9:30am PT by Lesley Goldberg
'Station 19' Renewed as 'Grey's Anatomy' Showrunner Krista Vernoff to Also Oversee Spinoff
ABC is hoping that Krista Vernoff can revitalize Station 19.
The Grey's Anatomy showrunner has signed on to serve in the same capacity on the Disney-owned network's firefighter-themed spinoff, which has now officially been renewed for a third season. Station 19 joins Grey's Anatomy — which on Friday was renewed for two additional seasons (through its 17th cycle) and How to Get Away With Murder (returning for its sixth) as ABC solidifies its Shondaland fare following the cancellation of For the People.
Vernoff replaces creator and former showrunner Stacy McKee at the helm of Station 19. Grey's Anatomy grad McKee — who developed the spinoff — departed April 24 after overseeing its first two seasons. Sources note that McKee was ready to pursue new opportunities after spending the past 15 years in Shondaland.
The decision to renew Station 19 arrives after season two of the (second) Grey's Anatomy spinoff proved stable, maintaining better than 90 percent of its season one audience. The series also ticked up recently with its latest crossover with flagship Grey's Anatomy.
"Everyone at Shondaland is thrilled that our fans’ commitment to TGIT continues,” Grey's creator Shonda Rhimes and producing partner Betsy Beers said in a joint statement. "We are so proud of Krista and [How to Get Away With Murder showrunner/creator] Pete [Nowalk] and the work they do. Making the choice to have Krista oversee Station 19 was easy — the creativity she brings to the Grey’s Anatomy universe continues a tradition of storytelling we hold dear."
For Vernoff, adding oversight of Station 19 comes after she signed a multiple-year overall deal with producers ABC Studios. In addition to running Grey's and Station 19, Vernoff will also create and develop new projects for the studio through her Trip the Light Productions banner alongside husband and producing partner Alexandre Schmitt.
Vernoff wrote and executive produced Grey's Anatomy for its first eight seasons and was hand-picked by creator Shonda Rhimes to take over as showrunner on the series after former co-showrunner McKee departed to focus on Station 19 and as Rhimes moved her overall deal to Netflix.
ABC and Shondaland are now hoping that Vernoff can revitalize Station 19 in the same way she did with the flagship, which remains ABC's top-rated drama in the all-important adults 18-49 demographic. The Ellen Pompeo-led medical drama is a lock to return for its 16th season.
Jaina Ortiz and flagship favorite Jason George star in Station 19.
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