The still-yet-to-be-named spin-off series will center around a group of Seattle-based firefighters and will feel a whole lot like "Grey's Anatomy," the director said. "It’s like having dinner at your uncle’s but your mother’s still cooking.”
The still-untitled “Grey’s Anatomy” spin-off filmed for three days in Seattle in October, and director/executive producer Paris Barclay said he’d like to return to the area but so far nothing is planned. The rest of the pilot episode’s 14-day shoot was filmed in Los Angeles, where subsequent episodes will be produced.
Premiering at 9 p.m. March 22, the spin-off will share both a visual look and storytelling style with “Grey’s” while also trying to be its own thing, according to Barclay.
“We want ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ fans to love this show as much as they love ‘Grey’s,’” he said. “It’s like having dinner at your uncle’s but your mother’s still cooking.”
The pilot episode, made available to TV critics for preview, introduces the show’s core cast. Andy Herrera (Jaina Lee Ortiz), firefighter and daughter of Captain Pruitt (Miguel Sandoval), dates Lt. Jack Gibson (Grey Damon, “Friday Night Lights”) when not making eyes at her high-school flame, Ryan Tanner (Alberto Frezza).
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Andy’s best friend is former Olympic athlete Maya Bishop (Danielle Savre). Other station regulars include Dean Miller (Okieriete Onaodowan), youngest team member Victora “Vic” Hughes (Barrett Doss) and rules-follower Travis Montgomery (Jay Hayden).
And then there’s a recent transfer, rookie Ben Warren (Jason George, formerly of “Grey’s Anatomy”) who trades his scalpel at Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital for a fire axe at Station 19. In addition, the pilot episode includes a visit to Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital and cameos by “Grey’s Anatomy” stars Ellen Pompeo (AKA Meredith Grey) and Chandra Wilson (AKA Miranda Bailey).
Geographically, producers don’t have a specific location in Seattle in mind for where the fire station is located — in real life they used Station 20 on 15th Avenue Northwest in North Queen Anne for filming the pilot — but on the show it’s located three blocks from Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital. That geographic proximity will also be reflected in a similar tone from “Grey’s” to this new spin-off.
“It was a priority for me in thinking about this as a ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ spin-off is that it work hand-in-hand with ‘Grey’s,’” said spin-off executive producer Stacy McKee. “It’s similar in tone and intensity and humor and heart but there’s also an added element to this show. A hospital setting doesn’t allow a lot of characters on site [at the scene of an emergency], so there’s a certain level of adrenaline and energy that comes with that that you don’t necessarily find in the same way at ‘Grey’s.’”
As for the show’s lack of a title, ABC Entertainment president Channing Dungey said they hope to settle on one in a few weeks. One title they’ve definitely discarded is too close to NBC’s “Chicago Fire.”
“That would be the main reason we’re not going to call it ‘Seattle Fire,’” she said.