, my foot! He left / was written out just before the finale. Where were the great Jo/Alex storylines before that? Good she found a scapegoat…

  13. Lerbert says:

    Even though I’m ambivalent about Alex and Jo as a couple, I enjoy both characters and am definitely looking forward to more Jo development. Maybe they can course correct a little bit from the end of the season when Jo had to prove her commitment because it’d be great to see a relationship on Grey’s that isn’t always under some kind of ultimatum.

  14. CarrieB says:

    Wow talk about projecting (*PD fans*). There is nothing in the article ‘blaming’ Dempsey for anything.

    • aph1976 says:

      I agree.I get that people are upset about Patrick Dempsey leaving Grey’s but none of us knows for sure what happened between the scenes between him, Rhimes and ABC.Yes i know Dempsey had a 2 year contract but i think most contracts have outs where the network can release an actor early.Plus i think the decision let Dempsey go wasn’t just made overnight.I’m wondering if Rhimes had a story planned for Derek and Meredith before last season but Patrick taking a break during the season screwed things up.Plus maybe Dempsey was okay with leaving but maybe he thought Derek would die in the season finale and his death be the final scene of the season.

  15. Chris says:

    Well, this made me way more excited for season 12! I have been hoping and waiting for Alex and Jo to get some real focus. I’m happy that Shonda is admitting that she had promised the Jolex fans a lot of story last season but ended up not giving us any. It sounds like she got our disappointment and wants to make it up to us this season.

  16. Colleen says:

    I want a Grey’s spinoff about all the characters on the show who’ve died. Just them, chilling in Heaven, doing their thing, being together again…

  17. Paloma says:

    it’s about time that Alex gets more to do on the show than basically be an extra. He has always been one of my favorite characters and after he went through this tremendous growth with helping the kids from Africa, they haven’t really built on that. He should be doing great things professionally and it’s also time we see more of him and Jo as grown up people in a relationship. Alex with kids maybe. I think he would be a great dad

  18. TinLV says:

    I have never gotten the fans’ love for this couple. They don’t have any chemistry that I can see.. Alex is my favorite character on this show. he has so many layers… Jo does nothing to bring out the parts of his character that I really like. She’s boring.

    And Shonda gets all the blame for the Dempsey thing, but he had already said, in no uncertain terms, that he was leaving.. he wanted to be race car driver. Well, now he can. And everybody just needs to get over the fact that Shonda let him go a little earlier than he planned. He and Mer had barely interacted for much of the time over the past two seasons.. he was in Washington being a big shot researcher and kissing his assistant, she was busy being a surgeon and missing Cristina more than she did Derek…. what kind of marriage is that anyhow ? They had become pretty boring when and if we even saw them together…. and Mer really needed a new storyline.

    • Mk2000 says:

      I agree ,I really don’t like Jo and Alex as a couple. I love Alex he is one of my favorites, but I never felt myself rooting for them as a couple. I don’t know if it is because Jo’s character wasn’t developed enough or what. I really am not interested in them as a couple and hope to see him find someone else or maybe she will grow on me more as his girlfriend, once we learn more about her.

  19. Pat says:

    I am hoping for a happy relationship between these two and it would be nice to see a marriage down the road, for them. I just want one couple on this show to stay together without any crazy drama.

  20. EM says:

    Well who does she have left? She has broken up every couple or killed one of them off. Richard and Jackson’s momma aren’t that interesting and Ben and Bailey are a snooze. Looking forward to seeing more of Alex on the screen but Jo….don’t really have an interest.

  21. aph1976 says:

    I’m wondering if Alex and Jo will become the new showcase couple on the show.Plus with Alex’s family history of his relatives going nuts maybe Jo becomes pregnant and Alex starts to worry his child inherit some of his family crazy genes.Plus maybe the show is going to dig into Jo’s backstory even more.

  22. cintiamcr says:

    I don’t know if I can trust Shonda on this – she broke her promise last year, who can assure me she won’t do the same now? – but I’m swear I’m trying.

  23. Kristin says:

    I was hoping Jo might be gone by now, she ads little to Alex’s storyline. Justin deserves to be front and center in a storyline with another long term character. Keeping him with a ‘newbie’ has always kept in on the sidelines.

  24. pitaz says:

    I hope this means she finally puts an end to this silly relationship. Alex can do so much better.

  25. Alex Mindev says:

    Honestly, Alex Karev has been my favorite character since way back in S1 b/c he wasn’t part of the original “clique”. When Jo first came onto the show it felt like “Izzie lite” and that they were trying to replace Izzie since KH is not ever coming back (besides Ausiello doing his best to stir the pot this past year). I never for 1 second bought Alex/Eva as a long term thing and it honestly felt forced from the start. Those have been his only long term love interests on the show and now Jo the past 3 seasons. All I have to say is that Alex’s character deserves a happy ending. His character has suffered so much in these relationships…all the stuff with Izzie and then the crazy Eva storyline it’s time for some happy times for Mr. Karev!

  26. chris says:

    Ha, make us care about them and then tragically kill or maim them….

  27. Manuela says:

    I’m extremely disapointed with Derek’s death. They suposed finish together and happy when the series finish. They deserved a happy end.
    I’m totaly disapointed and unhappy with Derek’s death. I quit with yout’s series.

  28. lisse says:

    I still believe that if Shonda and KH could put their egos aside and bring Izzie back for a short arc, that would be Alex’s endgame. Of course, that’ll never happen and it sucks because Alex was my fave one out of MAGIC and it’s good that he has a real love interest.

    But damn, did they have to make her the female version of him? Did they have to build her specifically to be so compatible with him? That turns me off and it makes me sad that I don’t care for Alex’s romantic relationship.