'Grey's Anatomy': What's Next for Your Favorite Doctors in Season 17?

Caterina Scorsone Kelly McCreary Ellen Pompeo Grey's Anatomy Meredith Maggie Amelia
ABC/Christopher Willard

TV's longest-running primetime medical show opens its 17th season with a double timeline: one that finds the doctors of Grey Sloan Memorial facing the COVID-19 pandemic, the other flashing back to where we left them last spring.

"Our goal this year is to reflect the reality of the medical community while finding ways to have humor and joy, romance, and sex," says Grey's Anatomy executive producer Krista Vernoff. "While the pandemic impacts the hospital in really intense ways, we also need to provide some relief and comfort."

We take the pulse of the staff below. 

Grey's Anatomy, Season 17 Premiere, Thursday, November 12, 9/8c ABC

Ellen Pompeo Grey's Anatomy Meredith Grey
ABC/Gilles Mingasson

Meredith Grey

The chief of general surgery (Ellen Pompeo) “is deep in the work that doctors in this country are doing right now, which is trying hard to save the lives of people who have COVID,” Vernoff previews. So that date sexy Irish pediatric surgeon Cormac Hayes (Richard Flood) asked her out on at the end of last season will have to wait. We’ll also learn the fate of Meredith’s ex, chief resident Andrew DeLuca (Giacomo Gianniotti), who in the finale was in the throes of a bipolar breakdown and finally accepted Meredith’s offer to help him.

Kim Raver Kevin McKidd Season 16 Grey's Anatomy Teddy Owen
ABC/Gilles Mingasson

Teddy Altman and Owen Hunt

After overhearing his fiancée, co–head of cardiothoracic surgery Teddy (Kim Raver), having sex with her ex on their wedding day, Owen (Kevin McKidd) called off the nuptials. “We’re playing that story through in dramatic fashion,” Vernoff says. “Teddy is wrecked the way people are when they ruin their lives” in such a spectacular way. And at least in the flashback timeline, unlucky-in-love trauma chief Owen “is also wrecked,” confirms Vernoff.

Jake Borelli Camilla Luddington Grey's Anatomy Levi Schmitt Jo
ABC/Ali Goldstein

Levi Schmitt and Jo

Call them the new odd couple. Attending physician Jo (Camilla Luddington) — she dropped the last name “Karev” after husband Alex (Justin Chambers) left her and has yet to pick a new surname — welcomed chatty surgical resident Levi (Jake Borelli) as a roommate. “They are delightful,” says Vernoff. “It’s an unexpected and joyful friendship. I’m glad they have each other!”

Kelly McCreary Grey's Anatomy Margaret Pierce
ABC/Mike Rosenthal

Maggie Pierce

Cardiothoracic surgeon Maggie (Kelly McCreary) had a tough year, breaking up with beau Jackson Avery (Jesse Williams) and losing her cousin on the operating table. However, there’s a new light in her life: Winston Ndugu (new cast member Anthony Hill), a charming former colleague she reconnected with at a medical conference. Their intense reunion led Winston, a grounded, compassionate doctor with father issues, to ask Maggie to move to Boston, where he works. “Maggie isn’t moving anytime soon,” Vernoff says. “They’re carrying on a long-distance romance.”

Chandra Wilson Chris Carmack Grey's Anatomy Link Miranda Bailey
ABC/Gilles Mingasson

Miranda Bailey

Life was going well for the chief of surgery (Chandra Wilson), her firefighter/surgeon husband Ben Warren (Jason George) and their teenage sons. Stress levels rise, however, as Bailey works triple time trying to save virus-infected patients. She and Ben, adds Vernoff, have made the decision to quarantine separately in order to keep their kids safe.

Chris Carmack Caterina Scorsone Grey's Anatomy Link Amelia Shepherd
ABC/Gilles Mingasson

Amelia Shepherd and Atticus "Link" Lincoln

Baby makes three for this newly formed family. After their son’s birth in the season finale (and some questions about his paternity), neurosurgery chief Amelia (Caterina Scorsone) and kindly orthopedic surgeon Link (Chris Carmack) “are in a good place,” the producer reveals. “They have a healthy baby boy and each other.” For fans wondering if Amelia names the newborn after her late brother Derek (Patrick Dempsey), the answer arrives in the two-hour premiere.