11:28am PT by Lesley Goldberg
'Grey's Anatomy' Spinoff Enlists Jaina Lee Ortiz
ABC's Grey's Anatomy spinoff has found its leading lady.
Rosewood alum Jaina Lee Ortiz has booked what is believed to be the starring role in the firefighter-focused spinoff of the Shondaland medical drama, The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed. She is the first person to be cast.
The new drama, picked up straight to series in May, centers on a group of heroic firefighters from the captain down the ranks in their personal and professional lives. The first episode will air as a planted episode of Grey's, which is set to return in the fall on ABC for its 14th season.
The spinoff will feature an entirely new cast, as none of the regulars from Grey's have been identified as candidates to move over. (This could seem to eliminate a theory that Grey's star Jason George, whose character Ben went full firefighter mode in May's season 13 finale, would be a prime candidate to move to the new series.)
Details about Ortiz's role are being kept under wraps. She is expected to appear in an upcoming Grey's Anatomy episode this season.
The spinoff, which has yet to receive a formal airdate, hails from Grey's Anatomy creator Shonda Rhimes and her Shondaland partner Betsy Beers. The duo will exec produce alongside Grey's exec producer/co-showrunner Stacy McKee, who will transition to the new drama full time. Paris Barclay (Pitch) will direct the pilot and exec produce the series as well.
Ortiz's credits include USA Network's Shooter, Amazon's scrapped Chris Carter drama The After and two seasons of Fox's Rosewood. She potentially joins Ellen Pompeo — who has starred on Grey's for all 14 seasons — Scandal's Kerry Washington and How to Get Away With Murder's Viola Davis as a leading lady of Shondaland. She's repped by WME and Link Entertainment.
The firefighter drama is the second spinoff from the Grey's flagship, joining Private Practice.