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

After starting its 19th season — yes, it’s 1-9 — this month on prime-time TV, Anatomy of the brain Long ago established itself as a reliable hit, earning not only a spot on ABC’s prime-time schedule, but time slots in reruns elsewhere. And part of what made it successful from the start was the relationship between main character Ellen Pompeo’s Dr. Meredith Gray and Patrick Dempsey’s character Dr. Derek “McDreamy” Shepherd, who left the cast in 2015.

on tuesday, graycreator Shonda Rhimes explained that the way the relationship between Meredith and Derek began – they went home together after meeting at a bar – was a problem for some. At least Meredith’s actions were. And they weren’t exactly thrilled to find out the next day that Derek was her new superior 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,” Reams said. With the 9 to 5ish scheme podcast, “And they brought us to tell us that the show was a problem because no one was going to watch a show about a woman who sleeps with a man the night before her first day on the job. And they’re dead serious. were.”

In fact, after reading the pilot episode, they asked, who would do something like a one-night stand with a stranger the night before starting a new job?

Betsy Byers, Rhimes’ production partner on that show and many others, volunteered that she would. The men’s response to the presumably rhetorical question surprised them and sent them reeling.

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“They couldn’t call me ugly to my face,” Byers said. “They didn’t know what to say.”

<em>Grey’s Anatomy</em> Producer 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 Producer 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”/>

Anatomy of the brain Producers Shonda Rhimes, left, and Betsy Byers are pictured in 2017. (Photo: Jason LaVerse/FilmMagic)

The whole point was that Bears and Rhymes, who have since worked together on shows Scandal, How to avoid murder And BridgertonThey were not seeing women like themselves on TV.

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“There really weren’t that many shows with a woman in the center,” Byers said. “That in itself was amazing.”

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

“It seems really obvious now, I think. But at the time, you have to remember that there had never been a show that had a main character who owned his sexuality on network television. ” said Reams. “There was never a show where you saw three or four people of color in a room talking unless it was on a sitcom, without anyone else in the room. You didn’t see a lot of the things we were doing.” I didn’t really think about them as revolutionary, I thought, like, ‘We’re just making a show that I want to watch.’

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

And the Meredith-Derrick pairing that the men didn’t approve of in Rhimes’ story is one of the most fan-favorite in TV history. Last month, the actors behind the characters, Pompeo and Dempsey, happily reunited at the D23 Expo, where they swiped Yahoo Entertainment’s mic for a few laughs.

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