Ever since word got out that ABC would be further blending the Grey’s Anatomy and Station 19 universes under dual showrunner Krista Vernoff, fans have been wondering the following: How will both series be able to maintain parallel timelines considering that Grey’s kicks off Season 16 in September — months before Station 19 Season 3 launches in early 2020?
Calling the task of fusing Grey’s and Station 19 “a massive Rubik’s Cube” crossed with a “game of speed chess” that “required months of planning from two writers’ rooms,” Vernoff shares the somewhat simple solution at which she arrived to solve the scheduling-born continuity issue. “We are using Grey’s to mark time on both shows.” In other words, “When Station 19 premieres [at midseason], we’ll do a little bit of flashing back to cover the time lapse.”
Until then, fans can keep tabs on some of their Station 19 faves — Jason George’s Ben and beyond — as they orbit Grey’s throughout the fall. But Vernoff, echoing comments made earlier this month by ABC president Karey Burke, maintains that the two shows will continue to stand on their own. “The challenge that was presented to me was this: How do you create a more unified universe and a little bit more in the way of crossovers but also allow for the fact that these shows don’t air back-to-back in many other countries?” the EP says. “You can’t write it as a two-hour movie. They need to be completely satisfying if you’re only watching one show, and exciting and illuminating if you are watching both. And so far, I feel really good about what we’re doing.
“If you only watch one show, you’re satisfied,” she adds. “And if you watch both shows, you get some information or some cool pieces that you wouldn’t have if you didn’t watch both shows.”