The Hollywood Reporter got an exclusive one-on-one talk with Shonda Rhimes, showrunner of the ABC hit, medical drama Grey's Anatomy. On the interview, a lot of interesting questions were given and let me tell you, Shonda did not fail to keep the conversation flowing. The long-time runner of multiple-shows on ABC disposed momentous information about the aftermath of the crash and the burning question of what will be the near future of the tormented survivors, victims and the people unaware of the season 8 tragedy were answered.
The Hollywood Reporter: How are you approaching this season? In the past, you've known what the finale was and worked backward but last season because of all the uncertainty, it was split in two.
Shonda Rhimes: We know what the finale is and we're working backward from that. It's the usual way we work and we had a lot of fun last season but because we were unsure of a lot of things we were left with building a lot of things and it doesn't matter because we have a finale that's totally separate from what else is happening.
Could we see a time jump in the premiere?
Not a big one. We're doing something really interesting this year. Our first episode takes place two to three months after we left the finale, so you see the aftermath and where everyone ends up. The second episode jumps back and we're back in the woods, we start the episode back in the woods. To me, it's a very different way of telling the story and you have some questions about why people are the way they are and in the second episode you find out why things are the way they are.
Will you continue to play with that format throughout the season?
We're not. We don't have big plans to play with it back and forth. Even though we had a plane crash, this isn't Lost (laughs). We wanted to find a way to clearly and interestingly tell the story of who our character and why they are who they are.
What's the likelihood we could see additional fatalities or cast member departures?
I think that's possible, yes.
Could it be one of the five remaining plane crash survivors -- Arizona, Meredith, Cristina, Derek and Mark -- who don't make it?
I think any number of people could be departing at this point. That's left open.
Considering the way with the finale ended with Alex (Justin Chambers) and Jackson (Jesse Williams) both being accepted to other programs -- and Cristina, if she survives, could we see some of the season take place in other hospitals?
Yes, we could absolutely see some of the season take place somewhere else; that was always in the cards for us -- the idea that somebody would be somewhere else and we would see things play out that way. When we start the season, there are some doctors who are not at Seattle Grace and we will come to understand what that means as time goes on.
Might that be something that continues on for the length of the series?
I don't know that it's going to be the length of the series; we're going to do it for as long as it feels interesting to us for as long as we have story to tell in the way that we need to tell it. At the end of every season, I always say let's leave it on the table for next season and part of the reason for next season is what happens if a doctor is someplace else and what that means for our story and how that works.
Will there be a funeral for Lexie?
That was heartbreaking. I could have written for Chyler for the rest of my life; that was the hardest thing we did last year. We're not doing funerals this season, that's not part of the language of what we're trying to do this season. It's not about a funeral at all.
You mention funerals -- might there be a need for more than one?
There could be, but we're not doing them even if there were.
What kind of Seattle Grace will the docs be returning to, clearly it will be a bit depleted with a few people moving on.
It's going to be a very interesting place. We've been calling this season the season of romance and talking about playing up the romance of surgery and the romance between characters and the romance of friendships and really mining that as much as we can so it's not going to be a dark season.
Source: Hollywood Reporter