‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Boss on Meredith’s Absence, Owen & Teddy’s Return

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In Grey’s Anatomy‘s 18th season finale, the prognosis for Grey Sloan’s surgical department was grim.

Doctors Teddy Altman (Kim Raver) and Owen Hunt (Kevin McKidd) were police fugitives, the residency program was canceled (along with the residents), surgery chief Miranda Bailey (Chandra Wilson) resigned and her interim replacement — Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo) — wasn’t sure if she wanted to return.

Can an injection of new blood in the form of five energetic interns save the day in the hospital drama? Showrunner Krista Vernoff has the answers.

Meredith is in only eight episodes. Will she be working in Minnesota with potential beau Nick (Scott Speedman)?

When Season 19 starts after a six-month jump, Meredith is still chief of surgery.

“She will not be in Minnesota,” Vernoff assures, clamming up about the reason for Mer’s looming absence but stressing drama ahead for the rest of the cast. “We’ve got a group of really exciting fresh new interns,” the executive producer adds, comparing them to the memorable original batch.

Speaking of: Who are these first-year surgical residents set to oxygenate the show?

Here’s the roster: Simone Griffin (Alexis Floyd, Inventing Anna), who has a “painful personal history” with the hospital; Daniel “Blue” Kwan (Harry Shum Jr., Glee), “competitive to a fault”; Lucas Adams (Niko Terho), the “black sheep” of his surgeon-filled family; Mika Yasuda (Midori Francis), who’s “used to being overlooked and uses it to her advantage”; and Jules Millin (Adelaide Kane, Reign), who “isn’t afraid to break rules to save a life.”

Have we seen the last of quirky residents Schmitt (Jake Borelli) and Helm (Jaicy Elliot)?

That’s a no. Schmitt, the only returning senior resident, is now chief resident, though his old pal Helm, says Vernoff, “will have a longer journey back.”

Are Teddy and Owen still on the run after he facilitated an assisted suicide?

When the fugitives return after those six months, Vernoff says, Owen retains his medical license, but their marriage is “frayed” and they are bankrupt.

What are the fates of Bailey and residency director Richard Webber (James Pickens Jr.), who both left the hospital?

Richard “is back from his travels, committed to making sure the [rebooted] residency program thrives,” and Mer’s been attempting to persuade Bailey to resume her position. The former chief “has been [busy] parenting and volunteering in various ways,” the producer says, but “she does miss surgery.”

You don’t need a scalpel to parse that!

Grey’s Anatomy, Season 19 Premiere, Thursday, October 6, 9/8c, ABC

This is an excerpt from TV Guide Magazine’s 2022 Returning Favorites issue. For more first looks at fall’s returning shows, pick up the issue, on newsstands now

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