2:10pm PT by Lesley Goldberg
'Grey's Anatomy' Firefighter Spinoff Goes Straight to Series at ABC
ABC is spinning off Grey's Anatomy a second time.
The network has handed out a straight-to-series order for a spinoff centering on a group of heroic firefighters. The first episode will air as a planted episode of the veteran medical drama.
This marks the second spinoff from Grey's Anatomy. Creator Shonda Rhimes and producing partner Betsy Beers spun off Kate Walsh's character Addison to form Private Practice, which ended its run after six seasons. Rhimes and Beers will executive produce the new untitled project.
The drama, like Grey's Anatomy, is set in Seattle and focuses on firefighters from the captain down the ranks in their personal and professional lives. It's unclear which planted episode the series will launch out of, but the Grey's Anatomy season 13 finale is set to feature an explosion at the hospital.
McKee, who has written some of the most memorable Grey's Anatomy episodes, will pen the script and exec produce the ABC Studios and Shondaland drama. An episode count and launch date has not yet been determined. McKee recently departed Grey's, with former writer Krista Vernoff boarding as an exec producer, setting her return to bolster a staff that includes Debbie Allen.
The decision to spin off Grey's Anatomy comes as the show continues to be a massive performer for ABC. In its 13th season, it ranks as ABC's No. 1 scripted drama — an impressive feat for a veteran series. Additionally, Grey's was moved to open Thursdays at 8 p.m., and now serves as a launchpad for ABC's Rhimes-produced, TGIT-branded night of programming that also includes Scandal, which is ending after its forthcoming seventh season, and How to Get Away With Murder.
For Rhimes, she will again have at least five shows on ABC's schedule: Grey's, Scandal, Murder, freshman For the People and now the spinoff. Additionally, rookie Still Star-Crossed — picked up a year ago — will debut later this year. If that is renewed, Rhimes would have six shows on the air at the same time for the first time in her career.
She also scrapped an idea for a planned Scandal spinoff about Joe Morton's B613 storyline.
That ABC would look to build another procedural out of Grey's Anatomy comes as NBC has built a franchise out of Dick Wolf's Chicago — with firefighters, police and medical shows.
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