How 'Grey's Anatomy' & 'Station 19' Should Handle Crossovers Next Season
It used to be that crossovers were special events, but ever since shared universes became more popular and networks scheduled shows in them back-to-back, they sometimes feel like weekly occurrences.
Dick Wolf's One Chicago and the FBIs have not only crossed over among themselves, but also together (and the former with Law & Order: SVU). The NCISes don't mingle as often, but it has happened, especially between the D.C. and NOLA offices. And with Grey's Anatomy and its spinoff Station 19 back-to-back, they've joined in on the fun, especially this past season.
With ABC's fall 2020 schedule out and the firefighters and doctors once again taking over the first two hours of Thursday's primetime — the former kick it off — chances are that will continue. But should it be in the same way as the winter and spring? Some changes should be made regarding how certain aspects are handled.
The major, two-part events have been done well so far on ABC. They don't happen that often, and when they do, they work because each show's characters have unique roles to play in the middle of traumas. As long as there's maybe two a year — depending on episode orders — these can continue as they have.
A few times, Station 19 would drop a victim off at Grey Sloan and Grey's would pick that thread back up, usually with a doctor seeing a reflection of his or her own personal life in it. The most memorable one has to be the woman who was cheating on her husband who jumped in front of a bear for her ... just as Jo (Camilla Luddington) worried the MIA Alex (Justin Chambers) was doing the same to her. (He was.)
It works, but it becomes a problem when it feels like every episode of Grey's connects back to Station 19 in some way. Yes, capitalize on the success of the former, but don't do so at its expense. Not every Grey's fan is going to want to watch the spinoff to understand completely what's going on, nor should they have to. And the same is true for fans of Station 19. A couple cases like this in each half of the season would work best.
Otherwise, it feels a bit like taking Fire's paramedics dropping a victim at Med or a member of Intelligence from P.D. investigating something at the hospital or related to one of Firehouse 51's calls a step too far.
Characters & Relationships
This is a tricky one, for the exact reason as crossover patients, but both shows shouldn't also have to recap what happened on the other to keep viewers informed of personal relationships and character development.
For example, any Grey's fan who didn't watch the spinoff was left wondering what happened to DeLuca (Giacomo Gianniotti), who was trying to figure out a cause for his recent behavior. Over on Station 19, his sister, fellow doctor Carina (Stefania Spampinato) told her girlfriend, firefighter Maya Bishop (Danielle Savre), that he was bipolar, like their father. In this case, production shutting down early did mean that Grey's Season 16 lost out on four episodes and would have addressed it, but anything else like that should be avoided as much as possible.
Station 19, Season 4, 2020, ABC
Grey's Anatomy, Season 17, 2020, ABC