Ever since the news broke in May that not only was Grey’s Anatomy showrunner Krista Vernoff taking over Station 19 but every episode of both series was going to be a “crossover event,” I’ve been troubled. Like, deeply troubled.
It’s not that I don’t think Vernoff is beyond capable of simultaneously handling Grey’s and its spinoff or even that I have any doubt about her ability to cleverly weave the shows together. Having delighted in the way that she breathed new life into Grey’s upon being handed the reins in Season 14, I have the utmost faith in her abilities. My skepticism stems from the fact that the move to merge the TGIT dramas has all the hallmarks of a business decision, not a creative one. “Station 19’s numbers tick up every time we do a two-parter with Grey’s,” it isn’t hard to imagine a suit noticing. “So why aren’t we making every episode a crossover?”
“Because not all Grey’s fans like or want to watch Station 19,” I only wish someone had replied loudly enough to be heard. “Plus, Grey’s fans, who often feel like their favorite characters don’t get enough screen time as it is, get really, really pissed when what screen time is available is squandered on characters from a show they don’t — and won’t — watch. They resent the hell out of it.”
I get that, having lost Grey’s creator Shonda Rhimes to Netflix, ABC wants, maybe even needs, to make its Grey’s offshoot a hit. But this ain’t the way to do it. All non-stop crossovers are going to accomplish, I fear, is make Grey’s feel less like Grey’s (and presumably Station 19 feel less like itself, too) and alienate the audience of the network’s top-rated drama. If Station 19 needs retooling, by all means, retool away; just don’t do it at the expense of Grey’s.
What do you think, Grey’s fans? Should ABC reconsider its plan to further meld Grey’s and Station 19 before it’s too late? Hit the comments with your thoughts.